When a bomb goes off at 221B Baker Street, Evelina Cooper is thrown into her Uncle Sherlock’s world of mystery and murder. But just when she thought it was safe to return to the ballroom, old, new, and even dead enemies are clamoring for a place on her dance card.
Before Evelina’s even unpacked her gowns for a country house party, an indiscretion puts her in the power of the ruthless Gold King, who recruits her as his spy. He knows her disreputable past and exiles her to the rank alleyways of Whitechapel with orders to unmask his foe.
As danger mounts, Evelina struggles between hiding her illegal magic and succumbing to the darker aspects of her power. One path keeps her secure; the other keeps her alive. For rebellion is brewing, a sorcerer wants her soul, and no one can protect her in the hunting ground of Jack the Ripper.
Worldbuilding:1880’s London meets paranormal, steampunk and a lot of awesome in the second novel of The Baskerville Affair.
Characters: A Study in Darkness brings back all the awesome characters of A Study in Silks, including my favorite – Sherlock, though just as with the first novel, he’s more like a flavor and not the main course. Evelina, Imogen, Tobias, Nick and others have evolved from the first novel. While some of them are still searching for their path in life, others have made choices and are now living with the consequences. Though I’ve had a falling out of love with some of them (Tobias, for instance), I thought they showed interesting development as characters and I enjoyed them all.
Favorite Character: Evelina & Sherlock (obvious reasons) xD
Plot: Engaging story with multiple threads that involve each of the characters we follow. As always, loved the mystery vein and the active but not rabid pace of action.
Writing: Third person narrative, multiple POVs. I love the classic style of writing, the well crafted feel of the read.
Curb Appeal: Awesome cover, hooking blurb. Instant buy material.
All in all, I loved reading A Study in Darkness and I want to keep reading this series. I’m afraid though I’m in a less receptive state of mind this time of year, so complex and study plots like these novels come with are less likely to keep me as hooked as easy and fast reads. Ironic as it may be, I found myself needing breaks between reading sessions and though it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the novel, I can’t say I experienced that element of enthusiasm that comes with reading a book in one go (which I usually do).
This was somewhere between a 4.4 and a 4.5 read for me, so in the end I went with the 4 butterflies since I didn’t feel the full 5. However, the novel has all the glory of the first one in the series and if you’ve read and enjoyed that one you will also love the second, and it surely doesn’t suffer from the ‘second novel in the series syndrome’ as far as I’m concerned.
If you’re into mysteries, classic good writing, well developed plots and well developed characters, you should totally read The Baskerville Affair series.