Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room in anticipation of the store’s upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock’s legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table―dead.
Donald insists he didn’t do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta’s depiction of the Great Detective. It’s up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Homes Bookshop mystery perfect for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle.
What’s not to love about this series – a Sherlock Holmes themed bookstore, a tea shop, and murder! Gemma and Jayne return for another adventure in this second installment of this wonderful series. Gemma is just as boisterous as always, but Jayne keeps her in check as they try to discover who really killed Renalta Van Markoff. We’re lucky enough to have Jayne here to talk to us today – please read on!
From Body on Baker Street, a Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery by Vicki Delany
I am so excited! I can’t believe it but my very favourite author is coming to the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop on Saturday. Renalta Van Markoff (don’t you just love that name) writes the Hudson and Holmes series about Sherlock Holmes and his smarter partner and lover, Desdemona Hudson. In these books Mrs. Hudson, you see, only pretends to be the housekeeper.
Isn’t that clever?
I’m Jayne Wilson and I am half-owner, head baker, and manager of Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room at 220 Baker Street, West London, Massachusetts. My business partner (and best friend) Gemma Doyle owns and runs the business next door at number 222, The Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium.
And on Saturday Renalta Van Markoff is giving a talk and doing a singing.
We’ll be closing the tea room for the talk, simply because of the expected crowds, but I’m hoping for a big rush after Miss Van Markoff has finished. After all, what goes better with a talk about Sherlock Holmes than a full traditional afternoon tea?
Although Gemma might scoff:
“I try to have at least one scene involving afternoon tea in each of my books. It gives Desdemona and Sherlock a chance to get together and talk over what they’ve learned.”
I refrained from mentioning that I couldn’t imagine Sherlock Holmes, man of action, pipe tobacco, and lover of a seven percent solution, enjoying a cream tea.
Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany
I love the books, and I love Desdemona Hudson and the portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, but Gemma has pointed out to me – more than once- that critics and die-hard Sherlockians hate them. They think Van Markoff has taken excessive liberties with the Great Detective.
Pooh! I know a good story when I read one. I’m not looking for a great work of literature here.
Gemma is worried that Donald Morris, our town’s staunchest Sherlockian, and some of his fellows might cause a disruption at the signing on Saturday.
I’m sure she has nothing to worry about. It will all go fine.
Thank you Jayne!
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. Under the name of Eva Gates, she writes the Lighthouse Library cozy series for Penguin Random House. Her latest book is Body on Baker Street, the second in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane.
Vicki is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.
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