The Sign of Four Spirits by Vicki DelanyThe Sign of Four Spirits by Vicki Delany
Narrator: Kim Hicks
Series: Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #9
Published by Dreamscape Media on January 9, 2024
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Length: 8 hrs 26 mins
Pages: 272
Format: Audiobook
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When a psychic fair arrives in West London, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, wants nothing to do with it. But somehow, at the urging of Donald Morris, an enthusiastic Sherlockian, she finds herself talked into attending a séance, along with baker and best friend Jayne Wilson, store assistant, Ashleigh, and former pop star Bunny Leigh.

But to her surprise, Gemma finds herself banned from the séance and shown the door. Curious, she listens in from outside the room. The medium informs a disappointed Donald that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will not be able to make it tonight. Then, Gemma hears a voice cut off, a cry for help, a scream. Gemma bursts into the library to see that someone has collapsed on the table--dead. The windows are all locked, and Gemma was guarding the only door. Someone in this room is a murderer. But who?

The game is once again afoot for Gemma Doyle, as she hunts a killer. But, this time, is the killer of flesh and blood or had the medium summoned doom from beyond the veil?

This is the 9th book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series. I have read a few of the books, but not all, and I don’t think it hindered my enjoyment of this one. This time around a psychic fair comes to town which brings in more customers than Gemma could have predicted – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was an outspoken proponent of Spiritualism after all. Gemma, against her better judgment, agrees to join her friends at a séance held by Madame Levalier. During the séance, there is a commotion in the library, the lights go out and when they are turned on, Madame Levalier is dead, stabbed in the neck with a hat pin. Obviously, someone in the room is a killer, and Gemma is anxious to discover who.

I like Gemma. She’s like most cozy sleuths – owns a bookstore, has two dogs, has a detective boyfriend, and lives in a cute small town. She’s very observant but can be a little brusque. And of course, I love her Holmes-inspired bookstore. The series regulars are a good bunch, a few more quirky than others, and their conversations and interactions feel real. The setting is beautiful, a place I’d love to visit.

The mystery is put together well. We’ve got several suspects, a few secrets, and a couple of red herrings. Gemma sifts through what she’s seen and heard to get to the solution. The whodunnit is not surprising, but I don’t need twists in every story I read.

I have another from this series waiting on the shelf for me to read. I’m looking forward to it.

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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