“Body On Baker Street – Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #2” by Vicki Delany

I think I would have enjoyed “Body On Baker Street” more if I’d left more of a gap between reading it and the first Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery, “Elementary, She Read”. “Body On Baker Street” deserved to have me come at it fresh rather than for me to be constantly comparing it the first book.

That said, I enjoyed myself listening to “Body On Baker Street”. The plot involves the murder of a flamboyant author of a set of Holmes pastiche novels.

This was a great vehicle for exploring some of the more bizarre aspects of publishing and promoting books and the extremes of “Sherlockian” fandom.

I loved the premise of the pastiche: that Mrs Hudson was secretly having an affair with Holmes and worked alongside him to solve the mysteries of the day, I can imagine the outrage this would cause.

The plot was a clever way of having the murder take place where Gemma Doyle and her friend and business partner Jayne Wilson can’t help but become involved. The flamboyance of the author, the strangeness of her fans and detractors and the secrets in her entourage all fed into the humour of the book while making it more and more difficult to figure out whodunnit.

At one point, Gemma loses all perspective – who in their right mind breaks INTO a police station?- and I liked the way Vicki Delaney used Gemma’s friends to keep her from crossing the line from determined investigator to total nutjob.

The resolution was as well worked out and as satisfying as the misdirection along the way. Gemma got to work it all out without stretching my belief too far and we got a little more development of the relationship between her and her friends.

I’ll be back for more of this series but I’m going to leave it a month or two so I can get the most out of the books. Besides, book three is called “The Cat Of The Baskervilles”, how could I resist that?

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