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There's a Murder Afoot

A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, Book 5
Written by: Vicki Delany
Narrated by: Kim Hicks
Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

The 6th of January is Sherlock Holmes’s birthday, and lucky for Gemma Doyle, January is also the slowest time of the year at both the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium and Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. It’s a good time for Gemma and her friends to travel to England for a Holmes Convention. For Gemma, the trip provides an opportunity to visit her parents. Jayne Wilson is excited about seeing all the sites London has to offer, and Ryan Ashburton just wants to spend some time with Gemma. But the trip is immediately derailed when Gemma’s father Henry recognizes his brother-in-law Randolph Denhaugh, who disappeared more than thirty years ago on the night he stole a valuable painting from his own parents.

Henry, a retired detective with Scotland Yard, has been keeping tabs on the man’s career as a forger of Old Masters and he warns Randy to stay away from his family. Randy is at the conference selling his own art, a series of sketches inspired by the Holmes Canon. The ever-observant Gemma notes that he isn’t exactly popular with some of the other conference attendees, but when Randy is found dead after the banquet with a dazed and confused Henry Doyle standing over him, the police leap to assume his guilt. It’s up to Gemma, with the help of her friends, to plunge into the “lowest and vilest alleys” of London to save her father from prison.

©2020 Vicki Delany (P)2020 Dreamscape Media, LLC

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TK
  • 2020-01-15

Another Good Addition But...

Another great whodunit by Delaney.

The author has great characters and shows that they are evolving and growing, keeping the stories from being too stagnant. Again, Gemma, the main character can be a little grating if you are expecting a perky cozy mystery lead but I’d still recommend this book to anyone.

The mystery itself isn’t all that original, but the execution with the unique twists and turns make the experience feel fresh.

Kim Hicks performance however, was somewhat lacking this time around however. Especially in the opening chapters, the main character sounds like she should be in her mid-fifties, not her early thirties. It makes me think that Hicks had a cold while recording certain parts of the book.

There’s also an issue with two of the male characters sounding very similar, which took me out of the story when they would have group conversations and I was questioning who said a particular line of dialog.

A great listen for mystery fans and especially fans of Sherlock Holmes.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • The Genre Minx Book Reviews
  • 2020-01-14

An entertaining story!

There’s a Murder Afoot is the fifth installment of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series and what an enjoyable story it was. Gemma Doyle manages her Great Uncle Arthur’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium that’s located in West London in Cape Cod. Although the shop belongs to her Great Uncle, he leaves running the business and everything that encompasses to Gemma. When he was notified that he was being given an award for spreading the love of Sherlock Holmes, the last thing he wanted to do was travel to London to accept the award and he left that honor up to Gemma. For Gemma, it was an opportunity to visit both London and her family, so Arthur didn’t have to twist her arm too hard to go. Since she agreed to attend the Sherlock Holmes in the Modern World convention in her uncle’s stead, Gemma also committed to being a presenter as well.

What started out as a simple trip to collect an award turned into quite the affair as several others, after learning of Gemma’s plans, decided that they too wanted to come. Once Gemma and company reached London the mystery started almost immediately with the introduction of a character who had a shady history in Gemma’s family, a man who was utterly unknown to Gemma – her uncle, Randolph Manning. What a shock to learn that she had an uncle and that he was not one of the “good guys”. It was clear from the start that Gemma’s father had hard feelings towards Randy but the man just kept popping up everywhere. This led to increased feelings of hostility and when Randy was found dead it was a no brainer on who the police were going to look to for the murder. Gemma, her sister, Pippa, and the gang were determined to find the true killer before the wrong man was booked for the crime.

What I liked most about reading There’s a Murder Afoot was that it took all of my favorite characters from the Cape Cod setting and brought them to London. I liked the idea of them being on vacation and attending a Sherlock Holmes convention and they were most entertaining with their impressions of what was taking place around them. It was great that Ryan, Gemma’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, made the trip as well. I am hoping things stay solid between them because I like where their relationship is going. In addition, I adored getting to know Gemma’s family, especially Pippa, she was all sorts of mysterious and I loved how she was always able to make things happen. She felt like a James Bond type of character and I was intensely curious about what she was truly up to all the time. What really took the cake in this book were the shenanigans that Uncle Arthur was getting into while Gemma was away, talk about hilarious! There was never a dull moment in There’s a Murder Afoot and with all the indirect references to the Sherlock Holmes canon this story is sure to be a treat for all Sherlockians who enjoy listening to cozy mysteries!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Diane
  • 2020-01-14

Do like story but not whinny voices.

Do not care for voices. Really don’t like whinny ones. Makes me want to stop listening.