cover image The Hollow of Fear

The Hollow of Fear

Sherry Thomas. Berkley, $15 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-425-28142-0

Sherlockians who also love romance novels will best appreciate Thomas’s third Lady Sherlock mystery set in Victorian England (after 2017’s A Conspiracy in Belgravia). Charlotte Holmes works as the world’s only consulting detective under the name Sherlock Holmes, resorting to the contrivance of interviewing clients in her Baker Street sitting room on behalf of her brother, who’s confined to his bedroom with an illness. The prologue, which features Charlotte’s half-brother, Myron Finch, who has been posing as her family’s groom and is a former minion of Moriarty, “a man of dangerous aims,” builds to a dramatic encounter between Charlotte and Moriarty. The main narrative flashes forward several months to the case of Lord Ingram Ashburton. Ingram, who’s smitten with Charlotte, becomes the prime suspect in the murder of his estranged wife, Lady Ingram, who became a fugitive after Charlotte exposed Lady Ingram’s role in the death of three agents of the Crown. Those who find Thomas’s creative reimagining plausible and don’t mind anachronistic language will have fun. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary. (Oct.)