The Cat of the Baskervilles
A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, Book 3
Crooked Lane, 2018
From the dust jacket, “Legendary stage and movie star Sir Nigel Bellingham arrives on Cape Cod to star in a stage production of The Hound of the Baskervilles put on by the West London Theater Festival. When Sir Nigel, some of the cast, and the director visit the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop at 222 Baker Street, owner Gemma Doyle realizes that Sir Nigel is not at all suited to the role. He is long past his prime and an old drunk to boot. The cast, in particular the much younger actor who previously had the role, are not happy, but the show must go on.
“Before the play opens, Leslie Wilson, mother of Gemma’s best friend Jayne, arranges a fundraising afternoon tea to be catered by Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. The event is a huge success, but when it’s time to leave, Sir Nigel has gone missing—only to be found at the bottom of the rocky cliff, dead. Along with the body, Gemma finds evidence incriminating Leslie Wilson. When the police focus their attention on Leslie, despite the numerous other suspects, the game is once again afoot, and it’s up to the highly perceptive Gemma and the ever-confused but loyal Jayne to clear Jayne’s mother’s name.”
My human had originally checked this book out to read but just as I started, I realized it was #3 in the series and I hadn’t read #2! So I sent her back to the library to get #2, read that first and then read this one – marathon-style – so it wouldn’t be overdue!!
I loved this book as much as the first and second ones I read, but I have two gripes. One, I do wish the publishers wouldn’t be so extravagant in their blurbs about the role Jayne plays in solving the mystery. She’s really there as a sounding board as well as the comedic wing-woman. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a definite asset to the story, but she wouldn’t recognize a murder if it took place in front of her, let alone solve one. And, two, I also wish the publishers wouldn’t rush to print because this book had several spelling areas and one major editing error. It’s no spoiler to say that at the start of a scene, Gemma was driving, then in the middle of the scene, Jayne was driving and then as they arrived at their destination, Gemma was driving again. The scene took only a few paragraphs so no evidence of stopping and switching drivers twice along the way.
Gripes aside, I really enjoyed this book. The murderer was a complete surprise – I hadn’t even given any thought that it would be that person. Who I thought it was, was completely innocent!! My bad! It’s a good thing I’m not a detective! I’m looking forward to installment #4, and hopefully the publishers will keep an eye out for all those errors and fix them before printing!!
Rating 4 out of 5 paws, even though part of me wants to give it only 3 paws due to the errors, but the story and mystery really were good enough to outweigh the mistakes.
P.S. It’s okay if I make spelling and grammar errors because I’m a cat, not professional and sell nothing.