Wednesday, July 25, 2018

#Review - A Study in Treason by Leonard Goldberg #Mystery #Historical

Series: The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes Mysteries (#2) 
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Mystery & Detective / Historical

A continuation of USA TODAY bestselling author Leonard Goldberg's The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Treason is a new intriguing locked room mystery for Joanna and the Watsons to solve.

The following case has not previously been disclosed to the public due to the sensitive information on foreign affairs. All those involved were previously bound by the Official Secrets Act. With the passage of time and the onset of the Great War, these impediments have been removed and the story can now be safely told.

When an executed original of a secret treaty between England and France, known as the French Treaty, is stolen from the country estate of Lord Halifax, Scotland Yard asks Joanna, Dr. John Watson, Jr., and Dr. John Watson, Sr. to use their keen detective skills to participate in the hunt for the missing treaty. As the government becomes more restless to find the missing document and traditional investigative means fail to turn up the culprit, Joanna is forced to devise a clever plan to trap the thief and recover the missing treaty.

Told from the point of view of Dr. John Watson, Jr. in a style similar to the original Sherlock Holmes stories, A Study in Treason is based partly on facts in our world and partly on the facts left to us by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Full of excitement and intrigue, this mystery is sure to be enjoyed by fans of Sherlock Holmes as well as the works of Laurie R. King and Charles Finch.

A Study in Treason is the second installment in author Leonard Goldberg's The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes Mysteries. The year is 1914, protagonist Joanne Blalock, the daughter of Sherlock Holmes, is now married to John Watson, Jr. the son of Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes partner and chronicler. This time out, the trio is summoned by Sir Harold Whitlock, First Sea Lord in His Majesty's Navy to solve a case that has the utmost national security implications for England. A case that needs to be solved quickly, or thousands of lives may be lost.

“The most unifying explanation is most likely to be correct.”

As it so happens, a highly secret document called the French Treaty, has gone missing. Scotland Yard's Inspector Lestrade is on the case, but we all know that in this world, Scotland Yard tends to bungle things up worse than they already were. The document was last seen at the estate of Duke Winchester, so, this is where most of the story takes place. With the winds of war now blowing across Europe, and a secretive paper missing, and quite possibly in the wrong hands, it will take a whole lot of that old Sherlock Holmes ingenuity, and cunning to solve the case.

We now have three characters, not just Joanna, tossing things back and forth to see what they can come up with. Even with Dr. Watson's health issues, you can't keep a good man from doing what he believes in. Like her father, Joanna has a keen intellectual mind and is relentless in her pursuit of the villain or villains who may be involved in what will become a national security nightmare if the Treaty ends up in the wrong hands. Joanna loves to get in the faces of those like Lestrade, and a new character from Naval Intelligence, Leftenant Dunn.

While explaining away contradictions and impossibilities right and left, Joanna has the humility and good grace to accept that if an answer doesn’t make sense, it is likely because she doesn’t yet have all the facts. In this way, she stalwartly seeks out the facts and thereby appears to let the mystery solve itself. In this story, anyone could be the culpert, and then again, nobody could be the culpert. When a witness dies, and a prime suspect disappears, Joanna and company must not lose focus on the general scheme of things for fear of being accused of incompetence.

So, in closing, I have a few negatives to report. I will be a happy camper if I never see or hear the words Nevertheless and Persisted in a story again! Holy crap does the author over use these words. In a span of several chapters, it seems as though these two worlds are the only words he can think of for certain situations the characters find themselves in. Not such a negative. There is a symmetry in having the daughter of Sherlock Holmes, the son of Dr. Watson, the son of the original Inspector Lestrade, as well as the offspring of the original tracker dog Toby once again appear in Goldberg's story. 

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