The Game Is a Footnote by Vicki DelanyThe Game Is a Footnote by Vicki Delany
Series: Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #8
Published by Crooked Lane Books on January 10, 2023
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
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four-stars

Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are back on the case when a body is discovered in a haunted museum in bestselling author Vicki Delany's eighth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Scarlet House, now a historical re-enactment museum, is the oldest building in West London, Massachusetts. When things start moving around on their own, board members suggest that Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, might be able to get to the bottom of it. Gemma doesn’t believe in ghosts, but she agrees to ‘eliminate the impossible’. But when Gemma and Jayne stumble across a dead body on the property, they’re forced to consider an all too physical threat.

Gemma and Jayne suspect foul play as they start to uncover more secrets about the museum. With the museum being a revolving door for potential killers, they have plenty of options for who might be the actual culprit.

Despite Gemma's determination not to get further involved, it would appear that once again, and much to the displeasure of Detective Ryan Ashburton, the game is afoot.

Will Gemma and Jayne be able to solve the mystery behind the haunted museum, or will they be the next to haunt it?

I don’t know why it took me so long to read this series. I jumped in with this one #8 and felt like it stood on its own fine. I love the Sherlock Holmes bookstore and wouldn’t mind having scones next door at the tea shop.

Gemma has been asked to see if Scarlet House is haunted. Of course, it isn’t – probably – but something strange is definitely going on. When someone ends up dead on the premises, Gemma allows herself to be dragged into finding out what’s going on, to the dismay of the police. There are plenty of secrets at the museum and plenty of people going in and out all day.

Gemma is observant and smart. I liked her and adored the town and her shop. Her friends seem nice and willing to help out when needed. There was a side plot involving one of the employees that I found a little out of place, but did introduce us to some characters we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

There are plenty of surprises in this book as well as twists and turns – and more than a few coincidences. I guessed who the killer was, but didn’t know why until Gemma’s sister from England, our Mycroft character, shows up to provide some information.

About Vicki Delany

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing three cozy mystery series: the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series, for Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

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