Cover image for A scandal in scarlet
A scandal in scarlet
Delany, Vicki, 1951- author.
First edition.
Physical Description:
293 pages ; 22 cm.
A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery

Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.
Gemma and Jayne donate their time to raise money for the rebuilding of a burned-out museum, but the murder of museum board chair Kathy Lamb places a fellow shopkeeper under suspicion, and Gemma becomes entangled in the investigation.


Call Number
Material Type
1 FIC DEL New books
1 F DELANY New books

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Sherlockians will delight at the latest charming installment of national bestselling author Vicki Delany's fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Gemma and Jayne donate their time to raise money for the rebuilding of a burned out museum--but a killer wants a piece of the auction.

Walking her dog Violet late one night, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop, acts quickly when she smells smoke outside the West London Museum. Fortunately no one is inside, but it's too late to save the museum's priceless collection of furniture, and damage to the historic house is extensive. Baker Street's shop owners come together to hold an afternoon auction tea to raise funds to rebuild, and Great Uncle Arthur Doyle offers a signed first edition of The Valley of Fear .

Cape Cod's cognoscenti files into Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room, owned by Gemma's best friend, Jayne Wilson. Excitement fills the air (along with the aromas of Jayne's delightful scones, of course). But the auction never happens. Before the gavel can fall, museum board chair Kathy Lamb is found dead in the back room. Wrapped tightly around her neck is a long rope of decorative knotted tea cups--a gift item that Jayne sells at Mrs. Hudson's. Gemma's boyfriend in blue, Ryan Ashburton, arrives on the scene with Detective Louise Estrada. But the suspect list is long, and the case far from elementary. Does Kathy's killing have any relation to a mysterious death of seven years ago?

Gemma has no intention of getting involved in the investigation, but when fellow shopkeeper Maureen finds herself the prime suspect she begs Gemma for her help. Ryan knows Gemma's methods and he isn't happy when she gets entangled in another mystery. But with so many suspects and so few clues, her deductive prowess will prove invaluable in A Scandal in Scarlet , Vicki Delany's shrewdly plotted fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Author Notes

Vicki Delany is a national bestseller in the US 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 fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

A fire at Scarlet House, one of the oldest properties in the Cape Cod town of West London and now the headquarters of the local museum, kick-starts Delany's well-plotted fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery (after The Cat of the Baskervilles). A fundraising auction is quickly organized to offset the cost of repairing the building at Mrs. Hudson's Tearoom. Before Kathy Lamb, a member of the museum board and designated auctioneer, can bring down the hammer on the first lot, she's strangled in the tearoom's storage area. Following in the footsteps of the great detective, Gemma Doyle, who manages her great-uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, investigates. However, as she observes: "As well as not having a retail business to interfere in the pursuit of his cases, or customers to interrupt his thinking, Sherlock Holmes hadn't been trying to have a love life either." Each of the many suspects has at least one plausible motive. Delany's liberal sprinkling of references to real pastiche novels and reference books makes this cozy a treat for Holmes buffs. Agent: Kim Lionetti, BookEnds Literary. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

It's high season in West London, on Cape Cod. Following a destructive fire at the local historic museum, Scarlet House, the museum's board and the shopkeepers along Baker Street have quickly organized a benefit tea and silent auction at Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room, which adjoins the Sherlock Holmes Book Shop, both run by partners Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson. The event looks like a success, with a selection of valuable jewelry, paintings, and first editions listed in the auction booklet, and all tickets sold out until Gemma and Jayne find the recently elected museum-board president, Kathy Lamb, dead in the back room. Suspects abound, from the previous board chair to the divorced husband, the second wife, Gemma herself, an enthusiastic museum volunteer, and a local artist whose work Lamb rejected for the auction. Despite being told to stay out of it by her police-detective boyfriend, Gemma sometimes with Jayne visits the likely suspects, crashes gatherings at the local yacht clubs, and . . . finds another body. Gemma is a delightful sleuth, and the tidbits of Sherlockiana will engage both cozy fans and Holmes devotees.--Karen Muller Copyright 2018 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, is walking her dog late one evening when they see the Scarlet House, a local museum, is on fire. When the museum needs to host a fundraiser, Gemma's friend, Jayne Wilson, co-owner of Mrs. Hudson's Tearoom, offers to hold an auction there. Just before the auction starts, the chair of the Scarlet House board, Kathy Lamb, has an argument with one of the shop owners, Maureen Macgregor. When Gemma finds Kathy murdered in the backroom, all fingers point to Maureen. Although Gemma and Maureen dislike each other, Gemma thinks the police have picked the wrong suspect. Kathy had her share of people who didn't like her, including her ex's new wife. Even Gemma, with her uncanny ability to analyze people, finds there are too many suspects. Then, a second murder destroys Gemma's theories. Cozy readers who appreciate a quirky, idiosyncratic sleuth will enjoy Gemma's attempts to have a romance with a police detective while beating him at the detecting game. VERDICT Suggest for fans who enjoy humor in the Sherlock Holmes pastiches or readers of Carolyn Hart's "Death on -Demand" mysteries.-Lesa Holstine, -Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.