This has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2016, especially after reading the novella released this past December. After finishing the first full length novel, I can say without a doubt, Merinda and Jem are gals you need to meet!
In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.
Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.
While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever–if they can stay alive long enough to do so.
I’ll kick off by saying this was a fabulous debut novel. Entertaining, witty, funny and an excellent mystery to boot, this is the kind of read I’d happily recommend to folks.
I also loved the Sherlock and Watson nod, not only in references, but how the characters, in many ways, matched dear Sherlock and Watson. It was done so well, but also with a fresh twist. On top of that, I also fully enjoyed the creative and funny footnotes and intro quotes to each chapter. It made the reading experience fun!
As mentioned, the Sherlock and Watson vibe was executed wonderfully and while you don’t need to know anything about Sherlock to enjoy this story, having the background is a definite bonus.
I also loved seeing the character development of Jem and I look forward to seeing more of Merinda’s. Ray is great and loved his backstory and learning how it was for immigrants in Toronto. I also really liked Jasper and look forward to seeing more of him in future novels (or novellas!) too.
Are you a fellow Sherlock fan?
(Thank you to Harvest House for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)