Wednesday, March 15, 2023

A Tempest at Sea - Historical Mystery Review

Goodreads:  A Tempest at Sea (The Lady Sherlock Series #7) by Sherry Thomas

Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  After feigning her own death in Cornwall to escape from Moriarty’s perilous attention, Charlotte Holmes goes into hiding. But then she receives a tempting offer: Find a dossier the crown is desperately seeking to recover, and she might be able to go back to a normal life.

Her search leads her aboard the RMS Provence, sailing from Southampton for the eastern hemisphere. But on the night Charlotte makes her move to retrieve the dossier, in the midst of a terrifying storm in the Bay of Biscay, a brutal murder also takes place on the ship.

Instead of solving the crime, as she is accustomed to doing, Charlotte must take care not to be embroiled in this investigation, lest it become known to those who harbor ill intentions that Sherlock Holmes is abroad and still very much alive.

Genre: Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I've long been a fan of this series and just couldn't resist that cover!

My Impression: Charlotte and Mrs. Watson along with Lord Ingram and Olivia Holmes are out for a nautical adventure.  Throw in the disastrous Mr. Shrewsbury, an Australian brother and sister, and the unexpected decidedly unwanted arrival of Lady Holmes herself (Charlotte and Olivia's mother) and it is very clear that they are not going to have smooth sailing.  

Charlotte is on a recovery mission with her friends and colleagues looking for a tiny portfolio believed to be being carried by a governess who is onboard with her charges.  Unfortunately, right in the middle of her mission a murder happens onboard causing the focus to go from the recovery to protecting Charlotte's identity.  

The pace of this book is lightening fast from beginning to end and kept me absolutely hooked.  I loved this version of a locked door mystery and trying to figure out the motives of all the players.  I was completely in the dark as to just what was going on until the end.  There are some flashbacks which don't always work for me but they were very cleverly done here giving the reader just the right amount of information.

My only real problem with this story and this series in general is there are a lot of moving parts and major players.  There are some people on Charlotte's team and some on Moriarty's and since I've read more than a few books since I read the previous book in the series I sometimes struggle to remember who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.  Luckily, the main characters are so well developed, interesting, and unique that I'm always able to engage in the story even if I'm a little confused on the whos who of the side characters.  

While most mystery series can be read essentially as standalones this series is best read in order due to the complicated relationships.  Since each book has a solid mystery, good pacing, and fantastic characters this is absolutely not a hardship! 

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I'm looking forward to seeing Charlotte Holmes' next adventure and I'd really love to do a reread of this series.

Would I Recommend this Book?   I would very much recommend this series if you're a fan of Holmes stories or well written historical mysteries.  

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


  1. Great review, Katherine. I really liked it too. I do hope Thomas will bring the romance aspect a bit more forward in the next book.
    Mary @Bookfan

  2. I love this series so much! yes with all the characters and details it can get to be a bit with a year between books. This is a good candidate for a binge when they are all out and they are certainly worth rereading then.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  3. I loved this book too and I've just downloaded the first book in this series from my library

  4. Mary from Bookfan loved this one too. It's annoying when there are lots of side characters but focussing on the main characters does help.

  5. A lovely review, Katherine - this one sounds just up my street as I'm very fond of Sherlock Holmes retellings:)). Thank you for sharing!

  6. Great review! I'd have to start this series from book #1. It sounds good.

  7. This sounds great! I have the first few books in this series and hope to start it sometime soon.

  8. One of my favorite series. This was clever. Great review Katherine!