The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas

The Art of Theft (Lady Sherlock, #4)Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Lady Sherlock #4
Publication Date: 10/15/19
Number of Pages: 304

Sherry Thomas has done the impossible as far as I am concerned. I am never a fan of re-worked, re-vamped, reimagined lives of fictional characters – except – this author has created a clever, absorbing, fast-paced, interesting newly imagined Sherlock Holmes and I am in awe. The series maintains the shadowy, misty, shivery mood of the original Sherlock series while imbuing it with a bit of humor and showing how women chafe under the societal strictures of the times. The series is filled with mysteries that are filled with unexpected twists and turns, vile villains and yes, of course, romance.

As with all of the earlier books, there are a lot of people populating this book as well as a lot going on. Several romances at different stages, several mysteries and many people at different stages of life and choices. As always, Moriarty is the overarching villain of the book and the series. For me personally, I hope Moriarty is wrapped up fairly quickly and doesn’t haunt all of the books, characters and romances. Yes, I know he was the original Sherlock Holmes nemesis, but since this is a reimagined Sherlock, why can’t he be resolved within the first five or six books?

Sherlock Holmes received a request for a consultation from “A Traveler From Distant Lands”. However, once the person appears for the consultation and realizes that Sherlock is bedridden, she declines to employ him. Later, we discover that the person was a very close friend from Mrs. Watson’s past and she’s really desperate. The client, the Maharani of Ajmer, is being blackmailed by someone who is holding letters that could cause her and her small kingdom a lot of trouble and embarrassment. The letters are hidden behind a Van Dyck painting in the French chateau, Vaudrieu. It seems that the Maharani needs a cat burglar rather than a mystery solver. However, no matter the risk, Mrs. Watson cannot refuse her old friend.

As Charlotte and company investigate, they learn there is much more to the Chateau Vaudrieu than they originally thought. There are plots within plots and very real danger to Charlotte and her friends. When Lady Ingram shows up, we add yet another layer of intrigue to the mystery – not to mention the nasty Moriarty making an appearance. There are so many twists and turns that your head will spin, but our intrepid Charlotte is, as always, up to the challenge.

When we closed the last book, I thought things with Charlotte and Ash would be moving forward quickly, but in this book, they seem to have regressed and are sort of each in their own little worlds again. We also see the romance between Livia and Stephen grow, but it is going to be a very rocky road for the two of them I’m sure.

The set-up for the next book was well done and leaves you breathlessly waiting for the next episode. Excellently done!

BTW — I would recommend reading the series in its entirety rather than reading this as a stand-alone. If not the entire series, then at least read the first book in the series prior to this one. Otherwise, you just won’t understand – and probably won’t like — Charlotte.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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