Gemma Doyle returns for another adventure in Vicki Delany’s Body on Baker Street. The proprietor and half owner of The Sherlock Holmes Book Shop and Emporium, Gemma is delighted to receive a request to come do a book signing of her latest book from the best selling Renalta van Markoff. The author writes a bodice ripping series in which Sherlock Holmes and Mrs. Hudson are lovers, with the woman’s being the real brain behind the detective. The excitement over Renalta’s coming appearance rises, especially when Renalta shows up the Thursday before her Saturday book signing and charms all her fans, though Gemma sees another side of the author as self-centered and petulant.
Then that night, while Gemma and her best friend, Jayne, are enjoying dinner at the most exclusive restaurant in West London, Massachusetts, Renalta and her entourage enter to the delight of the other diners. But things get messy when Renalta’s stalker, Paige, comes in and yells at Renalta (whom she identifies as Ruth Smith) for having stolen Paige’s book and published it under her own name. Paige gets so belligerent that the police have to come take her away.
Saturday arrives, and the book shop is packed with fans of Renalta, middle aged women who squeal like teenage girls when their favorite writer waltzes in. Upon viewing Renalta closely, Gemma is astonished to see abject terror on the writer’s face and realizes that the woman is afraid of public speaking. As a coping mechanism, she uses her bottled water, of which she requests four bottles with their caps loosened, which probably is to address Renalta’s rumoured arthritis. Gemma’s fears come true when Paige shows up and starts trying to yell that Renalta needs to admit to the true author of her books, but the police quickly hustle her out of the building. But then Donald, Gemma’s Sherlockian fanatic, steps up in his full Holmes attire and complains that Renalta is destroying the nature of Sherlock Holmes but gets shot down easily by Renalta and leaves, shouting that this woman must be stopped.
Then comes time for Renalta to sign books for her fans. As she deals with everyone, she demands more water. Within just a few minutes of drinking her water, she is dead. And Gemma suspects cyanide. The crowd immediately points to Donald in blame, but Gemma thinks there is no real evidence against him. Thus she starts checking out everyone who has had any connection with Renalta.
This book is an excellent sequel to Elementary, She Read. It was cleaner in its details than the first book, which I pointed out in my review had a number of inconsistencies. The plot was more unified, which on the one hand kept it easier to follow, but on the other lacked some of the red herrings that made the first book so adventurous.
Kelly Clare narrates the audio recording of this book and makes the book especially fun. Her accents shift smoothly from one to another and come across very believably. I really am impressed with the job she does in both this and the prior book.
I am now very disappointed that I’m going to have to wait for the next book in the series to be released because I really had a great experience listening to Body on Baker Street. This book is a great example how a book can have clean language and no sex in it but still have a strong mystery that adults will appreciate. I give this book five stars!
To purchase this book for yourself, click here on Amazon.