by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to order it from Amazon and an indie bookstore.
Despite her declarations that she is not a Consulting detective, Gemma Doyle has proven to be remarkably successful at it. That shouldn’t be too surprising, as Gemma and her great-uncle own the Sherlock Holmes Bookstore and Emporium in West London, Massachusetts, with that same uncle adamant that they are descendants Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It takes considerable will for Gemma to resist the plea by adorable young Lauren Tierney to find her lost kitten, but Gemma proves unable to turn off the astounding observational skills that lead her directly to the appropriately named white kitty Snowball. That success explains why Lauren returns to again attempt to enlist Gemma’s consulting detective services, this time to prove her mother innocent of being a murderer.
After Sheila Tierney’s in-contention-for-an-award garden was vandalized the day before a garden tour – its pansies pillaged and begonias beheaded – she immediately confronted garden club rival Anna Wentworth. After accusing Anna of an assortment of crimes, including but not limited to flower destruction and husband stealing, it doesn’t take much of a leap for police to consider Sheila to be a Person of Interest when Anna is found bludgeoned to death. Although Sheila is eventually released, police focus only on finding more incriminating proof against her, which is why Lauren and all of Gemma’s friends implore her to take on the case. One of the few voices of dissent is Gemma’s boyfriend Detective Ryan Ashburton, who reminds her of the recent brushes with death that followed confrontations with a murderer. Aggressively opposing Gemma’s involvement even further is Detective Louise Estrada, who distrusts Gemma and wouldn’t hesitate to arrest her again if possible. It still surprises no one when Gemma’s curiosity and impressive puzzle-solving skills compel her to continue to follow the clues surrounding the gardener’s death, and it quickly emerges that there are an increasingly large number of those with motives to have wanted Anna permanently planted.
This sixth of the series continues to honor one of the greatest fictional detectives in a cozier, but equally witty and clever novel. The friendship between Gemma and Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room manager/baker Jayne Wilson feels entirely natural, with the very different women bonding through their afternoon teas together. Native Englishwoman Gemma provides a unique perspective on the Cape Cod town, which is inundated with bibliophiles and Holmes devotees. The steady pace of Gemma’s investigation keeps readers glued to the page, with her deductions and observations worthy of the Greatest Detective. Adorable kittens, a loyal Cocker Spaniel, and nemesis Moriarty the cat deliver laughs and heart-warming emotional beats all the way through to its final surprising final twist.
To enter to win a copy of A Curious Incident, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “curious,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 13, 2021. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.
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