Thursday, January 13, 2022

A Three Book Problem by Vicki Delany

 A Three Book Problem

Book Summary

Gemma Doyle is back on the case in bestselling author Vicki Delany's seventh Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery when a poisoned dart ends in demise.

It's a crisp, early October weekend, and business is slowing down as fall descends at the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium and adjacent Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room. Wealthy philanthropist and prominent Sherlockian David Masterson has rented Suffolk Gardens House, where he plans to entertain his friends in a traditional English country house weekend.

As the chosen caterers, Jayne Wilson and Gemma Doyle get to work preparing lavish meals and setting up Sherlockian books and props for entertainment. Meanwhile, police detective Ryan Ashburton has taken time away from his duties to assist in the kitchen. It quickly becomes apparent that David's guests don't like each other--or their host. Plus, some of them aren't even acquainted with the adventures of the Great Detective.

Before Gemma can ponder their relationships a poisoned dart sails through the window of the library, presenting Gemma Doyle with a three-book problem.

My Thoughts

A Three Book Problem by Vicki Delany has Gemma Doyle along with Jayne Watson and Detective Ryan Ashburton are heading to Suffolk Gardens House to cater a Sherlockian weekend for Mr. David Masterson.  It is going to be a traditional English country garden weekend with delectable delights from Jayne and plenty of talk about Sherlock Holmes.  Ryan has put aside his detective’s badge to don an apron to help Jayne in the kitchen.  Gemma soon notices that several of the guests know nothing about the Great Detective nor do they seem to like their host.  On the second day, Gemma is in the library with David.  He stops talking midsentence and collapses.  Gemma rushes over to assist David and finds a dart in his neck.  The EMTs are quick to arrive, but it is too late for David.  Ryan ditches his apron to take up his detective badge.  One of the houseguests did David in.  Gemma who cannot resist a mystery begins searching for clues and subtlety questioning the guests.  Can Gemma with help from her friends sets out to bag a killer?

A Three Book Problem is the seventh A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series.  I thought the story was well-written with developed characters and good dialogue.  It was nice to check in with Gemma, Jayne, and Ryan.  I like the premise of a country house weekend where a murder takes place.  I thought, though, that the pacing was slow.  The story dragged from beginning to end.  The book lacked humor and action.  The mystery had a unique method of murder which I loved.  The identity of the killer was not a mystery to me.  There are obvious clues to help readers solve the crime long before the reveal.  The reason why can be figured out as well.  It all wraps up at the end without much help from Ryan (who I find frustrating).  I believe scenes could have been eliminated that would have helped this story.  The book needed a good jolt of caffeine.  While this was not my favorite book, it will not stop me from picking up the next A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery.  A Three Book Problem has Doyle and Watson on the hunt for a killer at a country estate with a deadly dart, ungrateful guests, scrumptious cuisine, Sherlockian folklore, dedicated detectives, and a crumbling manor house.

A Three Book Problem is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other novels in A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery here.  Check out Vicki Delany's other cozy mysteries.  Vicki Delany has Murder Spills the Tea publishing July 26.  It is the third A Tea by the Sea Mystery. I appreciate you stopping by today and reading my review.  I am featuring Nursing Her Amish Neighbor by Marta Perry tomorrow.  It is the sixth book in the Brides of Lost Creek series.   I hope that you have a day filled with joy.  Smiling and laughing is good for your health.  I am working at sorting through our shed.  It needs organization desperately.  I need to fit in all my Christmas decorations (I went a little overboard).  I am determined to get everything in there.  Wish me luck.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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