A Conspiracy in Belgravia (Lady Sherlock #2) by Sherry Thomas (Amazon)
Rating: Very Good
Description: Being shunned by Society gives Charlotte Holmes the time and freedom to put her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. As “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, she’s had great success helping with all manner of inquiries, but she’s not prepared for the new client who arrives at her Upper Baker Street office.
Lady Ingram, wife of Charlotte’s dear friend and benefactor, wants Sherlock Holmes to find her first love, who failed to show up at their annual rendezvous. Matters of loyalty and discretion aside, the case becomes even more personal for Charlotte as the missing man is none other than Myron Finch, her illegitimate half brother.
In the meanwhile, Charlotte wrestles with a surprising proposal of marriage, a mysterious stranger woos her sister Livia, and an unidentified body that surfaces where least expected. Charlotte’s investigative prowess is challenged as never before: Can she find her brother in time—or will he, too, end up as a nameless corpse somewhere in the belly of London?
Genre: Mystery - Historical
Why I Picked This Book: I really enjoyed the first in the series and was excited to see what adventures Charlotte gets into in this book.
My Impression: I had some issues with the first book. It took awhile to get things setup and Charlotte isn't the easiest character to connect to. I had hoped that these would not be problems with the second book and I was right! This book hits the ground running and while Charlotte is still Charlotte I was thrilled to see her again. As well, the end of the first book had raised an issue that could become a problem for Charlotte and Mrs. Watson's relationship and that had me very concerned. However, I loved the way it was handled. It seemed fitting to both characters and I was very relieved.
If you like your mysteries to focus on the main mystery this is probably not the book for you. There is a LOT going on in this mystery. There are several different cases, some connected and some not, as well as personal issues for several characters. However, the story never felt cluttered and I was caught up in wanting to see how all the different issues worked out. While a few threads are left open ended most are resolved by the end of the book and I was thoroughly satisfied at the end.
This is a complex and enjoyable historical mystery. Things are not easy for Charlotte despite being able to have the career that she wants to have. She feels an obligation to her sisters and to a lesser degree her parents to make their lives better. As well not everyone in Charlotte's life is able to get past her scandalous past and it colors their opinion of her and her supporters. I thought that added a more realistic element to the book and really enjoyed it. Conspiracy in Belgravia lived up to all my expectations and hopes from the previous book and my only real complaint is that I have to wait a year for the next book! This is a fascinating historical mystery with interesting characters and all kinds of juicy problems!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Yes! I can't wait for the next book and I'd really like to go try some of Thomas' historical romances.
Would I Recommend this Book? Absolutely! If you enjoy historical mysteries like Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series I think you'd love this series.