Book Review: Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany

Title: Elementary, She Read
Author: Vicki Delany
Publication Date: March 14th, 2017
Genre: cozy mystery
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop–located at 222 Baker Street–specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.
The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman’s suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it’s a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

Clearly, I have found a love for cozy mysteries since I’ve been reading a lot of them lately. Gemma Doyle — runs and partially owns her uncle’s Sherlock Holmes Emporium. They sell all sorts of memorabilia and of course the books. But dear Gemma isn’t much of a Sherlock fan. Of course, she knows quite a bit about him in his various representations. However, she is very much like the famous detective when it comes to her attention to details.

Having such a keen eye, Gemma finds what she believes to be an extremely valuable printing of a Sherlock Holmes story and makes it her goal to return it to the woman who left it behind, only to find the woman dead in her hotel room. And much like the heroines in the other mystery novels I’ve been reading, Gemma takes it upon herself to figure out what happened. Though it may be due in part to the fact that one of the local cops believes her to be the murderer. And that somebody broke into her house in an attempt to steal the printing.

Louise Estrada is on a mission to prove that Gemma was the killer because she has the motive and the means to do so. But that’s just because she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And because she notices too much. Her old flame Andy has made it a point to tell her that many times before so it isn’t like she’s being told anything new.

And Andy….that man needs to figure some things out. Then again, so does Gemma. Are they just going to tiptoe around the fact that they both miss each other? Sure, Gemma caught on to his marriage proposal. That would be a downer in anybody’s book, I  suppose. But to call it off completely and leave her sitting there? That was just cold. Of course, that scene doesn’t exactly tie into the plot of this story. It’s more or less just background information on the two of them. But it does make a case for the fact that Gemma has always been a person with an eye for details.

Ultimately, she does solve the mystery. But there is always another one just around the corner waiting to be solved!

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