The Hollow of Fear
Lady Sherlock Mystery #3
By Sherry Thomas
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Under the cover of “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte draws those in need to her and makes it her business to know what other people don’t.
Moriarty’s shadow looms large. First, Charlotte’s half brother disappears. Then, Lady Ingram, the estranged wife of Charlotte’s close friend Lord Ingram, turns up dead on his estate. And all signs point to Lord Ingram as the murderer.
With Scotland Yard closing in, Charlotte goes under disguise to seek out the truth. But uncovering the truth could mean getting too close to Lord Ingram—and a number of malevolent forces…. (Goodreads)
Each book in the Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas is better than the last. The Hollow of Fear is utterly fabulous and definitely one of my best books of 2018.
Charlotte Holmes is a complicated woman, well ahead of her time in the Victorian Era. After very publicly, very intentionally making herself a pariah of society, she has managed to find a way to support herself, with the help of former actress Mrs. Watson, under the guise of Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective. In The Hollow of Fear, we find Charlotte coming to her longtime friend Lord Ingram’s aid when his estranged wife is found dead in his estate’s ice house. Worried that Moriarty is behind the murder and for Lord Ingram’s life, Charlotte dons the disguise of Sherlock’s brother Sherrinford so that she can freely interact with the police and suspects to investigate. An intricate mystery unfolds, weaving together threads from previous books and the current circumstances. Finishing the book, I am gobsmacked by its final revelations. As one might expect with Charlotte, nothing is really as it seems…ever.
Charlotte is abrasive and, one would think, rather off putting, but I cannot help but find her endearing. We do see a more emotional side of her here, and this makes the already complicated young woman even more baffling yet appealing. I absolutely adore Lord Ingram. He is quite the perfect intelligent and charming match for Charlotte, and their scenes together are full of romantic tension, wit, and restraint. Charlotte’s sister Olivia is present throughout the book, and her nature helps put Charlotte’s nature into perspective. Inspector Treadles finds himself in a difficult position trying to balance his friendship with Lord Ingram while investigating the murder without bias. Mrs. Watson does not appear as much as I would like, but the scenes she does have with Charlotte are always entertaining.
Part murder mystery, part romance, and part intrigue, The Hollow of Fear really is exceptional. The writing is true to the era, and the pace is just right. Even while wanting to savor the story, I could not help but feverishly read to the last page with Thomas revealing surprises and twists and turns in almost every scene. Intelligent writing, delightfully well developed characters, and a complex plot make this a stellar read. Highly recommended.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*