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A TEMPEST AT SEA by Sherry Thomas


by Sherry Thomas

Pub Date: March 14th, 2023
ISBN: 9780593200605
Publisher: Berkley

Murder on the high seas adds a twist to a bigger game of international intrigue in the new Lady Sherlock novel.

Still in hiding after having faked her own death in Cornwall, secret sleuth Charlotte Holmes is on the RMS Provence, working a shipboard mission whose successful completion will let her return to her life. Lord Ingram Ashburton, her friend and now lover, is onboard, too, as are some other allies and family members. Thomas also adds a new group of characters to the chessboard, any of whom may be in the criminal syndicate run by Holmes’ nemesis, Moriarty, or have ties to a homicide that occurs on the ship on a stormy night. Told from a third-person perspective that largely stays by Lord Ingram’s side as he is drafted into the investigation while trying to keep Charlotte from being discovered, the novel occasionally switches to Charlotte's sister Livia’s anxious point of view. Charlotte herself is more of a cipher in this installment, with the reader as ignorant of her thoughts or actions as most of the people onboard. While her personality and behavior remain consistent with the earlier books—though she's more expressive about her feelings for Lord Ingram—the nonlinear plot and the numerous scenes without her keep the reader at a distance. We do not always know what Charlotte has done and learned in the process of looking for clues until the final reveal. Reminiscent of forced-proximity stories like Christie’s Death on the Nile or the game and miniseries Clue, the novel is an entertaining read for its wheels-within-wheels structure and the drips of knowledge we are given.

Fans of the Victorian lady detective will enjoy her resurrection.