Gemma Doyle and her friends travel to London for a Sherlock Holmes convention--but will Gemma's father take the fall for a felonious forger's fatality?
The 6th of January is Sherlock Holmes's birthday, and lucky for Gemma Doyle, January is also the slowest time of the year at both the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, and Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room. It's a good time for Gemma and her friends to travel to England for a Holmes Convention. For Gemma, the trip provides an opportunity to visit her parents, Jayne Wilson is excited about seeing all the sites London has to offer, and Ryan Ashburton just wants to spend some time with Gemma. But the trip is immediately derailed when Gemma's father Henry recognizes his brother-in-law Randolph Manning, who disappeared more than thirty years ago on the night he stole a valuable painting from his own parents.
Henry, a retired detective with Scotland Yard, has been keeping tabs on the man's career as a forger of Old Masters and he warns Randy to stay away from his family. Randy is at the conference selling his own art, a series of sketches inspired by the Holmes Canon. The ever-observant Gemma notes that he isn't exactly popular with some of the other conference attendees, but when Randy is found dead after the banquet with a dazed and confused Henry Doyle standing over him, the police leap to assume his guilt. It's up to Gemma, with the help of her friends, to plunge into the "lowest and vilest alleys" of London to save her father from prison. (Summary via Goodreads)
I love picking up a book in a series and as soon as you start reading you feel like you are back with some old friends......that is exactly how it felt when I picked up There's a Murder Afoot by Vicki Delany. There's a Murder Afoot is the fifth book in her Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series and having read the previous four, I am a fan.
Main character Gemma Doyle co-owns a Sherlock Holmes based bookshop with her uncle Arthur and she is also part owner of the adjoining business, Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room with her best friend, Jayne. As in the previous books, Gemma and Jayne seem to get themselves in the middle of a murder investigation where Gemma's boyfriend Ryan who is a police detective doesn't like. However in There's a Murder Afoot Gemma, Jayne, Ryan and two other friends are traveling across the pond to England to attend a Sherlock Holmes convention, visit with Gemma's parents and sightsee......how could anything go wrong ??
Well if author Vicki Delany has anything to say about it, which obviously she does, something is definitely going to happen....and as a reader I could not turn the pages fast enough. And boy oh boy where does she come up with these ideas ??
While out for drinks and dinner the very first night they are in England, the gang along with Gemma's parents and sister, Pippa run into Gemma's mum's long long brother. Unfortunately the reason that he is long lost is because he stole a valuable painting from his parents and disappeared many years ago. Before the family can come to terms with his reappearing, he is murdered, Gemma's dad is found standing over his body unable to remember what happened, the Inspector assigned to his case doesn't like him, and Gemma's sister's job is very important with the govenment but that's all we know about it..... So yes even though the are far from home, Gemma is right at home in her hometown so she has no problem jumping into proving her father's innocence and everyone in the gang is all for it, some more readily that others !!!
There's a Murder Afoot was so much fun to read especially with it taking place in England and away from the bookstore and tea room. Don't get me wrong... I love hanging around with Gemma, Jayne and crew when they are in Cape Cod but to go to England and not even leave the comforts of my couch, that was an awesome treat !! I'm sure you will agree.....
Review by Missi M.