I always enjoyed Thomas’s romances, back when she was writing them, but I think she found her “true” genre with the Lady Sherlock mystery series. The latest, A Tempest At Sea, maintains what the previous six proved: Thomas can write clever, complex mystery plots while keeping her ethically-minded, sympathetic protagonists front and centre. Lady Charlotte features, but A Tempest At Sea is an ensemble cast (to the series’s betterment) one in which we get to be with Charlotte’s lover, Lord Ingram, on a greater page count than Charlotte. Given how adorable “Ash,” Lord Ingram, is, the loss is bearable, though I would have liked to see more of Charlotte and even more of Charlotte and Ash together. On the other hand, A Tempest At Sea is a closed-“room”, rather closed-“ship” mystery and, as a Christie-fan, cause for celebration and enjoyment, as Ash notes, ” ‘The isolation of shipboard society heightens the sense of danger.’ “ To orient us, the publisher’s blurb:
Charlotte Holmes’s life is in peril when her brilliant deductive skills are put to the test in her most dangerous investigation yet, locked aboard a ship at sea.
After feigning her own death in Cornwall to escape from Moriarty’s perilous attention, Charlotte Holmes goes into hiding. But then she receives a tempting offer: Find a dossier the crown is desperately seeking, and she might be able to go back to a normal life. Her search leads her aboard the RMS Provence. But on the night Charlotte makes her move to retrieve the dossier, in the midst of a terrifying storm in the Bay of Biscay, a brutal murder takes place on the ship. Instead of solving the crime, as she is accustomed to doing, Charlotte must take care not to be embroiled in this investigation, lest it become known to those who harbor ill intentions that Sherlock Holmes is abroad and still very much alive. (more…)