Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sherlock's Home

Sherlock's Home: The Adventure of the Contentious Crone by Pamela Rose

Ms. Rose is a goodreads author and sent an invite to bloggers with the link to a free copy of her book from the kindle store. I decided that I had to start reading the ebooks I've been amassing because quite a few are from authors who were looking from reviews, specifically from me, or in general and I had completely lost track of them all.  So, to stop feeling bad about it, I've decided to try and fit in one every weekend, in an attempt to be fair to these good people who worked so hard to try and entertain us. 

I started this weekend with Sherlock's Home and read it the kindle app on my nook.  It's billed on goodreads as the first in a series of cozy mysteries.  The book only took a few hours of my time and at first, I wasn't sure how I felt about it.  I wanted to love Finn and Echo Sherlock, but it really took a while for me to warm to them.  They are twins who moved from upstate New York with their Uncle Oz, who raised them, to a small southern town they discovered while hiking the Appalachian Trail.  The trio purchases a building with two storefronts with apartments above and they open a mystery book store, Sherlock's Home and the 221b Bakery.  Although, the bakery is mostly Echo's and the bookstore mostly Finn's, the two ladies and their uncle definitely all do their share in the bakery.  

On Halloween the Sherlocks take part in the town's festivities, including a trick or treating tour involving the local businesses. One group of children is not lead by the originally assigned town player, but by the town misfit, Nell "Odds" Bodkins.  Nell has a chip on her shoulder in general, but her specific problem with the Sherlocks is that they purchased the building that was her home from her brother and she hasn't gotten over being kicked out.  For some unknown reason, Odds has a screaming fit in the bookstore before racing out. The morning after , Finn finds the door to the store open and upon inspection notices a piece of fabric in the back of the fireplace. Tugging, she discovers a secret passageway between the bookstore and its jewelry store neighbor.... and the body of Nell Bodkins.  Nell wasn't very well liked and the cast of characters who may have murdered her, is large for such a small town.  Now that the Sherlocks are involved, they can't leave it up to the small police force to solve the crime and they are prepared to find Nell's killer.

While I instantly adored Uncle Oz, I took a while to warm up to Finn and Echo.  They were really thoughtless and crass.  This seemed to be clearly demonstrated by interviews with all of the other townspeople in their investigation into Nell's murder. Although, everyone stated that they had problems with her and that she was very difficult, if not impossible to like, they still had the decency to feel bad about it.  The Sherlock twins, even when investigating the murder, still hadn't expressed much in the way of human kindness where Nell was concerned.  

There was plenty to enjoy about this book.  It was filled with literary references and in-jokes that reminded me a little of Lawrence Block's burglar series. In those, Bernie Rhodenbarr pokes fun at the genre with witty book titles. Here, Uncle Oz comes us with mystery author and character names for the bakery's daily treats. There was some sweet romance, too.  Uncle Oz despite all the jokes about his stature, or lack thereof, is kind of a little heart throb. I attribute that to just how great of a guy Pamela Rose made him.   There's also a budding romance that, I was happy to find felt more Pride and Prejudice than Harlequin romance.  Believe it or not, that's a much finer line than you would expect. Finn and Echo take in a couple of hairless kittens to raise and make some pretty good friends, both actions served to humanize them a great deal.  By the end of the book I'd decided that if the Sherlocks get another outing, I wouldn't mind checking back in with them at all. 

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