There's A Murder Afoot

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

There's a Murder Afoot is the 5th book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries by Vicki Delany.
I have read the entire series and highly recommend the series. I do recommend reading each book in the series for the reader to have a better understanding of the charcters and basis of the series. Each book is a delight and you will not want to miss one book in the series. 
Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. My review opinions are my own. 

In this next in series its the slow season for the Sherlock Holmes Bookstore and tea shop. 
 Gemma and Jane are on their way to London for some fun sightseeing and to meet up with Gemma's parents.  Amid family strife a murder occurs of a distant family member who was a con man.  Gemma and Jane are determined to find out what happened.  I love the setting of this book. The author brings London alive for those of us that have never traveled. All the returning charcters are here and I love that Gemma and Jane are working together to solve this murder in a strange city with Gemma's family involved. This is a well crafted plot with great charcters and a enjoyable sleuth that kept me guessing to completion.    A very enjoyable read. I look forward to the next in series.
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I love this series and enjoyed the previous instalments but I think that this one was the weakest.
It was great to meet again the cast of characters but I prefer the usual setting and the London setting seemed a bit weird to me (I know London quite well).
It was an engrossing and entertaining read but the mystery was a bit weak and I guessed the culprit without any problem.
I look forward to reading the next instalment.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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This latest installment in Vicki Delany's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series was so good! 

Gemma and her friends are in London for a Sherlock Holmes Convention where Gemma is accepting an award on behalf of Uncle Arthur.

From the get-go we meet Gemma's long-lost uncle (who was a complete mystery to her) and her parents and sister, Pippa. Each character is quirky in their own way, but Pippa has some sort of secret job with the government that adds to the overall mystery of this story (for me anyway). 

When her uncle is found murdered and her father is standing over the body - well, you can just imagine Gemma's reaction. She puts off returning to America until this whole mess is solved. 

As with any cozy, of course the mystery is solved and justice wins! This was a fast read, but I really enjoyed the detail of London explained throughout this book - I have never been, but I felt like I was there. 

4.5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed this book on Netgalley.
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There's A Murder Afoot by author Vicki Delany is the 5th book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery Series, and another good addition.  Genna Doyle, the owner of the Sherlock Homes Bookshop, takes a trip to England with her friends, to attend the Holmes Convention and visit her family.  Genna and her family run in to her uncle, who she didn't know she had.  When her uncle is found murdered and her father is over his body,  Gemma is determined to solve the murder, and clear her father's name.   This book has more twists and turns, that kept me reading page after page. I love the quirky people and situations in this book. I found this book to be a quick read, with a well developed plot and characters. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. If you love cozy mysteries, I recommend this book.

I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and the Publisher. Thank you.
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An entertaining trip across the pond. Gemma and friends go to London. Loved visiting London. The murder mystery kept me guessing. Wonderful to meet Gemma's family. Amusing and engaging. Terrific series.
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This series just gets better and better, and "There's A Murder Afoot' is plain perfection.  Each character is described so that I feel as if they are old friends.  There were surprises, a wonderful mystery and more evidence of clever thinking and dialogue throughout the book.  I loved visiting London and renewing my familiarity with the city.  I can't recommend this book highly enough, in fact the entire series is spectacular.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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This is the fifth in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery series by Vcki Delany. It is a classic cozy, with bookshop owner and amateur sleuth Gemma travels to London with her friends to visit her parents and accept an award for her Uncle Arthur. While at dinner with her parents, Gemma’s father, a retired detective with Scotland Yard, encounters a man unknown to Gemma. Their exchange appears stressed, and Gemma’s father hurries the group away before Gemma can learn more. Later she learns the man is her mother’s uncle, the black sheep of the family, who has been estranged for decades. Gemma’s father was working to keep his wife from encountering her brother and opening old wounds.
Later, at the conference where Gemma is to receive her other uncle’s award, she encounters her newly met uncle again. Here he has a booth in the vendor’s section of the conference and is trying to sell some interesting pen and ink drawings of scenes from Sherlock Holmes. Gemma learns the idea for these sketches, which all have a slightly disturbing characteristic, was actually the brain child of another artist which was stolen by her Uncle. Later she learns this is typical of her uncle, who in the past was a noted art forger.
During the conference banquet, Gemma’s uncle is murdered and her father is discovered holding the cord that was used to strangle him. Gemma is plunged into the investigation as the inspector assigned to the case has a rocky relationship with Gemma’s father and immediately moves to arrest him and charge him with murder.
As Gemma looks deeper into her uncle’s life, several suspects appear with various motives for wishing him dead. Could it be the artist whose ideas he stole? What about the art gallery owner who Gemma suspects of dealing with stolen art? Perhaps it’s his former fiance, who has her own issues with the man.
Gemma wanders through London, usually with one or another of her friends in tow, gathering information about motives for various suspects. While she has been successful in getting her father out of jail, she knows the real murder will need to be uncovered for her father to be completely exhonerated.
Overall, there are some opportunities to experience London through the eyes of Gemma and her friends, but not so much this feels like a travelog. In addition, the relationship between Gemma and her boyfriend, Ryan, continues to grow. A bit of humor is injected as Gemma occasionally gets calls from Ashley, her assistant in charge of the bookstore back in the US, usually starting the conversation with something like…”it’s not as bad as it sounds”. All these calls leave Gemma wondering if she will have a bookstore to return to once she has solved the mystery.
For anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries, this is an excellent representative of the genre. If the reader likes to read series, this is one they are likely to enjoy as Gemma and friends are interesting characters who seem well developed. While it isn’t necessary to have read the previous books in the series, if the reader wants to experience relationship developments, it’s probably best to start with the first book in the series.
My thanks to Crooked Lane Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an Advanced Digital Reader copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
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There’s a Murder Afoot by Vicki Delany may be the fifth installment in A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, but it can be read on its own.  The author includes the necessary background a new reader needs.  This is my favorite book in the series.  I found it to be well-written and it moved along at a steady clip.  I enjoyed the author’s descriptions of London, the conference and especially the beautiful costumes worn by some of the attendees including Donald.  Donald was in seventh heaven with all the Sherlock Holmes people he could talk to and the various places for him to visit including the Sherlock Holmes Museum.  Gemma is enjoying spending time with her parent’s and being back in London.  She just did not count on getting involved in a murder investigation (she really should have anticipated this turn of events).  I like the humor injected into the story.  The lengths they went to keep her friends occupied while she is out investigating and then there were Arthur’s antics at the bookstore.  Gemma should have known things would not go smoothly with Arthur.  The mystery was thought out with several suspects and good clues.  I found it interesting and enjoyed following the investigation.  The police in Scotland Yard did not appreciate Gemma’s interference any more than those back home in West London, Massachusetts.  But Gemma had Pippa on her side.  Pippa’s may say she is a clerk, but her job is complex, mysterious and suits her intellect (would have suited Gemma as well).  I like how the mystery played out and the resolution.  I like Gemma’s attention to detail and how it plays into the solving of the mystery.  While I was not surprised by the guilty party (or who was murdered), I was entertained which is the purpose of this delightful tale.  I look forward to the next A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery.  My one wish is for West London to get a different detective who appreciates Gemma’s insights.  There’s a Murder Afoot is a diverting cozy mystery with a black sheep sibling, a discriminatory detective, surplus of Sherlock, a vexing uncle, a sister’s secretive situation, and a parent’s puzzling predicament.
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Gemma, Ryan, Jayne, Grant and Donald are in London for a Sherlock Holmes conference. Gemma meets an uncle she never knew she had. There are bad feeling between the uncle and her dad. When her uncle is found murdered and her dad is nearby, Gemma is determined to investigate even though she feels she has fewer resources in London. This turns out to not be exactly true as her sister Philippa has some job high up in the government and smooths the way for Gemma to investigate.

The Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series has been inconsistent as to whether I really like a book. I enjoyed this book 5. A new location freshened things up and it was interesting to meet Gemma's family. The gang all contributes to the solving of the murder in different ways. I do think this could be read as a standalone as there is good backstory or at least enough to help an unfamiliar reader along.
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Gemma and her friends travel to London for a conference, but get involved in solving the murder of one of her relatives.  An interesting plot with some odd characters, it keeps you interested in the book.
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2019; Crooked Lane Books

Gemma and the gang (best friend and business partner - Jayne; on-and-off-again boyfriend and police detective - Ryan; friend and book dealer - Grant and Sherlock expert - Donald) are headed to Britain to a conference on Sherlock. Gemma is accepting an award for her Uncle Arthur, and is doing a lecture. While there, the crew is visiting with Gemma's parents and sister. They didn't expect to meet Gemma's long lost maternal uncle (she didn't even know existed) and to have him murdered a few days later. Unfortunately, Gemma's father who hated his brother-in-law was found standing over the body. The detective in charge of the case is not a fan of Gemma's father, so she has to step in and investigate the case.

This was another solid adventure with Gemma and her gang. I really enjoy the humour and chemistry between the characters. It was cool to see Gemma in her birthplace and her family. Pippa seems like a more serious Gemma with a lot of secrets. I hope that they make another trip to Britain or the Doyle's come to West London! (view spoiler)

(Will be sharing on Twitter, posting on IG that will be shared to FB page)
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There's a Murder Afoot is the 5th Sherlock Holmes Bookshop cozy by Vicki Delany. Released 7th Jan 2020 by Crooked Lane, it's 336 pages and available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. The ebook format includes an interactive table of contents with chapter headings. I've become very fond of interactive ebooks lately.

This series is full of fun and over-the-top Holmes tie-ins and trivia. The plot revolves around a convention of Sherlockians of all stripes meeting in London (the one in England). Gemma Doyle (possibly related to the one-and-only) and family and friends are in London for the convention, or some sightseeing.

There are some new characters along with the ensemble cast from previous books in the series and the author manages to make them all distinct and easy to differentiate. There were plenty of suspects from which to choose, the violence isn't graphic, the dialogue is clean and the denouement/solution was appealing and felt complete. There's some foreshadowing for the next book(s) in the series and it ends well.

I'm looking forward to finding out what comes next for Gemma & co. Genuinely enjoyable cozy reading.

Four stars.
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There's A Murder Afoot is the fifth book in Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series by Vicky Delany.

This series is a perfect choice not only for fans of Mr. Holmes but for readers who prefer intelligent and well written mysteries.
The characters are well developed and they grow and change with the series. They are realistic and relatable. I really appreciate how the main character is a highly observant and smart woman who solves crimes by her wits and intellect and not by stumbling around relaying on luck. She is quite unique and I like her a lot.

In this installment Gemma, her best friend, her boyfriend and patron of her bookstore are travelling to England so she can attend a conference, give her speech and accept an award on behalf of her uncle. 
When they arrive they have drinks with Gemma's family, but her father has a run in with his brother in law who has been missing for decades after he stole a painting from his own family.
Her uncle Randy is also attending the conference but is soon found dead with Gemma's father standing over him. Unfortunately Gemma's father has been hit on the head and has no idea what happened.
Since the leading inspector holds a grudge against Gemma's father and is very happy to charge him with the murder and will look no further for the culprit, it is up to Gemma and her friends to solve the crime and save her father.

I have read all the books in this series, and they are always a treat. Well written, with a smartly thought and cleverly presented story, they are a joy to read.
I like both the main and side characters, as they all have their own peculiarities and are quite special.
I also appreciate subtle humor in these books very very much. Moriarity's shenanigans are legendary and other characters quite often make me laugh out loud.
It was a special treat to read about London's landmarks and delectable food.
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I really enjoyed the first four books in the "Sherlock Holmes Bookstore" series, but "There's a Murder Afoot" just didn't do it for me. It was a pretty simple mystery to solve, and I was sort of bored throughout.
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While I missed the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop setting, it was nice to visit London and meet Gemma’s family. Her father Henry is a retired police detective from a working background while Gemma’s mother, Anne, is a prominent lawyer whose family comes from nobility. Together they make a loving couple and they seem very supportive of both of their daughters. Gemma’s sister, Pippa, is more mysterious. At the book’s beginning, we learn that Gemma and Pippa aren’t very close and Pippa’s job, which is described as being an “assistant of some sort for the government”, is probably something much more important. (If you’re a Holmes fan, I definitely got ‘shades of Mycroft’ from her).

Uncle Randy (whom Gemma she didn’t know existed until this now) is the black sheep of the family and catching his killer is complicated since he had so many enemies. It was well known that Henry didn’t want Randy anywhere near his family, so it looks bad when he’s the one found hovering over Randy’s recently-murdered body. To make things worse, the Inspector on the case, Sam Morrison, has his own reasons for disliking Henry, so he almost gleefully exclaims that it’s an open-and-shut-case.

This is currently one of my favourite cozy mystery series so it was nice to learn more about Gemma’s family and background. The Doyle family is awesome and I really hope that we get to see them again in a future book.

There was one aspect of the story that I wanted more of – mainly the parts with Gemma and Pippa. When Gemma arrives in London, she and Pippa have barely spoken in years. But the sisters quickly become close friends and allies during this book. This abrupt change can be easily explained by the fact that they were banding together to clear their father’s name.

There’s another part of the story involving Pippa that also felt rushed and out of character but I can’t talk about it without giving away some character plot points so I’ll leave it to the reader to discover on their own. (Argh – the pain of writing non-spoiler reviews!). Overall, I would have loved to have spent more time with Pippa and felt like this was a character that could have been flushed out in more than one book as she was really interesting.

However, the rest of the book hummed along brilliantly. I especially LOVED how Gemma’s friends rallied around her and her family when Henry was arrested. Although they were originally there for a vacation, they dropped everything and refused to return home until Henry was cleared. It was really heart-warming to read. Even Donald, who is a Sherlock FANATIC, didn’t think twice about skipping the Holmes’ convention (his first in London) to help Gemma. I know these people are all fictional, but the love in their friendship just really made me happy.

One HILARIOUS theme that ran throughout the book was the series of escalating emergencies happening back home at the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium while Gemma in in London. Each phone call or text from Gemma’s assistant seemed to be worse than the previous one. They were all semi-vague regarding the exact nature of the disasters (from a damaged computer to a small fire) so the reader’s imagination was left to run wild along with poor Gemma’s. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that we don’t find out what shape the shop is in by the end of the book – guess we’ll have to wait until Book 6 to find out! One thing’s for sure… I don’t think Gemma will ever leave Uncle Arthur in charge of the shop again! LOL.

Overall, I found the inclusion of Gemma’s family to be a lovely addition to the series. And while I’m ready to head back to the US and the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop (if it’s still standing!) I’d love to come back to London and visit the Doyles again soon.
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This is such a good series, and it just keeps getting better! I enjoy the three-dimensional characters who continue to grow through their experiences, the wit, the setting – this time in England for a special event – and the mysteries, very challenging. This one is full of surprises.

Gemma Doyle, a London, England transplant to West London, Massachusetts, is part owner of Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium and Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. Uncle Arthur Doyle, an active octogenarian, opened the store several years ago. Since Gemma has managed it so well, he is a silent partner so he can enjoy his world travels and sailing. Gemma’s best friend Jayne is part-owner of the Tea Room, its manager, and excellent baker.

Gemma, Jayne, Gemma’s boyfriend Ryan, and their friends Grant and Donald are in London for the Sherlock Holmes in the Modern World conference. Donald, an avid Sherlockian, had proposed Gemma as a speaker without her permission and she was chosen. Grant, a rare book dealer, hopes to find some rare tomes for his customers. Ryan, a West London police detective, is happy to have time away from home with Gemma, even if it means meeting her parents and sister.

The group met Anne, an attorney, and Henry Doyle, a retired detective, and their older daughter, Pippa. Just before they leave for the hotel restaurant, a man at another table calls out to Henry. He hustles the family and friends along, and Gemma sees him talking to the man. There is no love lost between the two men. Henry asks his daughter to not tell her mum. Later he shares that he is the black sheep of her mother’s family and hadn’t been seen since he stole a valuable painting from her grandparents that was to provide their retirement income.

Gemma runs into her long-missing Uncle Randy several times. He is selling his excellent pen-and-ink drawings at the Sherlock conference the next day. She hears a young woman accuse Randolph Denhaugh of stealing her ideas for the sketches. Gemma is given a message for Randolph from a big guy who looks and sounds like a hit man, that “his people” want what is theirs. Randolph tries to join the family after Gemma gives her talk, and Henry threatens him to stay away from Anne. The following night, after the banquet, Randolph is found dead, strangled, in a meeting room. Found with his hands on the rope is Henry. No matter that he has been hit over the head and remembers nothing – the detective on the case, a bitter former rival of Henry, looks only at Henry and later arrests him.

Without her usual contacts, Gemma is at a loss for how to help her father. Pippa has heard she has solved murders on Cape Cod, so will share whatever she finds out from contacts at her “government job”. Gemma has suspects from the strange people she saw around him at the conference, including the fiancée who dumped him. With the help of her friends, Gemma goes through London trying to track the real bad guy, or gal, with her impressive instincts. I didn’t know whodunit until Gemma revealed it really was; my guesses were wrong! I was happy to meet and learn about Gemma’s parents and Pippa and hope that one day soon Gemma and Ryan can get away for a real vacation! I highly recommend this to those who love well-written cozy mysteries, Sherlock Holmes, this series and author, and a London setting.

From a thankful heart: I received a copy of this from the publisher and NetGalley, and this is my honest review.
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The fifth in the highly entertaining Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mysteries sees the crew traveling across the water to jolly old England to attend the Sherlock Holmes convention and to accept an award on Arthur's behalf.  Arthur would much prefer to stay back and watch over the bookshop.  As the crew settles in, they meet various members of Gemma's family including a sister named Pippa and an uncle named Raymond who Gemma never knew existed.  Raymond turns out to be a bit of a black sheep with a long seedy history of art theft and forgery.  It comes as no surprise when Raymond ends up murdered however when Gemma's father is suspected of the crime, Gemma, with the help of her friends, sets out to clear his name and uncover the real culprit.  
Readers are taken on a tour of London, through the same streets walked by the famous detective many years prior in search of a killer.  Gemma's meticulous planning and attention to detail comes in handy as does her sister Pippa's special skill set and links to the British government.  There are plenty of twists and turns as readers are led in one direction and then another, with plenty of Sherlock references to uncover.  Suspects abound however the crew carefully seeks out clues to rule out first one and then another.  While the culprit was not a surprise, it was  a satisfying resolution with a surprise revelation from Arthur. The bookshop antics added an extra level of comedy fans have come to look for in the bookshop series.  This series is great for character development and meeting Gemma's family gave some valuable  insight into Gemma's character, helping her come a bit more out of her shell.  Overall this was a great addition to a strong cozy mystery series which I highly recommend to those looking for a new mystery series to get lost in.
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“There’s a Murder Afoot” earns 5/5 Sherlock Awards...Entertaining Fun!

Hello, Holmes fans! As a fan of the original sleuth created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I am also passionate about any creative twists to the Holmes franchise: a different era, mixing up the races, switching around genders. So, Vicki Delany’s mystery series with Gemma Doyle and her Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium and Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room is perfect! For this fifth book Gemma, partner Jayne, cop/boyfriend Ryan, an art dealer, and Sherlock fanatic travel from Cape Cod to London, England, to attend a Sherlock Holmes Convention where Gemma will give a speech and receive an award for her great-Uncle Arthur. Popping in on Gemma’s family will be a nice extra. 

The story is more about family this time around, but it’s less happy family reunion and more awkward murder investigation. Uncle Randolph, her mother’s younger brother, disappeared thirty years ago after stealing a family painting, but it seems he has more than family who want him “disappeared” again. Gemma’s mother Anne is a barrister and her dad Henry is a retired Yard detective, who should have contained his anger when he sees Randy. When he is discovered, dazed, standing over the dead body of his brother-in-law, he shouldn’t be surprised that he becomes the perfect person of interest. It’s always family, isn’t it? Gemma’s older sister Pippa has an interesting story herself (a hint of Mycroft), and expects Gemma to investigate. She can’t refuse! 

Delany’s writing style is very entertaining, descriptive with a bit of humor thrown in, and with enough clues to make my inner Sherlock itching to join in on the investigation. The story was clever, well-paced, a few twists and turns, and characters well-developed and what I like...realistic. There were enough references to background and character connections that I never felt at a disadvantage as a newbie. I love the London setting and noticed the similarities to the classic stories. I will be checking out the rest of the series! 

Suggestion? I always like a little bonus in my cozies. It’s missing a recipe or two that the characters were able to enjoy or a humorous “How to” for an American tourist in London. Just saying
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There’s a Murder Afoot is the fifth book in Vicki Delany’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series.  Bookshop owner Gemma Doyle, along with her best friend and partner in Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room Jayne Wilson, avid Holmes fan Donald Morris, rare book dealer Grant Thompson, and Gemma’s boyfriend and West London, Ma, detective Ryan Ashburton, have traveled to Gemma’s hometown of London, England to attend the Sherlock Holmes in the Modern World conference. Gemma is giving a talk and is there on behalf of her Uncle Arthur C. Doyle to accept his award.

On the group’s first night in London, as they dine with Gemma’s parents and sister, a loud and obnoxious fellow confronts Gemma and her father Henry, a retired police detective. Up until this time Gemma had thought her mother an only child, but here confronting them is her estranged brother, Randolph Denbaugh.  Randy had spent much of his life skirting the law having forged art and served time. 

Over the next few days Gemma encounters Randy several times. He had a booth selling well done but disturbing artwork in the sellers gallery, she sees him in an intense argument with a Gypsy dressed woman saying he stole her ideas and a second woman who, in a fit of anger, broke off their engagement. Then there were the warning messages both Gemma and her mom were asked to give Randy by an smooth domed man.

The night of the awards dinner Gemma, her friends, and her family have a large table in the banquet room. After the dinner and Gemma’s receipt of the award, her father steps outside the room to stay awake during the less than invigorating speeches. When the group finds him after the dinner, Henry has been knocked unconscious and Randy has been killed.

In Ms.Delany’s wonderful writing style this is another fast paced mystery with twists and turns, wonderful characters, and a surprising conclusion. I did enjoy this book and I do recommend it!
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There's a Murder Afoot is a wonderfully plotted mystery that kept me guessing and turning the pages. I liked the amount of suspects and the diabolically inept police investigator. I loved how Gemma helped the investigation along when no one else would. I loved how her boyfriend trusted in her even though he didn't know everything. But, I felt too much description of the setting slowed down my reading. I can't wait until the next installment in this series. I received an advanced reader's copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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