Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Book Review: Secret Letters, by Leah Scheier @LeahScheier

For fans of historical mysteries, Secret Letters is an entertaining entry to the genre.

As Dora's mother was dying, Dora finds a letter written by her mother that says the great Sherlock Holmes is Dora's real father. Now Dora lives with her cousin who is being blackmailed about some old love letters. Dora decides to accompany her cousin to London to consult Sherlock Holmes. Dora also has plans to reveal herself to the legendary detective. Dora has always been interested in sleuthing, and she is sure that she can work with and learn from Holmes.

However, when she arrives in London, she finds out that Sherlock Holmes has been killed. As she is recovering from the news, she is assisted by Peter Cartwright, who used to apprentice for Holmes, but now works for another detective in London. Dora decides to take her cousin to see Cartwright and his boss. They accept the case, but Dora isn't at all pleased. She thinks they have given up before they've even started, so Dora decides to help with the case on her own. Peter discovers her activities, and they end up working together on another case of a missing young woman which may be linked to Dora's cousin's letters.

Dora runs into the expected difficulties being a woman in a man's world, and although she's brave and daring, she does get rescued by men quite a bit.

The mystery is really interesting in Secret Letters. Things twist and turn, and I really didn't figure it out until it was revealed. However, even though Dora ends up in some danger, I didn't really get the heart-pounding suspense that I enjoy in my mysteries. I never really felt the danger was serious, and I'm not sure why. I think I always felt like someone was close by to save Dora (and, of course, they were.)

I enjoyed the story. Secret Letters is easy and quick, and I would enjoy reading more of Dora's and Peter's adventures. I'm sure there's going to be a much more prevalent romance in the episodes to come. I hope there's more to the Sherlock Holmes' daughter aspect too, since that was kind of dropped after the beginning of this book. Secret Letters reminded me a lot of The Agency Series, by Y. S. Lee.

Published by Hyperion, June 26, 2012
eBook obtained from NetGalley
336 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. I still haven't read the Agency series but want to even more now after reading Secret Letters. Plus I have a new obsession with the BBC show Sherlock :)

  2. I like the link to Holmes. I may have to give this one a try.

  3. This sounds great, despite my distaste for mysteries. I'm really intrigued by the link to Holmes, just like the above commenter. I wonder if I'd be frustrated like you by the lack of real suspense.

  4. Sounds like an interesting twist on Holmes pastiches.

  5. Oh I love the Agency series! I'm really excited to read this one. I already downloaded my ARC from Netgalley.


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