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A Study in Scarlet Women: 09/30/22

A Study in Scarlet Women

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas (2016) is the start of the Lady Sherlock mystery series. Charlotte Holmes has brought scandal to herself and her family by having an affair with a married man. Meanwhile, Sherlock Holmes is out of the public eye, brought down by a mysterious illness. What his clients don't realize is, he's actually Charlotte Holmes!

Sherlock Holmes is in desperate need because someone is killing men and women of note. They are being poisoned, making it appear they've died in their sleep of heart failure. Now Charlotte's sister is being accused and Sherlock needs to come out of retirement, if Charlotte can find somewhere to live and some way of making an income in London.

The title of this first mystery is a clever play on words between the original Sherlock Holmes mystery, A Study in Scarlet (1887), and the euphemism for prostitutes — or in Charlotte's case, fallen women. As Charlotte as Sherlock, is but one women, the title implies other scarlet women. If one knows the original plot, the fun becomes looking for women who might fill the character roles. Who is Watson? And so forth.

As so much of the fun is figuring out who is who, especially when the women in this book often have multiple names they use: fake names, married names, maiden names, etc., I'm not going to spoil who the other characters map to.

The second book in the series is A Conspiracy in Belgravia (2017).

Five stars

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