Saturday, December 10, 2022

Elementary, She Read - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: Elementary, She Read (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #1) by Vicki Delany

Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  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 Holmes 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.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I've read other books by Vicki Delany and really enjoyed them so of course I had to try this series.  

My Impression:  I love the setup for this series.  Gemma is from London and running her Uncle's Sherlock themed bookstore in Cape Cod.  Attached to the bookstore is Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room which is run by her best friend Jane.  Things are going pretty smoothly until a valuable item is left in Gemma's store which leads them into stumbling over a dead body and becoming front and center in a murder investigation.  The bookstore itself sounds like such a fun place to visit and I love Gemma's deductive reasoning skills.  I especially liked that Jayne called Gemma on getting too involved in the investigation and dropping the ball on a number of business matters.

While I do really enjoy Gemma's deductive reasoning at times she comes across as annoying and her sureness that she is smarter then everyone else has her making some To Stupid to Live decisions.  Given that her relationship with the police is pretty contentious - as her ex-boyfriend is one of the primary detectives - it makes a bit of sense but I did periodically want to scream at her.  I'm hoping this is just some setup pains as this is the first book in a series.  I did enjoy the setting and premise and while Gemma did make me roll my eyes a time or two (or five) I feel like there's enough positive about this story to keep me reading the series.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  Vicky Delany is one of my favorite cozy mystery authors so I will always pick up her newest books.  

Would I Recommend this Book?  I would definitely recommend this author's other books but I think I want to read another book in this series before I recommend this book.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. Has some great elements and I guess it also gives Gemma room to grow. She isn't perfect!

  2. I have this series on my TBR. Looks good.

  3. I have not read this author but this sounds good even if the main character might be annoying at times.

  4. I have been collecting this series but haven't read it yet. It sounds so good! Hopefully the series will get better as it goes.