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Monday, July 10, 2017

Remember, Remember by Anna Elliott

Remember, Remember: A Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery by Anna Elliott with Charles Veley

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Paperback: 343 pages
Publisher: Wilton Press/ Anna Elliott
Release date: April 2, 2017

Series:  Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery, # 3

Source: For review

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

"The game's afoot in this fast-paced Victorian mystery!

A lovely young American actress has a major problem.

It's a cold morning in 1897 when she awakens outside the British Museum, lying face down on the concrete pavement . She has no memories. She does not even know who she is, although she has a vague recollection of the name Sherlock Holmes. She thinks she may have just killed someone, and she knows someone wants to kill her. As she searches for clues to her true identity, she will learn that she is not the only target. Unless she can defeat her evil adversaries, the people most dear to her will die."

In this Sherlock Holmes continuation, a young woman is found by a young police constable on the steps of the British Museum after having been assaulted. Her memory is lost, and though she tries to jog her memory, she ends up running into someone who tried to abduct her. The only one who believes her is the policeman, John Kelly, who takes her to his home to his young sister. While there, a mysterious man tries to gain entrance and both girls are forced to flee, this time running back to the British Museum where our heroine's memory is jogged enough to finally rediscover her identity, Lucy James. Lucy, remembering her ordeal, immediately runs to Baker Street to deposit the young girl, Becky, for safekeeping while warning Dr. Watson of a plan she had learned of just before she was knocked out. Lucy makes her way to the docks where she is once again trapped by Mr. Ferrars who tried to abduct her earlier. Luckily, Holmes and Kelly arrive on the scene to help. Holmes and his crew are on the tail end of an investigation into a German spy ring of the Kaiser's trying to subvert or attack the British government. Lucy, Holmes's erstwhile daughter, is an actress and talented intellectual much like her famous father. But when Kelly is accused of murder, Lucy and Holmes must try to save him from hanging as well as avoid the spies within the Metropolitan police and keep an eye out for danger from the criminals they're pursuing, Mr. Ferrars and the fake doctor.

Despite beginning with amnesia, the plot keeps the reader engaged until the mystery reveals itself. Lucy is a likeable heroine though we don't learn much of her actual background except that she is American, went to boarding schools, is a talent actress/singer, and can defend herself. My favorite part about Lucy was when she pretended to be taken in with the plot for Mr. Ferrars to be her husband and then confronts him as soon as he tries to manhandle her into his carriage. After being scared she was going to be naive and go along with some stranger, I was happy cheering her on to be plucky and determined to avoid getting in the man's carriage. It show her difference of being a more independent, strong feminist young woman who is unafraid to take care of herself even in very uncomfortable situations. This fact alone sets it apart from most Regency historicals or other Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Women are generally damsels in distress, but not Lucy! Even when she must depend on John Kelly's kindness, she still shows herself capable of obtaining things she needs and standing up for herself.

Another gem of this book is the dialogue of Holmes, who really does sound like himself, or at least, the version of Holmes that I picture as Benedict Cumberbatch. Also the revelation of Holmes having a daughter and the both of them having to negotiate a relationship when neither are very used to having family, much less sharing feelings, is another interesting bit. It's all very formal and framed with utmost care to be without emotion, stated as facts. I find this quite believable for Sherlock Holmes. There isn't much detail to the book, which might've dragged it down if included, but the lack of detail, except when narrated by the characters to further the mystery, fits the quick plot and resolution. There's a bit of romance, done as lightly as possible in this era, but still keeps the reader interested and doesn't overwhelm the other aspects of the novel. I really enjoyed reading it as it was easy to jump into, fast-paced, and not gory (as mysteries can frequently be) while also being light and fairly true to continuing a possible future of Holmes and Watson. I'd read more and I'm definitely interested in reading more from Anna Elliott.

Please note that while this is the third book in the series, it is the first written by Anna Elliott and is the first to center on Lucy James as books one and two, The Last Moriarty and The Wilhelm Conspiracy, deal with Sherlock Holmes. The fourth, The Crown Jewel Mystery is also Lucy James and was just recently released on Kindle only.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Kara is a teen librarian living in the southeastern US with her husband (who listens to books), young daughter (who sleeps with books), and dog (who tastes the books). She loves all sorts of books, but mostly YA, and will never catch up to all of the wonderful things to read.

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