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The Art of Theft

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Member Reviews

Compared to the other installments, particularly the prior one which hit high notes both plot and character-wise, The Art of Theft feels like a bridge book in plot lines. The pace is a bit slow, and there's not as much development as I want, particularly with the plot also being rather underwhelming.

However, I enjoy this cast quite a bit. Sherry Thomas' writing is always good, and the constant snark between the characters is a consistent delight. I will forever wish they were more romantic (think Veronica Speedwell), especially given the fact that Thomas began as a romance author, but I do think they're rather good.

This installment is the weakest thus far, but it's certainly not enough to put me off the series. The limited plot here does line things up for a much more intense subsequent volume, and I'm curious to see things play out.
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4.5 stars

This is the third book in the Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas.

Every book gives you a great glimpse into Charlotte’s character and fashion sense. I would actually like to see these dresses she wears since it seems so uncommon for the times. I am not sure I mentioned previously but each book starts off where the last book left off. It is like a continuing saga with a moment by moment play by play.

In this story the lady who comes for Sherlock’s services figures out there is no man behind the curtain and decides not to use their services since a woman was behind it all. Turns out this Indian Queen is very familiar with Mrs. Watson. And Watson wants to help this lady so much she elicits the help of everyone in her quest.

For those who are not as open-minded about same sex pairings, you might not want to par take in this book since there is quite a lot of it here. Apparently, it wasn’t uncommon for the times… it just wasn’t spoken of. The entire masquerade at the Yuletide Ball was quite an eye opening affair for all of the characters.

We learn a whole lot about the cast as the mystery unfolds. The mystery is stellar, as it always is in books like this. And the characters are very fun to watch and follow along with. I am not sure if I am in Team Marry Him Already or Team Alone where Charlotte and Lord Ingram’s relationship is concerned. I love having him in the cast and assisting with the solving of the mystery but I am not sure what would happen should they finally get together. I wouldn’t want that dratted Moonlighting moment where them getting together ruins the entire series.

This story is awesome and I love the adventure and whodunit as much as the cast and character building. Definitely give this series a go!

If you like cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
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I love this series so much! I usually tear through each book in about two days. This new mystery was a departure from the earlier ones, in that it was more of a heist, which I loved. I liked seeing all of the main characters working together, and I loved the gentle, slow ramp-up of the romance between Charlotte and Lord Ingram and Olivia and Mr. Marbleton. Can't wait to read new installments!
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Another great entry to a strong series. Thomas continues to write a strong and compelling mystery that cheekily plays with, and updates,  the Sherlock lore and world without ever being constrained by it.
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I've had this book for what feels like forever! I'm surprised I waited this long to read The Art of Theft after how much I loved the first three Lady Sherlock books. I believe I called them my "My Brand New Obsession". With the 5th book coming out later this year, I decided it was finally time I took a plunge back into Charlotte Holmes' and her team's lives again. When I say this series is brilliant, I truly do mean it!

Though Charlotte was still a major character in The Art of Theft, I thought that her character development took a step back here. Instead, the focus is on some of the secondary characters such as Mrs. Watson, Livia, and Mr. Marbleton. While I do love Charlotte with all of my heart, I found that getting to know the secondary characters was an equally enjoyable experience as being inside Charlotte's head. The Art of Theft gives us insight into Mrs. Watson's past and I have to say, it was all so fascinating. Who knew that Mrs. Watson had a romantic dalliance with a maharani in her younger days! 

When the maharani seeks Mrs. Watson's help in stealing a pricey and famous painting at an exclusive art auction at a Chateau in France, Charlotte and her friends come together for Mrs. Watson's sake although this way outside their scope of detective work. I loved that the mystery in this book involved all the characters coming together to basically plan what is a heist. We got to see how they all worked together as a team and their dynamics with each other. As with the other books, Charlotte and co soon find out that the case is much more convoluted than they originally realized. While I wasn't as invested in this mystery this time around, I still admired how clever Sherry Thomas was with its execution. There's no doubt in my mind that she is absolutely the most brilliant and I can't see any other author who can do this series justice. 

Livia also gets her chance to shine in The Art of Theft. She's someone I've always found endearing and I grew to love her even more here. Her relationship with Mr. Marbleton is genuinely one of the sweetest and most mutually caring romantic relationships I've read about but it's rife with the complications of Mr. Marbleton's identity. Livia finally finds the courage to finish the book she is writing in this installment and I foresee a lot more growth from her in the subsequent installments of this series. 

If you've read my reviews for the previous books, you know that one of my favorites parts of the Lady Sherlock series is the romance between Charlotte and her friend. It's very much of a slow-burn romance, but the romantic tension has been making it 100% worth the while. I'll be honest, after what happened in the last book, I thought for sure we'd see more progression in their relationship here. I guess Sherry Thomas isn't done torturing us though. *cries* Anyways, I did like that we begin to see Charlotte reflect about her relationship with him a lot more here which makes me think we're definitely going to see something happen very soon (PLEASE SHERRY THOMAS). As always, he is PINING for Charlotte in his own way while respecting her boundaries. God, do I love that man and as I've said repeatedly, I'm ready for them to take all that tension and fire between them to the sheets!

If you haven't tried this series yet, please join me in my suffering of waiting for my ship to sail! Plus, these books are some of the most brilliant mystery stories I've read and The Art of Theft was no different.
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I'm an impatient romance reader at heart so I was frustrated with the romantic angle a bit but aside from that I loved this one.
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The Art of Theft
The Lady Sherlock Series #4
Sherry Thomas
Berkley, October 2019
ISBN 978-0-451-49247-0
Trade Paperback

Once upon a time, Sherry Thomas created the first of a retelling of the Sherlock Holmes adventures and, my word, what a charming series this is so far. Charlotte Holmes and Mrs. Watson are a delightful pair and they channel the original Holmes and Watson with a feminine aplomb that makes Sherlock himself much more accessible.

Charlotte is a successful detective, having solved numerous cases, but she’s going to have to become something of an art thief this time. The target is a particular very valuable painting but it’s the documents secreted on the back of the painting that she needs to obtain; if she can’t do so, her client will be ruined. Charlotte recruits her usual partners in crime, so to speak, and the merry band sets off to attend a masked ball and art sale at a certain chateau in France. Charlotte is the true brains of the group but she couldn’t pull this off without the able assistance of Stephen Marbleton and Lord Ingram, not to mention her sister, Livia, and the pragmatic Mrs. Watson.

There’s a great deal of fun to be had in this latest tale but the reader who’s new to the series should probably start with the first book, A Study in Scarlet Women, to enjoy the books to the fullest. If you’re like me, you’ll fall head over heels for Charlotte and company.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, June 2020.
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I wish I had liked this book better.  It was fine, but it strays a bit too far from a Sherlock book and into a heist book for me.  Ordinarily I like a heist book just fine, but the mix of heist-plus-Sherlocking went down like a swirl of peanut butter in a grilled cheese sandwich.  I like both of those things, but together? It just didn’t feel right.  

In addition to having certain heist elements that usually bug me (most notably, the Ocean’s Eleven “our hero had a plan for this all along, we just didn’t show the audience”), there are also interludes with Lieutenant Attwood, an “associate” of Ash’s from his spying days.  The interactions with Attwood feel a bit like a backdoor pilot on your favorite tv show. While he and Charlotte are doing some spying, he makes a vague reference to a deadly female of his acquaintance.  Yes, I would absolutely love to read a spy assassin book… but again, there’s a bit too much going on here.  I hope we see Attwood in his own series in the future… but I’d rather like my detective book to go back to being a detective book. 
  
None of this will prevent me from reading the next book—the end of this book jumps right into the premise of book 6, where Inspector Treadles has apparently been charged with murder. Hopefully it will be a swift return to form!
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I absolutely adore the Lady Sherlock series from Sherry Thomas. The Art of Theft is the latest release in the series, and it was every bit as wonderful as I was expecting. I love spending time with this cast of characters, and love even more it grew a bit with this installment. As The Art of Theft picks up where the last installment left off, it is best to read the books in this series in order.

I love the way Charlotte's mind works. I'm always at least 3 steps behind her in figuring out what is going on in every single book. Ms. Thomas has written a character with such depth in Charlotte, that she keeps me guessing with each new installment. I have to say I did love learning more about Mrs. Watson's past along the way in this book. She seems to reveal just a bit more about her past to Charlotte with every book. The fact that Charlotte's sister Livia is the one telling each new tale to the readers have me loving her more with each new book. She is much quieter than Charlotte in every way, yet I feel like she is starting to come into her own the more time she spends with Charlotte and Mrs. Watson. I absolutely adored the time with Lord Ingram (Ash) and continue to want Charlotte and Ash to be more. 

There were so many twists and turns in The Art of Theft I was even more off my game in figuring out the mystery than I normally am with this series, and I absolutely loved it kept me guessing. I find myself loving this series more and more with each new installment. The Lady Sherlock series has become one of my favorite series in the historical mystery genre and I anxiously await each new installment.

Rating: 4 Stars (B+)
Review copy provided by publisher
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SherryThomas’s Holmes series is just fantastic. Clever, complex, beautiful world building and character development. Gently explores feminist ideas through a historical period. The mysteries are great too but it’s the characters that make her books shine. Art of the Theft gives us more excellent character development. I can’t get enough of these characters. They are so real.
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Charlotte Holmes is blond, pretty, very feminine and frilly, too fond of sweets, and far too intelligent for the time period. Essentially the opposite of what the traditional image is of Sherlock.  Lord Ingram Ashburton, a long time friend who cares very deeply for her even if she doesn't return his feelings will assist Charlotte no matter what.  Mrs. John Watson, a retired stage actress who has become Charlotte's unique and talented sidekick is the reason Holmes takes up this cause. Charlotte's adult younger sister, Olivia, has escaped the controlling grasp of her parents for a few weeks and follows Charlotte into the scheme.  Plus, she will get some time with Mr. Marbleton who she is quite fond of.  Stephen Marbleton is in hiding from the dangerous Moriarity and takes part at great peril.

The setting is both London and the remote French country side surrounding the French chateau where the exclusive auction will take place.  The French location is wonderfully atmospheric and presents its own challenges to the heist, giving the story added stakes.

The series has exciting killer/villain reveals and this was no different.  I enjoy how the Sherlock we know is turned on his head and re-imagined brilliantly. This is a historical heist as well as a cat and mouse game.  Nothing is as it seems and only the mind behind Sherlock Holmes is up to the task of seeing through the maze to the true intentions.  This can be enjoyed as a stand alone novel, but I suggest at least starting with the book just prior to this one, The Hollow of Fear, to better understand the relationship between Charlotte and Lord Ingram.

Rating:  Excellent - Loved it! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list
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In preparation for this review I reread my reviews of the previous three books in the series – I gave book one a B- and books two and three each a B+. The common thread running through all three reviews is the fact that I find these mysteries confusing. There are probably several reasons for this – one is that I’m not a regular mystery reader. Another, which I think just became clear to me with this book, is that there’s a very deliberate choice to withhold information from the reader, often by cutting away from a scene just as that vital information is to be revealed. Anyway, by this, the fourth book, I have come to expect that understanding everything that’s happening – or even that happened, in the end – may not be in the cards for me. The strength of the series lies in other directions.

For the uninitiated, a brief rundown: in the Lady Sherlock series, the nonexistent Sherlock Holmes is the front for Charlotte Holmes, a brilliant, eccentric young lady who fell into the role of solving mysteries after running away from home and being ruined. Other major players include: Charlotte’s neurotic but loving sister Livia, who is almost on the shelf and stuck at home with their unloving parents; Lord Ingram Ashburton, Charlotte’s childhood friend with whom she has unresolved romantic tension; and Charlotte’s own Watson, Mrs. Watson, who provides both a home for Charlotte and invaluable assistance on her cases.

The story kicks off when a woman comes to visit Sherlock Holmes, seeking help. Charlotte greets her with the conceit that she is Sherlock Holmes’ sister, and that her brother is physically incapacitated and unable to have visitors, but is observing the conversation from a private room via a camera obscura. Charlotte deduces that the woman is the Maharani of Ajmer, head of a delegation from India that has recently arrive in London. The maharani is extremely disappointed to realize that “Sherlock” will not be able to help with her task, which does not require his deductive powers as much as it does the services of a cat burglar, or someone else suited for retrieving things surreptitiously. The maharani departs, but not before sharing with Charlotte her suspicions that Charlotte herself is Sherlock.

Shortly after, Mrs. Watson returns from a trip to Paris, and finds herself with an unexpected caller – the maharani. It turns out the two knew each other years before, and were in fact lovers. The maharani does not appear to know about the connection between Charlotte and Mrs. Watson, and after a stilted conversation, she leaves. It’s Charlotte who, learning of the visit, informs Mrs. Watson that the maharani had been to see Sherlock Holmes, seeking help. Mrs. Watson is distraught at the idea that her old friend is in some sort of trouble, and wants to help her. Charlotte demurs at first – for one thing, it would require confirming the maharani’s suspicions that Charlotte is in fact Sherlock – but in the face of Mrs. Watson’s distress, she agrees.

The maharani is wary of accepting help, but after Charlotte adequately proves her skills, she relents. She tells them that there are some sensitive letters that, it’s implied, were stolen from her. She has been told the letters are hidden in the backing of a Van Dyck painting that has been shipped to a chateau in France for private auction.

That home, called Chateau Vaudrieu, hosts an annual Christmas ball that is famously extravagant. The ball is held in conjunction with the art sale. Charlotte’s sister Livia happens to be staying with her, and it’s determined that Charlotte, Livia, Lord Ingram (who also has a connection to Mrs. Watson) and Mrs. Watson will travel to Paris to try to implement a plan to steal the Van Dyck. Rounding out the party is Mr. Stephen Marbleton, who is Livia’s suitor. Stephen is related to the dastardly Holmesian villain Moriarty; he and his family have been in hiding and on the run for years from Moriarty.

The group travels to France and Charlotte meets up with an ally of Lord Ingram’s, Lieutenant Atwood, who Lord Ingram has recruited to help with the theft. The plan is almost halted by Mrs. Watson after a reconnaissance mission at Chateau Vaudrieu endangers the lives of Lord Ingram and Stephen Marbleton. A meeting between the maharani, Charlotte and Mrs. Watson leads to some revelations about the contents of the mysterious letters, and later all parties involved affirm that they wish to go forward with the plan despite the risks.

The mystery/caper plot took a while to get going. I like Mrs. Watson very much, but her fondness for the maharani wasn’t enough to make me care about the latter woman’s problems. The maharani herself is a bit of a cold fish, imperious (as one might expect) and rigid. More interesting was the developing relationship between Livia and Stephen Marbleton.

Livia is very enamored but hesitant to commit to Stephen for a couple of reasons. One is that a life with him will likely mean a life in hiding, avoiding Moriarty’s long and sinister reach. (For this reason, Charlotte disapproves of the connection, though only in her typically detached way.) Another is that Livia is damaged by her upbringing with a cold and critical mother, and in her insecurity she has trouble believing Stephen really wants her. Still, it’s a sweet romance to watch blossom; Stephen is young and exceptionally good-natured in spite of his difficult life.

The relationship between Charlotte and Lord Ashburton is more bittersweet. They consummated their relationship in the previous book, and Charlotte almost idly wonders here and there whether there will be a repeat. But most of Ash’s thoughts about Charlotte aren’t really excessively carnal in nature. There is a wistful romanticism in the way he views her, and in the way that his wishes and expectations are continually thwarted by Charlotte’s emotional limitations. It was an interesting and unusual relationship to read about, though it also made me a little sad.

Around two-thirds into the book, the mystery plot really started to ramp up, and I was briefly absorbed in it. I soon became frustrated. In spite of saying I’ve gotten used to not knowing what was going on, I found myself annoyed that, well, I didn’t know what was going on. There’s a reception at the chateau ahead of the ball and auction, and all of Charlotte’s crew (I should resist the impulse to call it her Scooby Gang, shouldn’t I?) are there in various disguises, except for Lord Ashburton, who is crawling through some tunnels. I felt, as I often do with this series, that I should be understanding the action better than I actually was. I had the sense that I was about two steps behind the characters, and it made me anxious.

A bit later, something else started to bug me; I don’t remember if I’ve had this experience with the previous books in the series or not. It’s that Charlotte comes to conclusions that seem…possible, but not necessarily something she could reasonably have figured out and be certain of, even given her cleverness. Maybe it goes back to the fact – I *have* mentioned this in reviews of previous books – that I really need to have things spelled out for me. Charlotte gets from point A to point L, and I have no idea how she got there or how she’s sure she’s right. (To be fair, there are times in this book when she’s not sure she’s right. On the other hand, she always does end up being right.)

I know we’re supposed see Charlotte as brilliant, but I think that would work better for me if I understood better *how* she’s brilliant.

There are some coincidences (at least I think they were coincidences?) that didn’t hold up under close scrutiny, either. What are the odds that the maharani’s visit to Sherlock Holmes would

Spoiler (spoiler): Show

I am probably not terribly consistent in being bothered by coincidences in fiction – I know sometimes I just accept them as the price of admission. Perhaps it’s just that in this sort of tightly plotted novel, they tend to stand out more?
While The Art of Theft advanced the overarching plot (at least in regard to the relationships between Livia and Marbleton and between Charlotte and Ash), the central plot wasn’t the strongest of the four books in the series. My grade for this one is a B-.
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Nothing short of what you'd expect from Sherlock Holmes, or maybe something more - since this Sherlock is a woman, pretending to be her brother Sherlock. Deductive reasoning at its best, with ribbons of facts and characters woven along. Anyone versed with Sherlock Holmes stories is frozen with fear at the name of Moriarty, and that person is in this story as well. Deep plot with both the story and regular characters. It would be good to see this in a movie. Charlotte and her crew go under cover at a French mansion to pull off an impossible theft. A mansion complete with secret underground passages. Scary stuff!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
#NetGalley #TheArtOfTheft
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The text was so light in the e-galley that I ended up having to wait until the library got a copy. Charlotte Holmes is an extremely interesting character. While her relationships are interesting, my favorite parts are when she digs into the mysteries.
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Review appears in GumshoeReview.com's December 2019 issue and is exclusive to that venue until January 2020.

 The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas begins shortly after the previous book (The Hollow of Fear) ends. Charlotte Holmes' consulting detective business is just beginning to pick up after taking a break to solve Lord Ingram's case. She'd also taken steps to help her sisters (Olivia and Bernadine). While Mrs. Hudson is out, Charlotte decides to meet a potential client alone. The female client is disappointed when told that Sherlock Holmes is suffering from severe injuries and never leaves his home. The client leaves as there's nothing that can be done.

Sherry Thomas
Lady Sherlock Mysteries:
* A Study In Scarlet Women
* A Conspiracy in Belgravia
* The Hollow of Fear
* The Art of Theft

Later it turns out the client is from Mrs. Hudson's past and at one time was her dearest friend. Mrs. Hudson feels she must talk to her friend and convince her to let them help with whatever her problem is. The Maharani says she needs a painting stolen from a mansion near Paris because on the back of the painting is a packet of incriminating evidence that she needs to retrieve. Once convinced that Charlotte, Mrs. Holmes, and a few of their friends would be able to succeed, she agrees to tell them what they want to know.

It should surprise no one that the client hasn't told the whole truth about the job. Charlotte has to continually press the client for the truth as her research indicates that more is going on than what they'd been told. They need the full truth of the matter to finally develop a plan of action that might actually work – as long as there are no new surprises.

Knowing that they are working with an unreliable client to do something that is questionable at the least, readers are kept wondering what will happen next. Will they be caught? Will they find what they are looking for? Do they even know what they are looking for? Will they survive? The danger to their lives and reputations is very real if they are caught.

There's usually enough background given to bring new readers up to speed if they are a new reader. It's also sketchy enough to help those who have read the previous books to get back into the relationships of the various characters that continue from one book to another. However, new readers shouldn't be afraid to jump in with this book.

I'm enjoying this series since the characters continue to grow and change with each new addition to the series.
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This was my first read from this series, and it did not disappoint. I love clever, strong, independent female sleuths, and Charlotte was all of these things and more. She was such an intelligently written character and I definitely want to catch up on the rest of this series. 

I read lots of historical mysteries. I look for the characters and setting to be important in the book, but for the mystery element to still be solid and well plotted and not treated as an afterthought. This fit the bill! 

I highly recommend for those who enjoy the Maisie Dobbs, Lady Darby, Verity Kent, or the Jane Austen series by Stephanie Barron. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my complimentary copy.
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Sherlock type of mystery book.
IT was not my favorite, although I loved the cover.
Somehow the story was just a story.
Not memorable enough.
It was just fine read but not something I would remember.
3 stars for me.
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A solid installment of the Lady Sherlock series. I enjoyed that the mystery brought together a variety of the characters we've gotten to know in a new way. I was hoping for further development of Charlotte's relationship with Lord Ingram, but I guess I'll have to wait for the next book! Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the advance copy.
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3.5 stars

Do you ever just come across a book that by all accounts you should absolutely love, and then you just don’t? Well that’s what happened to me with the Lady Sherlock series. 

I picked up the first book fully ready to be hooked and in love with this series only to feel let down and disappointed. I don’t even think I finished the first book and I didn’t pick up any of the others in the series.

I was heart broken and as the years have gone on, I keep thinking I should pick this series up again because it should be a series that I love. Sassy heroines, Victorian England, murder mysteries. I should be all over this series. But I kept my distance, too fearful that I wouldn’t like it.

Then I was pitched the fourth book in the series and I was once again faced with the debate—-do I pass or not? I almost passed because I was too afraid I wouldn’t like it but again, it’s a series that I should love and I was frankly too upset about that to pass on this one. So I decided to give Lady Sherlock another try.

Summary
As “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes has solved murders and found missing individuals. But she has never stolen a priceless artwork—or rather, made away with the secrets hidden behind a much-coveted canvas.

But Mrs. Watson is desperate to help her old friend recover those secrets and Charlotte finds herself involved in a fever-paced scheme to infiltrate a glamorous Yuletide ball where the painting is one handshake away from being sold and the secrets a bare breath from exposure.

Her dear friend Lord Ingram, her sister Livia, Livia’s admirer Stephen Marbleton—everyone pitches in to help and everyone has a grand time. But nothing about this adventure is what it seems and disaster is biding time on the grounds of a glittering French chateau, waiting only for Charlotte to make a single mistake (summary from Goodreads)

Review
So I tried to in to this one with my mind open. This is a ‘gender bender’ type book where Sherlock Holmes is actually a woman, and I thought that was an exciting twist right off the bat. Though I did know that from my first attempt with the first book, but I think it’s worth noting for new readers. Having Sherlock Holmes actually be a woman rather than a man right away puts readers in a familiar yet different position with this detective.

I haven’t gone back and read the other books, mostly because I felt like my opinion of this book was already clouded by my attempt at the first book and I didn’t want to complicate it further. I did feel slightly confused by all the characters and how they knew each other and what sort of history they had, but that confusion only happened at the beginning. Not that the author clarified anything necessarily, it was more that the central mystery part took over and I became wrapped up in that rather than some of the character relations. So reading the other books will certainly help and would have made the beginning a little easier to follow, but in the end the mystery was the focus and I didn’t feel terribly lost in this one as the story went on.

As with many historical mysteries, there is often a secondary romantic plot line and this book does include a little romance and I rather enjoyed that part of the book. I know that Thomas has written romance novels as well and that reflects in this romantic plot line as Charlotte and Lord Ingram as they have great chemistry, however I was hoping their romantic plot would advance a little more in this one but perhaps there have been leaps and bounds in the previous books and this one was meant to slow it down? I am not sure since I haven’t read the others, but for me there was undeniable chemistry between them but I kept hoping for more by the end.

This book series seems to be one that people either love or just don’t. I was firmly in the ‘don’t’ camp, but after this book, I have warmed to the idea of picking it up again. There are plenty of people who loved this one and while I might not have loved it, I did like it and enjoyed picking up this series again to give it another try. Would I read the other books in the series or future books? Absolutely! I am actually going to go back and read the first one and see if I like it better this time around!

Book Info and Rating
Paperback, 297 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Berkley
ISBN 0451492471 (ISBN13: 9780451492470)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley Publishing, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genre: historical fiction, mystery
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The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas is a take on the Sherlock Holmes tale. Charlotte, our protagonist is a woman who has solved murders and finding missing people. Mrs. Watson Charlotte's friend has asked Charlotte to help her with friends the Maharani's request, to steal some letters that are hidden behind a priceless artwork. The Maharani is being blackmailed so she needs the maintain her secrets. To do this, Charlotte along with Lord Ingram,  Leighton Atwoood Lord Ingrams assistant, her sister Livia and Stephan Marbleton, Livia's admirer they must infiltrate the Yuletide Ball, at a French chateau.

The Art of Theft is the fourth book in the Lady Sherlock historical series and I have to say that I had not read any of the previous books in the series, that said, I had no problem following the characters. I wish I knew more about the relationship between Charlotte and Lord Ingram though. I know that there had been some intimacy between the two at some point. It did not detract though from my enjoyment of the book. That is what happens when you don't read the beginning of the series. No matter, I enjoyed the story, even though I am not a fan of Victorian type stories. 

I liked the cast of characters, I think that I liked Lord Ingram the best, I would like to learn more about his situation. There is definitely a story there, his wife leaving him for example so I need to go back and read the previous books. Charlotte, even though she is a strong woman, she seems to be very aloof and does not want anyone to get close to her. 

I liked the storyline, the writing was very good, there is some suspense when Lord Ingram and Mr. Marbleton attempt to get into the compound of the chateau. Then when the group gets into the chateau on the night of the ball and attempt to steal the painting. Things are not as they seem as to what is going on in the chateau. 

In this book, we learn about Mrs.Watson and her relationship with the Maharani and why the Maharani needs Mrs.Watson and Charlotte's help. I found that her passion for sweets showed her vulnerability and the fun side of her. The other characters in this story were very well fleshed out, her sister Olivia wanting to be like her sister and free to do as she wanted. But she is still underage so still obligated to her parents. Mr.Marbleton is so in love with Livia that he would do whatever was needed to help Charlotte in this adventure.

I definitely enjoyed this book and my goal is to read the first book and continue on so I can understand the story better.

I recommend it highly!
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