Miss Moriarty, I Presume?

Books

Charlotte Holmes has never been in more danger and the ride has never been more exciting than in Miss Moriarty, I Presume?, Sherry Thomas’ sixth Lady Sherlock mystery.

Defying her parents’ most fervent wishes and every rule of polite Victorian society, the singular Miss Holmes has successfully contrived to live freely, both professionally and personally. Having put her talents and temperament to good use as a “consulting detective” under the guise of a fictional brother named Sherlock, Charlotte now helms a thriving business. She’s forged a lasting friendship with Mrs. Watson, her professional partner, confidante and landlord, and has finally found love and peace with Lord Ingram Ashburton, the man she’s admired since they were children. (Their surreptitious and sexy flirtation reaches new heights in this outing.)

Despite these happy circumstances, there is one thorny problem. Over the course of her previous cases, Charlotte attracted the dangerous attentions and ire of the criminal mastermind known as Moriarty. In Miss Moriarty, I Presume? that shadowy figure finally comes calling. Moriarty enlists Charlotte to verify the health and welfare of his errant adult daughter, who now lives on a mysterious commune and from whom he has recently stopped receiving scheduled updates. Alighting to Cornwall to see what has become of Miss Moriarty is a mission Charlotte doesn’t dare refuse, given that beneath Moriarty’s unsubtle demand lies an unspoken threat of violence.

Moriarty’s daughter’s whereabouts offer a complex and satisfying puzzle: She may be on the run, sick or even dead. The questions surrounding her and her motivations are plentiful and compelling, and her home, the pseudo-religious Garden of Hermopolis, is a superlative setting. Simultaneously quirky and dark, the walled and guarded compound provides a fertile environment for the mystery to grow. 

With a plot hinging almost entirely on Moriarty and his kin, Miss Moriarty, I Presume? does much to mend Moriarty’s vague characterization and motives in the series’ earlier books. The mystery man becomes a little less opaque, and disparate threads involving other recurring characters come together as well. Key elements at the center of the series—the cold war with Moriarty and the romantic relationship between Charlotte and Lord Ingram—progress by leaps and bounds. Readers will revel in seeing Charlotte and her dearest companions at the top of their game in this eventful and pivotal entry in the formidable series.

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