Author: Diane Stingley
Publisher: Alibi 2015
Genre: Cozy Mystery
In the start of a charmingly imaginative cozy series sure to delight fans of Carolyn Hart and Diane Mott Davidson, Diane Stingley introduces a blundering detective who believes herself to be the great-great-granddaughter of the legendary Sherlock Holmes.
After failing to launch her career as a Hollywood actress, Tammy Norman returns home to North Carolina, desperate for a regular paycheck and a new lease on life. So she accepts a position assisting Shirley Homes, an exceptionally odd personage who styles herself after her celebrated “ancestor”–right down to the ridiculous hat. Tammy isn’t sure how long she can go on indulging the delusional Shirley (who honestly believes Sherlock Holmes was a real person!), but with the prospect of unemployment looming, she decides to give it a shot.
Tammy’s impression of her eccentric boss does not improve when their first case involves midnight romps through strangers’ yards in pursuit of a phantom dog—that only their client can hear. But when the case takes a sudden and sinister turn, Tammy has to admit that Shirley Homes might actually be on to something. . . .
This was as fun and cozy as a Cozy Mystery can get. I can’t remember the last cozy I read that made me laugh and chuckle. Both the plot and the characters were creative, and they moved right along.
What was the most fun for me was the Shirley Homes and Sherlock Holmes connection. I should warn you, there is a little controversy on this score. Here’s where I stand on the issue: I’m with Shirley. Who says Sherlock Holmes didn’t really live? Some people may think its silly, but they just don’t understand. Sherlock is alive in many formats. (No offense, Shirley, but my favorite is Benedict Cumberbatch. Robert Downey, Jr. is good too.) I consider myself a serious Sherlock Holmes fan and I wasn’t put off. I don’t think you should be either.
I liked Tammy, the first-person narrator. She has a funny “I-tell-it-like-it-is” style of talking/writing that fit the story. She’s self-deprecating, but can point out the foibles in others as well. I do hope she’ll be in future books in the series. She’s working on being a good Watson.
In all the years I’ve been a tour host for TLC Book Tours, I don’t believe I’ve ever been the last stop on the tour. So, this book tour set a record. I’ve enjoyed following what everyone else thought about the book. If you’d like to check out other bloggers on the tour, you’ll find the schedule HERE.
Thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book and to TLC Book Tours for letting me be part of it all.