- MP3 CD: 1 pages
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio; Unabridged MP3CD edition (2 October 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 150475915X
- ISBN-13: 978-1504759151
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 17.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 81.6 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
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The Hollow of Fear: The Lady Sherlock Series, book 3 MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Super Audio CD - DSD
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About the Author
Sherry Thomas is one of the most acclaimed historical romance authors writing today, having won the Rita Award two years running and appearing on innumerable ""Best of the Year"" lists, including those of Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Dear Author, and All about Romance.
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This third entry in Thomas's gender-bending take on Sherlock Holmes begins approximately where #2 left off, with half brother Myron Finch, once associated with Moriarty and now on the outs, needing to escape. However, that's not really the main thrust of this new chapter in Charlotte's life. Instead, we have her lifelong friend (and love interest, in thought, not deed) Lord Ingram suspected of the murder of his estranged wife. While she is supposedly in Switzerland for health reasons, her body is found at Stern Hollow, Ingram's estate.
Nothing to be done for it but to get Charlotte on the case to prove his innocence. But she does so in the guise of "Sherrinford Holmes", brother to the fictional Sherlock she had invented to allow herself the freedom to solve mysteries. Sherrinford, a rather paunchy young man with a thick beard and a handlebar moustache, is a snappy dresser and a bit of a dandy. He put me in mind of a young Hercules Poirot with a more extravagant taste in clothing.
Disguised as Sherrinford, Charlotte is able to successfully interact with police inspectors and suspects alike as she investigates the murder. Successful, we should say, with the exception of a couple of people who see through her disguise.
There's many a recurring character here. Sister Olivia (Livvy) continues to claim more and more pages in these books, as she worries about sister Bernadine, writes her Sherlock adventure stories, and pines for Stephen Marbleton (who is possibly Moriarty's son). Mrs. Watson continues to give Charlotte companionship and support. Inspector Treadle is here again (with his boss Chief Inspector Fowler) to investigate Lady Ingram's murder. He is in a quandary because of his friendship with Lord Ingram and, in addition, has an unrelated marital problem which is unsettling him.
And then there's Charlotte. She's almost at Maximum Tolerable Chins as the story begins, still enjoying her baked goods, cakes, tarts, etc., going about solving puzzles and mysteries with little emotional investment in their outcome. Then Lord Ingram is accused of murder and it's up to Charlotte to save him.
And what happens? "Miss Holmes, with her otherwise constant and unfailing adoration of baked goods, had lost her appetite." Mrs. Watson and Lord Ingram look on with terror and worry, respectively. Charlotte's chins are disappearing by the day. And we get more insight into Charlotte and the way she handles emotions. Yes, she does feel them. She just processes things differently from the rest of the cast of characters here.
There's really only one mystery to solve in this Book 3, as opposed to the first two books, which had several cases within their pages, some connected to the main mystery of the book, some not. But the mystery of this one is of major importance in Charlotte's life. It's Lord Ingram's freedom and life hanging in the balance. And at the same time, this serious threat to Lord Ingram's reputation and future causes him and Charlotte to take a closer look at their personal relationship.
There is always a feminist theme and tone to much of what occurs in these Lady Sherlock stories. It is not as exaggerated and anachronistically annoying as in several other HRs by a few other authors I've read recently, such as Kelly Bowen's new series, and not preachy like Courtney Milan's writing. It worked for me.
BTW, don't expect everything to be tied up with a bow in this story. We still have unresolved issues with Moriarty, Myron Finch and Stephen Marbleton, for example. To be continued...
Her love interest and life-long friend, Lord Ingram (Ash), is in a spot of trouble and if ever anyone needed Holmes' assistance, he does. Ash is being investigated as the prime suspect in the murder of his estranged wife. The fact that Charlotte loses her appetite during the investigation is more telling than any other visible sign of exactly how upset she is, when she considers Ingram might actually be arrested and convicted. Added to the stress, she also knows she must carry the entire burden of getting him off the hook since nobody else has her unique abilities.
During Charlotte's investigation into the murder, she becomes "Sherrinford Holmes" - brother of Sherlock Holmes. The description of Sherrinford's clothing and "his" mannerisms are absolutely delightful. With the exception of Ash, nobody recognizes Charlotte in this disguise.
Although Charlotte rarely senses or manifests the emotions that would be typical of most people, she has managed, over time, to allow her sister Livia to give her hugs and understands that most people need touching and other semblances of "love" shown to them. To this end, she has tried to be accommodating. Her lengthy friendship with Ash has developed to the point they are absolutely tuned into one another's thoughts and emotions. We see this manifestation come more to the forefront as the seriousness of the predicament in which Ash finds himself results in having to depend almost exclusively on Holmes finding enough evidence to prove him innocent.
We also get more of Inspector Treadles and his wife as they work through their own personal problems. In particular, we are privy to a special descriptive treat of their night together when they actually "reconcile" and make up after having been emotionally estranged for some months.
Last, but not least, Holmes' sidekick, the fabulous Mrs. Watson, is along for the ride.
I knew I would love this book because this series is very much about women striving against the constrictions placed upon them by society solely because of their gender--a story I am fully invested in, as this story continues to unravel to this day.
Sherry Thomas writes women brilliantly: she writes them clever and cunning; she writes them detached and terrified and in love; she writes them whole. She writes them in such a way that the modern-day woman can see herself in the women inhabiting 19th century England, able to catalog every difference in their circumstances but still fully empathizing with her. I love these women, even the Ladies Avery and Somersby, even Mrs. Farr and Lady Ingram. I understand them because I know that what often motivates them to act also motivates me, even if the choices we'd each make would be diametrically opposite. (Those last two words are the only "spoiler" in this review, by the way.)
Please, read this book. I know that ST is working on another, and I want her to be working on these as long as she wants to write them. But even more than that, I want everyone to experience her writing, her wordcraft and storytelling. Let's get her on all the lists. Hell, let's get her an adaptation, this series more than deserves it. READ THIS BOOK!