Cover Image: The Game Is a Footnote

The Game Is a Footnote

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Member Reviews

I have thoroughly enjoyed the books in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series. The author has once again written a tale that pulls you in quickly but leaves you hanging until the end to solve the mystery. The characters are well developed and the nonhuman creatures add to the storyline. I also love how the author makes so many parallels to Sherlock Holmes. An entertaining read that has you anxiously waiting for the next book in the series. I can’t wait!

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

For more reviews, please visit my blog at: Over 1000 reviews posted!
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The Game is a Footnote is the 8th book in Vicki Delany's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries. Gemma Doyle is part owner and proprietor of a themed bookshop as well as the attached tea shop run by her friend Jayne in West London, Massachusetts. In this outing, Jayne's mother has asked Gemma to spend the night in an old mansion operated by the local historical society. Apparently there are suspicions of there being a ghost, as things are disappearing or being moved around with no one seeing. Gemma agrees to stay and disprove the series, but there are things that happen when she, Jayne and Jayne's fiancé stay over and it all culminates in them finding a dead body. Now instead of just eliminating the ghost theory, Gemma is planning on finding the killer. As Gemma begins to investigate, she learns about the family that owned the mansion, how their family line died out, and the fact that the historical society is in financial trouble. There seem to be a lot of suspects, but when her best employee disappears, Gemma had two investigations on her hands.

Once again, Gemma and Jayne get themselves involved in a police investigation, which her boyfriend, Detective Ryan Ashburton is in charge of. She feeds him information she finds, but unfortunately, he does not reciprocate. That is not a problem with Gemma's amazing powers of observation and deduction. Gemma is not the easiest person to get to know, she is brusque, pushy and a bit obnoxious, but once you get to know her, she is a caring person. Even though the police don't consider Ashleigh being missing a crime or something to investigate, Gemma knows this is out of character and digs on her own, so we learn a lot about Ashleigh a character that has been in several stories. This is a twisty plot, and the murder has a lot of suspects and possible motives. How does the ghost fit in with the murder? Pippa, Gemma's sister that we met in a previous book, also arrives from London to visit? Pippa never takes a vacation, so why is she in West London? All comes together in a wonderful showdown and conclusion in this the 8th Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Kim Hicks and enjoyed her performance. She does a great job with the various accents and both male and female voices, and I especially enjoy the tone she uses for Gemma. I recommend this series to those who enjoy cozy mysteries, especially with smart female protagonists.
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*received for free from netgalley for honest review* Not a bad cozy mystery, always like finding new ones and this seems like a cute themed series!
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This is the first novel in the series that I have read and it was delightful. I am a fan of the cozy mystery genre, and this novel did not disappoint. The characters are enjoyable, the setting is quaint, and there was an actual mystery to solve. I will definitely be reading more from this series and author. Highly recommended for fans of cozy mysteries.
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Thank you Netgalley, Vicki Delany, and publishers for gifting me a copy of The Game is a Footnote Audiobook in return for my honest review.


Love me a good Cozy Mystery!  This one pulls out all the stops, strong female protagonist, check.  Animals that are secondary characters with their antics, check.  Murder, check.  A solid group of friends to help solve the case, check, bonus points for when the MC is dating the town cop!  Have I already put on hold the seven books that come before this one, check!

In the small town of West London, Mass best friends Gemma and Jayne have a new case on their hands.  Scarlet house has a ghost problem and the historical board brings Gemma in to see if she can figure out what is going on. While trying to uncover what is going on Gemma and Jayne stumble upon a dead body on the property and now instead of ghosts they suspect foul play.  Can they solve the mystery before they become one of the ghosts that haunt the historical house?

Cozy mysteries are the perfect book if you don't want to think too hard about the realistic aspects of a book, I mean come on a small town suddenly has a murder every month or two.  It's all part of the charm of the cozy, you get to see the comradery of friends and you get to try and guess who is the murderer!  If you like Cozies then this is a great book for you!
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When I requested this title, I did not realize that it book #8 in a series. I was confused just listening to the prologue. The narrator was easy to listen to and did an excellent job.

I will not be reviewing this book on any other platforms.
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When I first received this book I didn't realize it was the next in a series that I had read a while back.  I was so excited that Gemma gets to continue her adventures!   It did not disappoint.   I love the characters and the unique way they always solve the mysteries.   Great read.
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Originally posted on my blog Nonstop Reader.

The Game Is a Footnote is the 8th book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop cozy series by Vicki Delany. Released 10th Jan 2023 by Crooked Lane books, it's 315 pages and is available in hardback, ebook and audio formats. Paperback due out late 4th quarter 2023 from the same publisher. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

One of the things that a lot of pastiche bookshop/library cozies have in common is title dropping. This series is no exception but it's fine since that's a great way to find new authors to follow up and read. It does add verisimilitude for fictional librarians and bookshop owners to be able to recommend titles to their patrons. I just jot down notes whilst reading and go back at the end and sample the mentioned books. I've found a lot of new favorites that way. That's a little bonus. In addition, this series is a fun read in its own right, and the author is both prolific and more than competent with the technical nuts-n-bolts of writing. The story is engaging and entertaining.

The pacing is good and the story arc is clever and readable. The dialogue is well written for a cozy series, and I never found myself yanked out of my suspension of disbelief. It's full of appealingly eccentric small town characters and a puzzle to figure out alongside the amateur sleuth. This one can easily be read as a standalone. It's an undemanding read and full of 'cozy'. Suitable for all audiences, the language is clean and the violence isn't graphic or on-page.

The unabridged audiobook has a run time of 9 hours and 13 minutes and is capably narrated by series narrator Kim Hicks. She has a restful, classically trained voice with rounded vowels and careful modulation. She's easy to understand and does an unobtrusive job of the narration. Sound and production values are high throughout.

Four stars. For fans of cozy shopfront mysteries like authors Sue Minix. Paige Shelton, and Lynn Cahoon write.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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Typical cozy mystery. Not too much brainpower required to read. No profanity. Characters fairly well developed.
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I loved this novel, both the mystery and the recording. I was happy to visit Gemma, co-owner of the West London, Massachusetts, Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium and Jayne, her dear friend and business partner for Mrs. Hudson’s Tearoom. The mystery is fresh and complex with a fascinating setting and interesting twists. The narrator was easy to understand and adept at speaking for various male and female voices. Her “voices” for Gemma and Jane perfectly reflected their different personalities.

Jayne and her sweetheart, Andy, are beginning to plan their wedding for next year, and I am so looking forward to it!  Her mother, Leslie, is affiliated with the board of the local living history museum, Scarlet House. The board asked Gemma to stay overnight there, as recent events have led some to think it is haunted. Gemma, a very pragmatic sort, does not believe in ghosts, but spent a night there with Jayne and Andy to see what was really happening. Two of the volunteers, Dave and Craig, stayed in the barn with the animals.

That night there was a thunderstorm. They heard a scream, a noisy disturbance from the animals, and the pots and pans in the kitchen clattering loudly. Jayne called 911, but the police didn’t find anything causing the disturbance.

An emergency board meeting was called. Gemma thinks someone has been playing a practical joke. She suggests getting 24/7 security, which they can’t afford, and replacing all the locks when learning many people had borrowed keys over the years. She won’t waste her time on ghost hunting. A short time later, Gemma and Jane found Dave dead, possibly murdered, outside the barn. Ryan, the lead detective in West London’s police department and the man Gemma is in love with, is on the case and as always, hopes she will choose to not get involved in yet another of his cases.

Within a short time, Gemma went into the bookshop to find that Ashleigh, her shop assistant, left the front door unlocked and disappeared without a word or trace. That was totally out of character for her, and Gemma began to search for her. Then Gemma’s older sister Pippa arrived unannounced. She works for the British government in a very high-up, confidential position. Pippa had business in DC and decided to visit while on this side of the pond.

When I read the first book in the series, I wasn’t sure if I would like Gemma, and until I did, I very much appreciated her. (Yes, I really do like her now!) When meeting Pippa the first time on Gemma’s trip to England a couple years ago, I could understand Gemma better and see their frightful brilliance. Pippa’s visit, completely unexpected, showed a very different woman than we met in an earlier novel; I really have come to like her in this novel. I have always liked Gemma’s mostly absent partner and great uncle, Arthur.

This was an intriguing mystery that held my attention throughout. The twists and turns, the search for Ashleigh, Dave’s death, and some of Gemma’s unusual finds at Scarlet House were all-absorbing. I enjoyed learning the history of Scarlet House; it is the kind of museum I enjoy visiting. Most of the results were quite surprising; all were wrapped up completely by the conclusion. I highly recommend this and the other novels in the series to those who enjoy well-written cozy mysteries, Sherlock Holmes, and delightfully quirky characters.

From a thankful heart: I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher through NetGalley, and this is my honest review.
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When I first got this book I didn't realize it was half way through the series. I liked this but I think I would have liked it more if I had started the series. The characters were good and while I definitely want to read this series I'm not sure it will be on the top of my TBR-but it will be on there!
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While the story and plor were pretty good.  This book was slow going and took me awhile to get into the book.
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This was my first of the series (8 total) and found it a very enjoyable cozy. Narration was great and pace was steady. The characters were likeable and I loved the setting! I look forward to starting the series from the beginning.
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When I requested and then subsequently was granted the audio arc for this book, I didn't realize that it was 8th in a series of Sherlockian cozy mysteries. So in preparation for reading this book, I proceeded to read the entirety of the series before this one. I must say that I am enjoying this series a lot. I loved the concept of Sherlock book shop and tea room set in Cape Cod. The entire series is fun to read through and they just keep getting better. This installment is no different.

I loved the historical mystery portion to this as well as the potentially supernatural happenings. Everything comes to an exciting conclusion and it kept me intrigued from the get-go. I also enjoyed the subtle mention of the author's other series 'A Lighthouse Library Mystery.' It made me smile. This book doesn't feel like the end to this series and I have a feeling that the next installment will probably feature Jayne's wedding. I'm excited to pick up the next one whenever it comes out.

Thank you to Dreamscape Media and Netgalley for the audio-arc of this book!
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The Game is a Footnote is a fun and entertaining cozy mystery with a stellar performance from narrator Kim Hicks. 

Gemma and her best friend/business partner Jayne have been pulled into some rather unusual situations.  The Game is a Footnote has Gemma and Jayne checking out what could be considered ghostly activities at a local historic reenactment museum. The mysterious disappearance and reappearance of objects is only the beginning to what begins a series of mysteries that come to follow. Mystery, murder, and mayhem are all a foot. The ever observant Shema has decided that there is no paranormal activity in play, but yet a person who thinks themselves clever, until Gemma puts the clues together.

I enjoy Vicky Delaney’s take on Sherlock style mysteries. The Game is a Footnote is my first forte into this series however, it is not my first read with Miss Delaney. She has a very unique style of writing. It engages the reader in a way that makes them want to race through the story to figure out what happened, but yet savor each and every page. I loved the back-and-forth banter with Gemma and her sister. I hope we see more of that in future books. I love how Gemma is observant and picks up on things that most people don’t. She is a natural at what she does, even if she gets herself into some pent up situation.
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I really enjoyed this cozy mystery, and it wasn't one I figured out halfway through!  This is the eighth book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series.  I haven't read any of the previous books in the series, and had no problem jumping in and getting a feel for the characters.  Gemma Doyle, co-owner of the Sherlock Holmes bookshop along with her best friend, Jayne Wilson are called in to Scarlet House a local museum.  There seems to be some trouble afoot and some of the volunteers believe the house is haunted.  Gemma is a very practical woman, and doesn't believe that for a moment.  Gemma and Jayne spend the night at the house to debunk the ghost theory, but tragedy strikes when a volunteer is discovered deceased in the barn. 

I liked the pragmatic way Gemma investigates the case, and I enjoyed the appearance of her sister Pippa.  Gemma and Jayne have a great relationship and I love how they compliment each other's personalities. There were several possible suspects in the murder and I enjoyed this story very much!

I would recommend this story to anyone who wants a cozy mystery that can be solved by the reader in the first few chapters.  This was a great read.  I enjoyed the narrator of this book, as I received an advance copy of the audiobook in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Good series.
Gemma and Jayne owners of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Tea shop
are ask to help with ghosts in the Scarlett House.
Good narration.
Volunrarily reviewe.
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I really enjoyed this cozy mystery set in Massachusetts at the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop. This was book #8 in the series, and it was my first book from the series that I've read. I liked it enough to go back and listen to the earlier books in the series which is saying a lot. I love that the shop cat is named "Moriarty", and the references to Sherlock are sprinkled throughout. Really fun book and really good narration on the audio version. I want to thank the author, the publisher, and Netgalley for giving me an advance copy of this audiobook, in return for an honest review.
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Release Date: January 10, 2023


Gemma and Jayne are back to investigate…ghosts?! Not your average murder that they are usually solving so when the head of the West London Historical Society approaches the pair to solve other worldly activities at the historic Scarlett House, the pair agrees. Things quickly spiral and soon Jayne and Gemma add a murder to their investigation list. 

@vicki.delany where have you been all my life?! As a cape cod resident I am in love with West London and all its residents. I am highly recommending this series and am very excited to go back to book #1 (Elementary, she read) and start this series from the beginning! 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

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Gemma Doyle is one of my favorite sleuths and Vicki Delaney’s newest story does not disappoint at all. Gemma is an amazingly good at cracking out a who-done-it. Her friends make you just wish you could go and spend some time in West London on Cape Cod and visit the bookshop and tearoom. 

The mystery kept me guessing through the whole book, not only for who the murder was but also was that a ghost? But as an added bonus the there is a historical background piece that was fantastically done. 

Kim Hicks was a fantastic narrator choice and brought Gemma to life to the “readers” ear.  Thank you for allowing me to read this book and review it.
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