The Cat of the Baskervilles: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery

The Cat of the Baskervilles: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery

by Vicki Delany

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Overview

The Cat of the Baskervilles: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery by Vicki Delany

When Jayne Wilson’s mother is accused of murder, Jayne and Gemma have to eliminate the impossible to reveal the true killer.

Legendary stage and movie star Sir Nigel Bellingham arrives on Cape Cod to star in a stage production of The Hound of the Baskervilles put on by the West London Theater Festival. When Sir Nigel, some of the cast, and the director visit the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop at 222 Baker Street, Gemma Doyle realizes that Sir Nigel is not at all suited to the role. He is long past his prime and an old drunk to boot.

The cast, in particular the much younger actor who previously had the role, are not happy, but the show must go on.

Before the play opens, Leslie Wilson, mother of Gemma’s best friend Jayne, arranges a fundraising afternoon tea to be catered by Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. The tea is a huge success, but when it’s time to leave, Sir Nigel has gone missing—only to be found at the bottom of the rocky cliff, dead. Along with the dead body, Gemma finds evidence incriminating Leslie Wilson. When the police, in the presence of handsome detective Ryan Ashburton and suspicious detective Louise Estrada, focus their attention on Leslie despite the numerous other suspects, the game is once again afoot and it’s again up to the highly perceptive Gemma and the ever-confused but loyal Jayne to clear Jayne’s mother’s name.

Fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle, and Sherlockians everywhere will delight at The Cat of the Baskervilles , the clever third Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683314714
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication date: 02/13/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 131,515
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Vicki Delany is a national bestseller in the U.S and one of Canada's most prolific and varied crime writers. A former computer programmer and systems analyst, Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. This is her third Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

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The Cat of the Baskervilles: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
ValerieL More than 1 year ago
4.5 rounded up. I've been excitedly awaiting this one since I found out it was coming out last September! It didn't disappoint! I liked this one the most so far in the series. This whole series has been terrific, but this is my favorite so far! The characters in this series are great. I really enjoy reading about them and their relationships with one another. Gemma occasionally gets on my nerves, but she's somewhat designed to do that. Jayne is my favorite along with Ryan. :) I just love the two of them. The characters are all very well-developed and complex characters. Characters are what keeps me reading a series and these are definitely some of my favorites! This plot line was a little more complex than it seemed on the surface. I definitely don't always agree with the way Gemma investigates, but what I see as somewhat reckless, she sees as the logical option in the moment. I really had no idea about the villain until it was revealed. I was looking at the right group of people, but I wasn't sure who out of that group was actually the guilty one. If your a fan of Sherlock Holmes or just a good mystery in general, this series is excellent! Vicky Delany's writing is smooth and easy to read. It's entertaining and each installment in this series is a joy!
Chewie_the_Mouse More than 1 year ago
"The Cat of the Baskervilles" by Vicki Delany is an excellent third installment in a thoroughly enjoyable cozy mystery series. It has all the elements of a good cozy: a likeable protagonist, a fun and quirky best friend, pets, a handsome member of law enforcement, a rival love interest, and, of course, a murder to solve. Our main character, Gemma Doyle, runs a Sherlock Holmes-themed bookshop. Like the great detective, Gemma is also incredibly observant and detail-oriented, which makes her quite competent at investigating when a famous visiting actor turns up dead her best friend's mother is the top suspect. The story flows well, with plenty of clues for the reader to unravel alongside Gemma. Some readers dislike Gemma because she is a very direct person, and can come across as superior and rude. However, I'm willing to forgive her social eccentricities to enjoy her incredibly detail-oriented mind. I very much enjoyed the first three books in this series, and am eagerly awaiting Gemma's next adventure! Bonus points for one of the best "play-on-words" titles I've come across in the cozy world!
CatsGatherHere More than 1 year ago
I may have read at least one Sherlock Holmes story before, I honestly don’t know for sure. If I did, it clearly wasn’t memorable. And I know there are movies and shows. For some reason, while I love cozies, I’ve never gotten into it. But I very much enjoyed reading Cat of the Baskervilles. The main character, Gemma Doyle, has a superb memory of what she has seen and heard. This helps her understand, as she learns more, what the meaning was of the little details she caught. Gemma runs a store dedicated to all things Sherlock, while her best friend, Jayne, runs the adjoining tea room. Both get caught up with the events for their local summer theater’s presentation of the Hound of the Baskervilles. But before the play opens, the famous Sir Nigel is found dead. Was it accident, suicide, or murder? It seems that the local police are looking at Jayne’s mother as a suspect. While this is very much a stand-alone story that can be enjoyed without reading previous books in the series, I felt like I had missed out entirely on character development. Gemma and Jayne are like-able and charming, but there was not much depth to the characters. Gemma’s uncle is absent and out of the country, but so often referred to. And as a cat lover, the feline character was barely part of the story despite the title of the book. The plot, however, was well constructed. This was still a book I wanted to read through in as few sittings as possible. I hope that going back to the first two books makes up for the holes I have in following this series.
Kuzlin More than 1 year ago
As a Sherlock Holmes fan, this is a fun series about a themed bookstore and attached Miss Hudson's Tea Room with a super observant owner, Gemma Doyle and her partner, Jayne. In this 3rd book, the West London Theater Festival's schedule of plays includes a rendition of "The Hound of the Baskervilles," starring the famous Sir Nigel. As part of the fundraiser, Jayne is catering a meet and greet afternoon tea at the director/producer's home. But the first meeting with Sir Nigel and the cast at Gemma's bookstore doesn't go as well as planned, as the aged star apparently has a drinking problem. So when he is found dead, there are a number of suspects, such as the young understudy looking to replace him, and even Jayne's own mother, last person to have been seen with him. Can Gemma unravel all these clues, without further aggravating the detectives in charge. I enjoy the insights that Gemma offers throughout the story, reminiscent of Holmes himself. In this story, we learn more about Jayne's mother and her background, bringing her more to life for the reader. We also see how the broken relationship between Gemma and Ryan is working, now that he is back in town. I look forward to the next book in this series to see how this will work out. Disclosure: I am voluntarily reviewing this book.
BeagleGirl123 More than 1 year ago
Things are never dull in the life of our heroine, Gemma Doyle! In The Cat of the Baskervilles by author Vicki Delany, the small theater company in West London, Massachusetts has included The Hound of the Baskervilles in their summer schedule and have engaged British actor, Sir Nigel Bellingham, to play the lead role and famed detective, Sherlock Holmes. Sir Nigel, past his prime and with a pronounced drinking problem, is proving to be a very difficult man to work with, but all that quickly becomes a moot point when he is found dead at the bottom of a cliff after an afternoon tea catered by Jayne and Gemma. Understudy Eddie steps into the role, and is wooing Jayne on the side. Jayne is preoccupied by the fact that her mother Leslie has a secret to hide and is being questioned by the police. Gemma is dealing with her feelings toward former love, Detective Ryan Ashburton, while being pursued by close friend and fellow book aficionado, Grant. There's quite a bit going on behind the scenes in the theater company, and although suicide or accident is very likely the cause of Sir Nigel's untimely death, Gemma is not convinced. I really like Gemma, and throughout this series (Cat of the Baskervilles is the third installment), she has become much more relatable and continues to try to, for lack of a better term, mind her own business unless absolutely necessary, which is hard to do for someone whose mind is continually trying to solve every puzzle and problem placed in front of her. I really and truly enjoyed this book and recommend it any and all looking for a well-written cozy! p.s. The resolution of the mystery at the end was a surprise to me, always a plus! A+
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Gemma Doyle is the owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop while her best friend, Jayne, runs Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room in the building next door. They are excited that local theater group is producing the Hound of the Baskervilles with Sir Nigel in the starring role. Unfortunately he's a disagreeable man who relies on drink. When he's found dead, no one is sad, but Gemma and the police wonder if it was an accident or murder? I found this book an exhilarating adventure with an inventive plot with unforgettable characters. Gemma is charming, gutsy and determined to find the truth especially when Jaynes's mother is a suspect. I liked that Gemma is straightforward. She says what's on her mind. This is a well told mystery that kept me reading. Detectives Ryan Ashburton and Louise Estrada add their strong personalities to the story. Gemma and Ryan certainly have chemistry. I wonder where their relationship will go. Vicki Delany wrote an entertaining cozy mystery. The plot was fast paced and intriguing. I enjoyed The Cat of the Baskervilles.
AmyBuffalo More than 1 year ago
This is the third book in the series and definitely my favorite! I have read the prior two in order. While this book can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading books one and two to see how the characters develop and connect with each other. I really disliked the protagonist's character, Gemma Doyle, in the first two books. I understood the Sherlock analogy but thought she overanalyzed everything and it really annoyed me. In this book, her character develops and she shows a more human and compassionate side of herself. For example, she learns a secret that would really hurt a close friend if revealed to her. But Gemma decides not to share that information whereas, I think she would think she had to in prior books. The pace was just right and I was not overwhelmed with the number of suspects. The romantic tension between Gemma and Detective Ashburton which has been building since the first book reaches a possible conclusion and the end has a number of surprising plot twists. I received a complimentary copy of this book. My review is voluntary.
291713 More than 1 year ago
The Cat of the Baskervilles by Vicky Delany is the third installment of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series. The series pays homage to the great Sherlock Holmes and creatively entwines Sherlock facts throughout the books. As the series progresses and the author digs deeper into the lives, loves and murder in West London it keeps getting better! Delany’s writing style uniquely adds trivia, humor and love to each murder mystery. Gemma, the main character, is acutely observant, cognitively on a different level and blunt, however those are exactly the traits that make her a great main character and amateur sleuth. Her sensible friend and usually unwilling accomplice, Jayne, is a good balance to Gemma, just like Holmes and Watson. This book introduces the reader to additional residents of West London and continues to develop the existing characters. Jayne’s family is a central focus which allows for a deeper understanding of her character and family. Gemma’s love triangle continues to blossom with a cliff hanger at the end that will leave the reader, especially this one anxiously awaiting book 4! I received an advance copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
jiskett More than 1 year ago
"The Cat of the Baskervilles" is the third volume in the series about Gemma Doyle, who runs a bookstore specializing in Sherlock Holmes and is similar to the famous detective in that she has above-average observation skills. In this book she benefits from this ability when she is again involved in the investigation of a death. In my review of the first volume, I had criticized that Gemma's often arrogant nature, which came about because she could not understand why others overlooked the 'obvious' clues, could be kind of exhausting. She was - and is - an interesting character, but I had difficulties empathizing with her. In "The Cat of the Baskervilles," on the other hand, she seemed more bearable (for lack of a better word) to me. Of course, that may be because I already knew her personality and was therefore prepared for it, but it seemed to me that she more easily recognized when she did not behave 'correctly'. She is still very direct, corrects others, thinks things through and acts logically, but she also cares a lot about what's happening to her close friend and their family which gives the reader a better insight into her feelings. What annoyed me a little, however, is Estrada's mistrust of the protagonist, although it is in some ways understandable since she always knows a lot. Already in "Elementary, She Read" it felt like she was fixated on a suspect and a bit unprofessional and that is not different in this book. The problem is that the reader only gets a look at her from Gemma's perspective, and the tense relationship between the two of them naturally distorts this view. Unfortunately, because of that the detective doesn't seem to be particularly competent, but rather as if she were prejudiced. I hope that this will change in future volumes. The case itself was interesting. Although the victim was not necessarily a good person, you can feel sorry for him and because there were a lot of speculations about the circumstances of his death, what really happened remained open for a long time. There were many different suspects and the resolution was surprising and yet convincing. The world of Sherlock Holmes was also excellently integrated into the story and the parallels to the characters and cases worked well. I give this book four stars for a good, rather calm crime novel, which has given me a few pleasant reading hours.
kimdavishb More than 1 year ago
I have so enjoyed reading each book as they released in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series by Vicki Delaney and have been waiting in anticipation for THE CAT OF THE BASKERVILLES! This third book in the series doesn’t disappoint and kept me glued to the pages as I caught up with protagonist Gemma Doyle. Gemma is such a refreshing, unique heroine. She lives in her own carefully organized world and doesn’t quite understand people who aren’t attuned to details like she is. Especially people like the police whose job it is to see details and solve crimes. This brings plenty of conflict with the investigating detectives when she finds herself in the midst of the murder of a famous actor who is in town to play the lead role in The Hound of the Baskervilles. With the town gearing up for the West London Theater Festival, the pressure is on to solve the case. And when all clues point to Gemma’s best friend’s mother, Leslie, Gemma ignores the detectives’ warnings to not get involved. Jayne, Gemma’s best friend, runs Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room which is adjacent to Gemma’s shop, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. Jayne is darling and just a bit ditzy but a steadfast sidekick to Gemma’s intellectual investigations. They work well together and their interaction provides humorous fun to the book. Ms. Delaney writes witty banter and her descriptive use of language makes the reader feel and see everything that happens on the page. I loved Gemma’s use of British expressions (she’s a transplant from England) and the comparisons between U.S. English and British English words. It’s quite humorous! The mystery is well thought out with a nice pace while the conclusion was quite surprising -- I never even considered the suspect. I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in this delightful, charming series! I received an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Missisue4 More than 1 year ago
There is so much to love about the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series by Vicki Delany... I almost don't even know where to begin !!! I guess the BEST place to start is with the main character, Gemma Doyle. She is a smart, independent, strong single woman who has a great life....you almost envy her but you can't because you will love her too much. Gemma is co-owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Empoirum with her great uncle as well as part owner of Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room next door. Gemma's best friend Jayne owns and runs the tearoom. But Uncle Authur is always traveling so Gemma and Jayne run the businesses together. The businesses are in West Loudon, Massachusetts which is a touristy summer town and in The Cat of the Baskervilles the town is getting ready for the summer festival seasona and a well-known actor is going to be starring in one of the summer productions. Unfortunately during a tea to raise money for the theatre group the main character, Sir Nigel Bellingham, ends up dead !! And to make matters worse Jayne's mother, Leslie, is looking to be the main suspect !!! You will love the friendships among the characters in the group, you will love the bookstore and the tearoom and will see yourself sitting in the corner of the tearoom drinking your tea with your book or browsing the shelves at the bookstore.....and you will most definitely be sitting along side Gemma as she goes about town innocently observing while gathering information to clear Jayne's mom. But yes this is a murder mystery and someone has died and that is "dark" but the colorful way that Delany writes the story is magical !!! And don't worry there is someone that you will dislike and sorry no it is not the killer. It is the main Detective Ryan's partner Louise Estrada. Louise doesn't like Gemma and everyone knows it !! It could because of the close relationship Gemma has with Ryan, or it could be that she thought she was going to be promoted but Ryan was instead or it could be because Gemma seems to always be in the middle of every case there is and Gemma seems to be able to help solve the crimes. Whatever the reasoning is you will love the way that Ryan is always in the middle of it. YES there is a lot to love about this series and with every new book in the series you fall deeper and deeper into the series. The only thing you won't like is that the books have to end.....and BOY does Delany know how to leave the reader wanting more !!! Book four I can hardly wait !!!
BookloverUT More than 1 year ago
Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, is excited when legendary movie star, Sir Nigel Bellingham, visits her shop to promote the local play, The Hound of the Baskervilles. Sir Nigel is slated to play the lead role, but Gemma senses there may be problems. Gemma’s best friend, Jayne, is helping her mother arrange a fundraising afternoon tea. When Sir Nigel is found dead and Jayne’s mother is a suspect, Gemma has to figure out the clues and whodunit before the wrong person is sent up the river. This was an exciting mystery with enough suspects and red herrings to keep me guessing until the solution was revealed at the end. I thought the romantic undertones added suspense and flavor to the story. The protagonist was very blunt and open in her investigation. I thought that was very refreshing. An advanced reader’s copy was provided to me in exchange for my honest review.
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
Gemma and Jayne are back for the third offering of A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series. It can be read as a standalone or as part of the series, so well does the author inject a bit of background on characters and store. The mystery will keep every armchair sleuth on the edge of their seat as we look at another classic Holmes story, this time set for the theater. Gemma and her uncle own the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, and Gemma’s best friend Jayne is their business partner at the adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. The setting is West London, on Cape Cod. Jayne does most of the baking at Mrs. Hudson’s, so her life begins at four in the morning and ends early in the evening. Jayne is catering afternoon tea at a fundraiser for the West London Theater with help from her mother, Leslie, and Gemma. Theater people are very different, as they quickly see. Sir Nigel, a big-name actor of the British stage is going to play Sherlock. A much younger man, Eddie, is his understudy who develops a liking for Jayne from the first time he sees her. Sir Nigel is tipsy when he arrives at the tea. Nigel’s priority is to impress everyone and stay as tipsy as possible. He insults Jayne’s mother loudly, as well as an actress who insults him. Nigel is asked to share a quote from The Hound of the Baskervilles, which he played in for many years in London. He couldn’t finish it, so Eddie finishes it while Sir Nigel sits for a bit. The theater backers begin to leave, and Gemma sees Leslie assert herself with Nigel. Nigel is nowhere to be seen when the van comes to collect the actors for the hotel. Gemma and Grant, a friend and fellow bookseller, take one path to look for him as others search the grounds. Not only does she find a piece of the ruching Leslie had added to the servers’ aprons snagged on a branch, she finds Nigel – at the foot of the cliff, with the ocean tide coming in around him. Even though Gemma pocketed the ruching, Leslie is still a prime suspect. Gemma is the kind of woman who doesn’t make new friends easily, as she is very observant, and very blunt about her observations and resulting deductions and opinions. Being observant is sadly not something we learn in classrooms, and being blunt needs to be tempered with kindness. Jayne is a loyal friend, however, and a sweeter young woman would be hard to find. Sir Nigel has few social graces, and is hateful even to Gerald, who has stood by as his personal assistant for several long years. We also see and learn more about local Sherlockians. Gemma’s skills of observation are put to the test, even though she has an enemy on the police force who doesn’t want her help. The mystery is very well-written, and all clues point to Leslie except for one little hidden detail that only the police knew. One that, had she known earlier, Gemma would have known who the bad guy was. It is enjoyable to watch the personalities interact as well as Gemma’s detection work. She learns a few secrets about the late actor, but nothing that would point to the murderer. I did not guess who the bad guy was – will only say it was one of the last people I would have thought. I highly recommend it to those who like surprising cozy mysteries served with a bit of classic literature, history, dry humor, and good friendships. From a grateful heart: I received a copy of this from the publisher and NetGalley, and here is my review.
MonnieR More than 1 year ago
This is the third book in this highly entertaining Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series; I've read one other and enjoyed it, so when I was lucky enough to be approved by the publisher to read and review an advance copy in exchange for an honest review, I was a happy camper. When it turned out to be even better than that other one, well, my smile widened. The cozy mysteries follow the amateur sleuthing of Gemma Doyle, co-owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium in West London, Massachusetts. Another of the three owners is Jayne Wilson, who also owns and operates a tea shop/bakery that's attached to the bookstore. Originally from England, Gemma has a nose for details and, it seems, loves nothing better than sticking it into the business of the local police (sometimes unintentionally, sometimes not). That both annoys and pleases police detective, Ryan - a former lover who "dumped" her and left the area for another job. Now he's back and the attraction is there, but they've since been holding each other at arms' lengths. As this begins, the community is excited to learn that a well-known but aging stage actor, Sir Nigel Bellingham, will be in town to star in a local theater production of Holmes's "The Hound of the Baskervilles." As rehearsals begin, organizers decide to hold a fund-raising English tea at the home of one of the well-heeled theater-loving ladies - and Jayne convinces Gemma that their shops should handle the catering. Gemma is less enthusiastic, but she agrees. After all, it's a private event for about a hundred local hoity-toits - what could possibly go wrong? Make that plenty - starting with the fact that Sir Nigel turns out to be a nasty old drunk. Still, everyone expects that his professionalism will surface long enough for him to get through the play; that is, until he's found quite dead at the bottom of a cliff on the property. To make matters even worse, if that's possible, the primary suspect is Jayne's mother Leslie. Gemma is certain Leslie is innocent, and of course, she sets out to prove it while trying to keep her poking nose out of the sight of law enforcement. That proves next to impossible most of the time, which strains the already fragile relationship between Gemma and Ryan (as well as with Ryan's partner, who has butted heads with Gemma on more than one occasion and isn't fond of her meddling). More details I must necessarily leave for other readers to discover, but I will say that anyone who enjoys an occasional respite from heavier reading (as I do) or simply the more lighthearted approach of an interesting cozy mystery won't go wrong by picking this one. Thoroughly enjoyable!
CozyMysteryLover1 More than 1 year ago
The Cat of the Baskervilles by Vicki Delany is the third installment of this series. Gemma is a wonderful main character. She speaks her mind, interferes in police investigations and is a loyal friend. When her best friend and business partner falls for an actor, Gemma sees through his charade, but won't let it destroy her friendship. When a well known actor turns out to be a drunk and a scoundrel, Gemma fights to the end to protect her friend's mother. This book was a delight to read. I enjoy Gemma's spunk and her bluntness. She brings an interesting twist to the series. The author has created a very likeable character and the cast of secondary characters are just as fun. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for choosing me to read an ARC of this book. Cozy mystery readers will be delighted to read this book.