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The Hollow of Fear

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Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, returns in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of A Conspiracy in Belgravia and A Study in Scarlet Women, an NPR Best Book of 2016. Under the cover of “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, returns in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of A Conspiracy in Belgravia and A Study in Scarlet Women, an NPR Best Book of 2016. Under the cover of “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte draws those in need to her and makes it her business to know what other people don’t. Moriarty’s shadow looms large. First, Charlotte’s half brother disappears. Then, Lady Ingram, the estranged wife of Charlotte’s close friend Lord Ingram, turns up dead on his estate. And all signs point to Lord Ingram as the murderer. With Scotland Yard closing in, Charlotte goes under disguise to seek out the truth. But uncovering the truth could mean getting too close to Lord Ingram—and a number of malevolent forces…

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Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, returns in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of A Conspiracy in Belgravia and A Study in Scarlet Women, an NPR Best Book of 2016. Under the cover of “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, returns in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of A Conspiracy in Belgravia and A Study in Scarlet Women, an NPR Best Book of 2016. Under the cover of “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte draws those in need to her and makes it her business to know what other people don’t. Moriarty’s shadow looms large. First, Charlotte’s half brother disappears. Then, Lady Ingram, the estranged wife of Charlotte’s close friend Lord Ingram, turns up dead on his estate. And all signs point to Lord Ingram as the murderer. With Scotland Yard closing in, Charlotte goes under disguise to seek out the truth. But uncovering the truth could mean getting too close to Lord Ingram—and a number of malevolent forces…

30 review for The Hollow of Fear

  1. 5 out of 5

    Navessa

    I would literally give my first born up for an early copy of this book. I don't even like kids that much anyway.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Holly B

    This is the third in The Lady Sherlock series. We don't have a Sherlock Holmes, but we have Charlotte Holmes - the female sleuth who heads up the investigations. She also has a female sidekick, Mrs. Watson. The gender switch from Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson worked well and made this one even more fun. Go girls! I'm sure that I should have started with the first in the series because I missed out on some of the background on many of the characters. It also opens with a scene from book two that This is the third in The Lady Sherlock series. We don't have a Sherlock Holmes, but we have Charlotte Holmes - the female sleuth who heads up the investigations. She also has a female sidekick, Mrs. Watson. The gender switch from Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson worked well and made this one even more fun. Go girls! I'm sure that I should have started with the first in the series because I missed out on some of the background on many of the characters. It also opens with a scene from book two that I would have liked to been "in on". I was able to catch on to the mystery and add up the clues. The setting was atmospheric with a Victorian flair that I really enjoyed. It was like peeking in on the country estate of Lord Ingram and listening in on their conversations as the mystery unfolds. A body is found in the ice cellar and the "gossip ladies" start spreading their tales. I just loved the chemistry between the characters and there is even a bit of steamy romance that sneaks in. I would definitely recommend reading these in order so you don't miss the background stories. Thanks Berkley for my Arc to read/review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    This was an atmospheric captivating story that made me want to say, “Elementary my dear Mrs. Watson.” This is the third installment in the Lady Sherlock series... admittedly I was a little confused in the beginning, having not read the first two books in this Series... because from what I understand this book pics up where the previous book ends... eventually I got into the swing of it and was completely captivated, however I really would have appreciated it more had i more of the backstory.... I This was an atmospheric captivating story that made me want to say, “Elementary my dear Mrs. Watson.” This is the third installment in the Lady Sherlock series... admittedly I was a little confused in the beginning, having not read the first two books in this Series... because from what I understand this book pics up where the previous book ends... eventually I got into the swing of it and was completely captivated, however I really would have appreciated it more had i more of the backstory.... I am such a character girl and Charlotte both baffled and intrigued me, I know I would have loved to get to know her better.... SO, I would strongly encourage you not to do what I did and start this book from the beginning! This book had a little bit of everything murder, romance, secrets, family drama.... all set against the backdrop of Victorian England.... The tone and the language in the story really brought this period in history to life.... The book opens with Charlotte finding her illegitimate half brother, and there is a connection to Moriarty... The boy has something Moriarty Wants... The book goes forward from there... with the murder of Lady Ingram The wife of charlotte’s love interest.... Lord Ingram, of course is the primary suspect, so Charlotte takes it upon herself to solve the case... with Mrs. Watson by her side and in disguise as the brother of Sherlock Holmes Charlotte was an extraordinary and exceptional and maybe a little unconventional detective! I have to say my absolute favorite parts of this book were the interactions between Charlotte and Mrs. Watson, I also loved Charlotte in disguise, that was fabulous! An engaging read that I’m sure any fan of this series will love... i’m hoping to read the first two books in the series before the next one comes out... and I’m pretty certain there will be a next one because it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger just called me Sherlock, or should I say just call me Charlotte!🔍 *** A big thank you to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    How fun to review an atmospheric mystery for Halloween! 👻 🎃 🕷 🎃 I love the idea behind this series! Female companions Holmes and Watson during the Victorian era- how fun! This is the third installment in the Lady Sherlock series, and while I feel this can be read as a stand-alone, I think my experience would have been richer if I had known more of the backstories of Holmes and Watson, as well as the connections between installments. That said, Thomas includes some backstory as well. Just as Sherl How fun to review an atmospheric mystery for Halloween! 👻 🎃 🕷 🎃 I love the idea behind this series! Female companions Holmes and Watson during the Victorian era- how fun! This is the third installment in the Lady Sherlock series, and while I feel this can be read as a stand-alone, I think my experience would have been richer if I had known more of the backstories of Holmes and Watson, as well as the connections between installments. That said, Thomas includes some backstory as well. Just as Sherlock did, Charlotte Holmes attracts to her those who need help. A couple big events happen. The first is Charlotte’s brother is missing. Shortly thereafter, Lady Ingram, married to Charlotte’s friend, Lord Ingram, is murdered…and it appears Lord Ingram is to blame. Charlotte goes undercover to find out what happened. Will she be successful? Charlotte is at once awkward and off-putting, but endearing at the same time. She is also highly intelligent and masterful in her analysis. I was especially impressed that she is able to live as an independent woman during Victorian times, which was no small feat. Sherry Thomas writes in a classic style that fits with both the time period and the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories we all know and love. Overall, The Hollow of Fear is a strong effort filled with a colorful cast of characters, mystery, intrigue, and ultimately, charm. I am ready to read the first two installments now to spend more time with Charlotte! Thanks to Berkley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com

  5. 5 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this a straight A at AAR. It seems that my reaction, whenever I finish one of Sherry Thomas’ Lady Sherlock books, is forever destined to be one of complete awe as I sit stunned, with my brain trying to catch up while I’m also trying to scrape my jaw up off the floor. I’m not sure I’m capable of forming whole sentences just yet, because DAY-UM, but the woman has a devious mind! The Hollow of Fear is the third in the series, and it opens exactly where book two – A Conspiracy in Belgravi I've given this a straight A at AAR. It seems that my reaction, whenever I finish one of Sherry Thomas’ Lady Sherlock books, is forever destined to be one of complete awe as I sit stunned, with my brain trying to catch up while I’m also trying to scrape my jaw up off the floor. I’m not sure I’m capable of forming whole sentences just yet, because DAY-UM, but the woman has a devious mind! The Hollow of Fear is the third in the series, and it opens exactly where book two – A Conspiracy in Belgravia – left off. So be aware that what I’m going to say next is a spoiler for that book, and that there are most likely to be spoilers for the other books in this review. Readers should also know that while there is information dotted throughout that supplies some of the backstory, I’d strongly recommend reading all the books in order so as to gain a greater understanding of all the relevant events. The plotline of Conspiracy concerned the search for one Myron Finch, who is Charlotte Holmes’ illegitimate half-brother. In a surprise twist tight at the end of the book, we learned that Finch has actually been hiding in plain sight all this time, working as the Holmes family’s coachman, and this conversation continues at the beginning of Hollow. Finch explains that he’s in hiding from Moriarty because he – Finch – has something belonging to his former master and knows that death will be his punishment should Moriarty ever find him. After a daring escape – made with the aid of Stephen Marbleton (whose mother was married to Moriarty at one time) – Charlotte is making her way back to the house she shares with Mrs. Watson when a carriage draws up beside her, the door opens – and the gentleman inside gives his name as Moriarty. Skipping ahead a few months, we find Charlotte and Mrs. Watson comfortably settled in a cottage situated not very far from Stern Hollow, the country estate of Charlotte’s closest friend, Lord Ingram Ashburton.  The two have known each other since they were in their teens and it’s been very clear from the moment readers were introduced to Lord Ingram – Ash – that there’s more lying between him and Charlotte than friendship.  But he is married (albeit very unhappily) and Charlotte is… an unusual woman, to say the least, one who does not “understand the full spectrum of human emotions”, or rather, whose own reactions to those emotions are not always those that are desired or easily understood by others.  Lord Ingram and Charlotte know and understand each other on a deep, instinctual level, and their relationship is both beautiful and frustrating; the complementary way their minds work is wonderful to see – when it comes to logic and investigation, their thoughts mesh seamlessly – but their emotional connection is far more complex and Lord Ingram, fully aware of the nature of his feelings for Charlotte, is just as fully aware that they may never be returned as he would wish. However, the reason Charlotte and Mrs. Watson are sojourning near Stern Hollow is not Lord Ingram, but Charlotte’s sister, Olivia, who is staying close by, at a house party being hosted by their father’s cousin, Mrs. Newell.  Given that Charlotte was disowned after her disgrace ( A Study in Scarlet Women ), she cannot openly contact Livia and hopes she will be able to see her while she is in the vicinity.  It looks as though fate is against them when Mrs. Newell’s home is flooded and it seems the party must be broken up, but Lord Ingram steps in to offer the hospitality of Stern Hollow to the displaced guests.  Livia’s enjoyment of her new surroundings is slightly marred by the presence of  two of society’s pre-eminent gossips, who have alleged that Charlotte and Lord Ingram are lovers and are trying to prove it.  Lady Ingram’s continued absence – the story is that she has gone abroad for the sake of her health; the truth is that she was divulging state secrets to Moriarty, and was allowed to leave the country before she could be arrested – produces even more juicy speculation on the part of the two ladies, who are now putting forth the rumours that Lord Ingram may have done away with the wife from whom he was known to be estranged in order to marry Charlotte.  When, a day or so later, Lady Ingram’s dead body is discovered in the ice house, Livia knows it will look as though those rumours are true – and that there’s only one person who will be able to prove Lord Ingram’s innocence. Gah!  There’s so much more I could say about this book, but I don’t want to give too much away.  The bulk of the story is devoted to the investigation into Lady Ingram’s death – but it’s far more complicated than that, and we’re gripped by the various twists, turns and discoveries as Sherlock’s ‘brother’ – Sherrinford Holmes – helps Lord Ingram to ferret out and piece together the evidence needed to exonerate him. There’s no question the stakes are high; this is the first time we’ve seen Charlotte even the slightest bit rattled, and the pervasive sense of fear running throughout the story is palpable.  For three-quarters of the novel, Ms. Thomas lulls readers into the belief that this is the story – only to rip out the carpet from under our feet and show it’s been about something else all along, revealing that while Ash’s life really IS on the line, he and Charlotte are facing a very dangerous, devious foe and they’re out to do much more than bring a murderer to justice.  That’s not the only twist in the tale however – a couple of chapters later I was reeling from yet another unexpected reveal that had my husband wondering what on earth I was swearing aloud about! One of the (many) things that marks the  Lady Sherlock  series out as superior to so many other historical mysteries is the incredible amount of character development going on.  More layers of Charlotte’s complex personality are peeled back here, and we learn a lot more about Lord Ingram and his unpopular wife; but most importantly, with Ash and Charlotte together for almost the entire book we get to see the reality of their messy, complicated relationship and to gain a deeper understanding of why things between them are the way they are.  Their scenes together are electric, the sexual tension so thick it could be cut with a knife; the author wasn’t kidding when she said – “this is the one in which the romance between Charlotte Holmes and her good friend Lord Ingram really picks up steam”, so it’s not a spoiler to say that there are some interesting developments between them, but there is still much to hope for in future instalments. Even with the high-stakes plot and the character and relationship development, there’s still time to shine a light on Charlotte’s family situation; on her plans for Bernadine, the older sister whose mind has never progressed beyond early childhood and on Livia, prone to melancholy and fearful for the future, but fiercely devoted to Charlotte – and, it seems, in love for the first time.  Inspector Treadles, who has been struggling ever since discovering Sherlock Holmes’ true identity, his judgement strongly coloured by his – probably typical for the time – misogynistic views as to what a woman should and shouldn’t be, proves a trustworthy ally, and by the end of the book – thanks to Charlotte – he’s realised the need to let go of this preconceived ideas. The story is very cleverly constructed, making excellent use of flashbacks in the latter part to complete the bigger picture and fill in some of the information the reader almost doesn’t realise has been withheld. That’s not to say that I felt cheated at any point – I didn’t.  But I was able to figure out some things and not others, meaning that there were still plenty of surprises in store, and I loved that. The Hollow of Fear is yet another tour de force from Sherry Thomas – and long may she continue to deliver them. A mystery filled with as many twists and turns as any Conan Doyle fan could wish for, a fascinating character study, and an unusual romance, it’s easily the best book of the series (so far) and my only complaint is that I have to wait until next year for another helping.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Women in Victorian literature were often depicted as a frail creature whose only goal in life was to wed an acceptable man and retire to a life of parties, balls, dinner and teas. Our heroine Charlotte does not reflect that image. We first meet Charlotte as she deduces that the coachman is actually her half brother Myron in disguise. Her ability to see through the disguise is prodigious but well within her abilities. After all, she is Sherlock Holmes, the most brilliant detective of the times. Fro Women in Victorian literature were often depicted as a frail creature whose only goal in life was to wed an acceptable man and retire to a life of parties, balls, dinner and teas. Our heroine Charlotte does not reflect that image. We first meet Charlotte as she deduces that the coachman is actually her half brother Myron in disguise. Her ability to see through the disguise is prodigious but well within her abilities. After all, she is Sherlock Holmes, the most brilliant detective of the times. From the first meeting, we step into the life of Charlotte Holmes, consulting detective. As the story unfolds Charlotte must assist Myron as he attempts to erode the arch criminal Moriarity, live within the society norms that have made her an outcast, and prove her love, Lord Ashburton Ingram innocent of the murder of his life. Charlotte is brillant but is that enough to unravel these complex situations and issues? In a well structured and reasoned plot she faces these issues and it is a must read to find out. This is a complex mystery well worth the readers attention. You will come to appreciate Charlotte and respect her abilities. Clearly, Sherry Thomas, author of The Hollow of Fear, knows and understands the character she has created. I am sure there will be more adventures and I look forward to reading and enjoying them. I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley. #Netgalley #TheHollowofFear

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mackenzie - PhDiva Books

    I am so excited to finally get to share my review of Hollow of Fear. I read this book with the book besties and we thought this would be the perfect day to celebrate such a fun mystery! This one is not chills, but it has tons of thrills—so don’t fear if you are someone who doesn’t like things that are too scary. This is the type of murder mystery that is perfect for some cozy-in-bed October reading. I absolutely loved this book! About the Book Under the cover of "Sherlock Holmes, consulting detect I am so excited to finally get to share my review of Hollow of Fear. I read this book with the book besties and we thought this would be the perfect day to celebrate such a fun mystery! This one is not chills, but it has tons of thrills—so don’t fear if you are someone who doesn’t like things that are too scary. This is the type of murder mystery that is perfect for some cozy-in-bed October reading. I absolutely loved this book! About the Book Under the cover of "Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective," Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte draws those in need to her and makes it her business to know what other people don't. Moriarty's shadow looms large. First, Charlotte's half brother disappears. Then, Lady Ingram, the estranged wife of Charlotte's close friend Lord Ingram, turns up dead on his estate. And all signs point to Lord Ingram as the murderer. With Scotland Yard closing in, Charlotte goes under disguise to seek out the truth. But uncovering the truth could mean getting too close to Lord Ingram--and a number of malevolent forces... Reflection It is impossible to read this book and not feel delighted and in awe. Charlotte Holmes is a truly outstanding lead character, made all the more so because she isn’t the narrator, and we see her working only through the eyes of others. When we hit the conclusion to the mystery, all of her cryptic behavior and powers of deduction come to fruition and the path she leads us on to the solution is awe-inducing. To say I’m a fan of this series is a MASSIVE understatement. I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and always have been. When I was in high school and college, The Hound of the Baskervilles was my go-to book if I was home sick. I’ve always enjoyed the mental gymnastics of deductive thinking and forensic science that is Homes’ signature sleuthing style. To my absolute delight, Charlotte Holmes is every bit as intelligent and sharp-witted, and she has some alluring feminine wiles to go with it! The writing of this book is very authentic to the style of the original Sherlock Holmes books. I think readers will be delighted to find themselves immersed in Holmes’ mystery, and you may even forget that Holmes wasn’t a woman all along! As for the mystery—well it has just enough salaciousness to feed the townsfolk. Lord Ingram is a sympathetic character. Trapped by his own selfishness in youth, and trying to follow through with his commitments. Only to then find himself the center of a murder investigation by a woman who is frankly deplorable. Then we have the disgraced Charlotte Holmes, who describes her own fall from grace with the intelligence and humility we’d expect from Lady Sherlock. She is a saucy character with the brain of a genius. In fact, I want to end my review with this quote (which I loved): “The woman was a holy terror: the sweetest face, the pillowiest bosom, and a perspicacity that stripped a man naked in seconds.”

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hollis

    Different gradients of incredulity flickered across his face, as he no doubt tried to decide whether she truly was comparing her lack of appetite to an instance of impotence. Hands down, no question, my favourite of the series. Once again proving why (sometimes) my stubbornness to push on with something I'm not loving can actually pay off. "The Good Lord ought to consider making non-cranky geniuses, for a change." "I don't mind -- at least he is a genius. Plenty of men are cranky without the least Different gradients of incredulity flickered across his face, as he no doubt tried to decide whether she truly was comparing her lack of appetite to an instance of impotence. Hands down, no question, my favourite of the series. Once again proving why (sometimes) my stubbornness to push on with something I'm not loving can actually pay off. "The Good Lord ought to consider making non-cranky geniuses, for a change." "I don't mind -- at least he is a genius. Plenty of men are cranky without the least bit of brilliance for excuse." I think this was the twistiest of Thomas' stories, too. I can't (won't) reveal much but there were some very very satisfying parts in THE HOLLOW OF FEAR. I am a bit miffed about how those same parts resolved in the end but.. yeah, miffed. However the story, the plot, the weaving of clues and misdirection, and everything, was so damn perfect. I wasn't bored a single moment of this one, unlike the ones before, and I can't wait for more from the Lady Sherlock series. 4.5 "the woman was a holy terror : the sweetest face, the pillowiest bosom, and a perspicacity that stripped a man naked in seconds" stars ** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

  9. 5 out of 5

    K.J. Charles

    Vastly enjoyable third installment in this excellent series. Detective novel with real heart, Holmes pastiche with real originality and difference. The romance between Charlotte and Lord Ingram finally comes to a boil here as he is accused of his wife's murder, and a lot of the threads carefully laid in the first two books flinally weave into the pattern. (I would strongly recommend reading all three back to back, in order to get the most impact.) The mystery element is very cleverly constructed Vastly enjoyable third installment in this excellent series. Detective novel with real heart, Holmes pastiche with real originality and difference. The romance between Charlotte and Lord Ingram finally comes to a boil here as he is accused of his wife's murder, and a lot of the threads carefully laid in the first two books flinally weave into the pattern. (I would strongly recommend reading all three back to back, in order to get the most impact.) The mystery element is very cleverly constructed, and the social elements (particularly the simmering rage about women's treatment in society) are front and centre but Thomas never lets either detract from the human story. Terrific stuff, loved it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    The Lady Sherlock series has become a favorite one for me since I read book two, A CONSPIRACY IN BELGRAVIA last year. Since then have I devoured the first book A STUDY IN SCARLET WOMEN and now the latest in the series, THE HOLLOW OF FEAR. It may be prudent to start with the first book to get the backstory of the characters and events, as well as because this book is connected to the story in A CONSPIRACY IN BELGRAVIA. READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Blackjack

    Another phenomenal addition to Thomas’s Lady Sherlock series. I did not want this book to end. Though in all honestly, I may have enjoyed the sprawling mystery in A Conspiracy in Belgravia just slightly better, The Hollow of Fear is nonetheless tightly constructed and complex enough that the big revelations when they come are shocking, somewhat sad, and well worth the wait. The last thirty pages has some truly surprising disclosures. Part of me wants to go back now to the first two immediately f Another phenomenal addition to Thomas’s Lady Sherlock series. I did not want this book to end. Though in all honestly, I may have enjoyed the sprawling mystery in A Conspiracy in Belgravia just slightly better, The Hollow of Fear is nonetheless tightly constructed and complex enough that the big revelations when they come are shocking, somewhat sad, and well worth the wait. The last thirty pages has some truly surprising disclosures. Part of me wants to go back now to the first two immediately for the clues that must be there to explain where we’re at by the end of this book. Not only has this addition to the series done a great job all on its own, but kudos to Thomas for bringing the entire series together so cleverly. I knew in advance that this book would put the romance between Charlotte and Ingram front and center, but still, I was surprised by how much the romance is developed and how brutally honest both characters are with each other about their feelings and expectations. The romance is not resolved by the end and their relationship is left on a bit of a cliffhanger, but I have no doubt that the best is yet to come. Many times, this book feels like an Agatha Christie murder mystery. The vast majority of the novel takes place at Lord Ingram’s lovely estate during a house party where Lady Ingram’s body is discovered frozen in the ice house. As evidence mounts and points increasingly to Lord Ingram as the culprit, all eyes turn to “Sherrinford” Holmes, Sherlock’s portly younger brother, to solve the case. I do so hope that Sherrinford reemerges in future books, as he is a hilarious addition to the cast. Of course, only a few select people know that Charlotte is actually Sherrinford under guise, and so much of the fun of this new character is watching how well Charlotte can perform the role of a man, and a congenial and even coarse talking one at that. Gender performativity is quite significant in this book, and in the entire series. Up until now, Charlotte’s hyper feminine appearance allows her to look like the conventional Victorian woman. Those who know her best though know that underneath the frilly clothing, bountiful breasts, and curly blond hair, is a woman disconnected from femininity or even beliefs in binary gender. I don’t believe that Sherry Thomas is insinuating that Charlotte is transgender either though for Charlotte is just as disinclined to identify as a man. She performs gender because she is forced to be compliant with social norms, but also because performance is the essence of Charlotte. Social rules are more mysterious to her than her most challenging cases as Sherlock Holmes. But she knows how to adjust and fake it in every way. I find this concept, as it is represented in this series, best understood through Ingram’s eyes. Charlotte is always somewhat unknowable. It is telling that Ingram thinks of her primarily as “Holmes,” and as frustrating as Charlotte is to him, he knows that his rule-abiding behavior and acceptance of social conventions, creates enormous obstacles for a comfortable relationship with Charlotte. It is likely that she might always be a bit out of his reach. I have faith in Sherry Thomas though that she will be able to pull off a world where Charlotte/Sherlock/Sherrinford and Ingram can construct a happy ending, eventually. I don’t know how she’ll get us there, but I feel strongly she will. Incidentally, I love too in this book that Stephen Marbleton is a quite convincing cross-dresser. Suffice to say that Charlotte, Myron, and Stephen’s cross dressing alike threw even the most devious of villains off their game. I love the complications of characters like Charlotte who test everyone’s understanding of what it means to be a woman or “womanly,” or even what it means to be neurotypical. One of the underlying assumptions is that Charlotte is on the autism spectrum. That may or may not be true, and I think Thomas points to a problem with how we imagine “normal” when it intersects with gender. Charlotte does not want what most women, claim to want, or are told to want. Therefore, we see Charlotte through the eyes of frustrated people who cannot understand her. Is autism a metaphor for “unnatural” women in this series? I don’t know yet, but I have never felt as fascinated by Charlotte than I have from reading this third book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    My most favorite Holmes book to date! Full review to come. *EDITED TO ADD REVIEW* I know I've said this before but it bares saying again, this series is truly outstanding. So well written, engaging and completely addicting. With a heroine unlike any 19th century heroine I've meet, not to mention a whole cast of characters that are every bit as irresistible as the main character. Truly a series I adore reading and am on the edge of my seat waiting for the next book, they can never get here soon eno My most favorite Holmes book to date! Full review to come. *EDITED TO ADD REVIEW* I know I've said this before but it bares saying again, this series is truly outstanding. So well written, engaging and completely addicting. With a heroine unlike any 19th century heroine I've meet, not to mention a whole cast of characters that are every bit as irresistible as the main character. Truly a series I adore reading and am on the edge of my seat waiting for the next book, they can never get here soon enough. I would love to say I relish them and take them slow but I can't help myself and more often than not, devour them in a single sitting. I just can't get enough and The Hollow of Fear has to be my absolutely favorite to date. To the slow burn romance and sexual tension, to the riveting mysteries, it truly stands out not only in the sub-genre it's in, but the genre as a whole. Charlotte as a character should be unlikable with her aloofness and almost cold like appearance and actions and yet, she isn't. In fact, she is down right lovable when it comes to her feisty-ness and her unwillingness to let men rule the world. She skirts modern society and laughs in the faces of those that tell her a women isn't able to do something. She is fierce and strong and you can't help but feel for her, her station in life and her pure guts and determination to make it on her own without a man's help or guidance. In short, I adore her and after reading this, I adore Ash every more. *swoon* This truly went above and beyond my expectations for the series, as a mystery, as a romance, as a whole. I truly am on edge for more. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    Charlotte Holmes is back, as unintentionally funny and brilliant as ever, along with Olivia and Mrs. Watson. This time, Lord Ingram comes under suspicion of murder when Lady Ingram’s body is found on the grounds of his estate. And Charlotte grows concerned about her sisters’ safety as Moriarty’s search for the Holmes sisters’ half-brother picks up. The story moved along at a good clip, with the tension growing along with each sweet treat Charlotte did not eat while figuring her way through a case Charlotte Holmes is back, as unintentionally funny and brilliant as ever, along with Olivia and Mrs. Watson. This time, Lord Ingram comes under suspicion of murder when Lady Ingram’s body is found on the grounds of his estate. And Charlotte grows concerned about her sisters’ safety as Moriarty’s search for the Holmes sisters’ half-brother picks up. The story moved along at a good clip, with the tension growing along with each sweet treat Charlotte did not eat while figuring her way through a case with plenty of false evidence piling up against Lord Ingram. Charlotte and the women surrounding her run circles around Detective Inspector Fowler, who’s overly quick to see Ingram guilty. And Treadles finally is thwacked across the head, ok, not really, but is set straight by Charlotte for his judgemental, superior attitude and shaming ways towards women who don’t behave as he sees as respectable. The case was sufficiently complicated to keep me paying close attention, and one really would have to have read the previous instalment to understand some of the situations and references in this story, which was a highly enjoyable entry in the Lady Sherlock series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    OLT

    The fact that I buy Sherry Thomas's historical novels automatically and ignore the price says a lot about my admiration for her writing. Her new Lady Sherlock series costs much more than the arbitrary limit I've set myself for escape reading, but what's a fan to do except buy them anyway? This third entry in Thomas's gender-bending take on Sherlock Holmes begins approximately where #2 left off, with half brother Myron Finch, once associated with Moriarty and now on the outs, needing to escape. H The fact that I buy Sherry Thomas's historical novels automatically and ignore the price says a lot about my admiration for her writing. Her new Lady Sherlock series costs much more than the arbitrary limit I've set myself for escape reading, but what's a fan to do except buy them anyway? This third entry in Thomas's gender-bending take on Sherlock Holmes begins approximately where #2 left off, with half brother Myron Finch, once associated with Moriarty and now on the outs, needing to escape. However, that's not really the main thrust of this new chapter in Charlotte's life. Instead, we have her lifelong friend (and love interest, in thought, not deed) Lord Ingram suspected of the murder of his estranged wife. While she is supposedly in Switzerland for health reasons, her body is found at Stern Hollow, Ingram's estate. Nothing to be done for it but to get Charlotte on the case to prove his innocence. But she does so in the guise of "Sherrinford Holmes", brother to the fictional Sherlock she had invented to allow herself the freedom to solve mysteries. Sherrinford, a rather paunchy young man with a thick beard and a handlebar moustache, is a snappy dresser and a bit of a dandy. He put me in mind of a young Hercules Poirot with a more extravagant taste in clothing. Disguised as Sherrinford, Charlotte is able to successfully interact with police inspectors and suspects alike as she investigates the murder. Successful, we should say, with the exception of a couple of people who see through her disguise. There's many a recurring character here. Sister Olivia (Livvy) continues to claim more and more pages in these books, as she worries about sister Bernadine, writes her Sherlock adventure stories, and pines for Stephen Marbleton (who is possibly Moriarty's son). Mrs. Watson continues to give Charlotte companionship and support. Inspector Treadle is here again (with his boss Chief Inspector Fowler) to investigate Lady Ingram's murder. He is in a quandary because of his friendship with Lord Ingram and, in addition, has an unrelated marital problem which is unsettling him. And then there's Charlotte. She's almost at Maximum Tolerable Chins as the story begins, still enjoying her baked goods, cakes, tarts, etc., going about solving puzzles and mysteries with little emotional investment in their outcome. Then Lord Ingram is accused of murder and it's up to Charlotte to save him. And what happens? "Miss Holmes, with her otherwise constant and unfailing adoration of baked goods, had lost her appetite." Mrs. Watson and Lord Ingram look on with terror and worry, respectively. Charlotte's chins are disappearing by the day. And we get more insight into Charlotte and the way she handles emotions. Yes, she does feel them. She just processes things differently from the rest of the cast of characters here. There's really only one mystery to solve in this Book 3, as opposed to the first two books, which had several cases within their pages, some connected to the main mystery of the book, some not. But the mystery of this one is of major importance in Charlotte's life. It's Lord Ingram's freedom and life hanging in the balance. And at the same time, this serious threat to Lord Ingram's reputation and future causes him and Charlotte to take a closer look at their personal relationship. There is always a feminist theme and tone to much of what occurs in these Lady Sherlock stories. It is not as exaggerated and anachronistically annoying as in several other HRs by a few other authors I've read recently, such as Kelly Bowen's new series, and not preachy like Courtney Milan's writing. It worked for me. BTW, don't expect everything to be tied up with a bow in this story. We still have unresolved issues with Moriarty, Myron Finch and Stephen Marbleton, for example. To be continued...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    The beauty of an e-reader, at times, is that it can be difficult to figure out how close to the end you are in a book when you’re really involved in the book. Yeah, you can check the percent but not while you know you need to keep pushing on. So at one point, I was dismayed that this well-written Holmes-esque novel was barely staying a three-star read... I was frustrated with what I assumed was the ending. But never fear, Holmes is on the case (along with Scotland Yard) and Moriarty is pulling s The beauty of an e-reader, at times, is that it can be difficult to figure out how close to the end you are in a book when you’re really involved in the book. Yeah, you can check the percent but not while you know you need to keep pushing on. So at one point, I was dismayed that this well-written Holmes-esque novel was barely staying a three-star read... I was frustrated with what I assumed was the ending. But never fear, Holmes is on the case (along with Scotland Yard) and Moriarty is pulling strings behind the scenes... that really wasn’t the ending. No the red herrings and plot reveals were just getting started. Sure a few plot twists weren’t really deducted in any realistic manner, but I just loved the pursuit!! Charlotte and Lord Ingram are the delightfully non-traditional detective and reluctant victim supported by a variety of characters, all familiar and yet not all as they seem. Throw a touch of romance in there and that last 20 percent saved the day and returned to being a 🌟🌟🌟🌟 read!! In other words, another worthy installment in Sherry Thomas’ Sherlock Holmes gender bending detective series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lady Wesley

    Fabulous, as expected, in both the written and audio versions. Kate Reading narrates, and she is the perfect narrator for this author. I have said the same thing about her performances of Loretta Chase's books, which are nothing like Sherry Thomas's, but that must be evidence of Reading's superlative skills. This is the best of the series so far, and they simply MUST be read in order because in many ways each story is a continuation of the other -- and there are loads of twists and turns. In fac Fabulous, as expected, in both the written and audio versions. Kate Reading narrates, and she is the perfect narrator for this author. I have said the same thing about her performances of Loretta Chase's books, which are nothing like Sherry Thomas's, but that must be evidence of Reading's superlative skills. This is the best of the series so far, and they simply MUST be read in order because in many ways each story is a continuation of the other -- and there are loads of twists and turns. In fact, before I listened to this one I took the time to listen again to the first two and I'm glad that I did. I don't think that it's an exaggeration to say that this is another masterpiece from Sherry Thomas. I can't wait until the next one!

  17. 5 out of 5

    G.

    4.5/5 ... don’t forget, sir, that I am a queen upon this board—and I do not play to lose. Fabulous. I find Sherry Thomas's characters fascinating. Not only Charlotte Holmes (aka Lady Sherlock), but all of them. I love the female relationships. I like that these books aren't straightforward mysteries. Kind of angry at myself for not savouring this instalment, though. Oh well. It's not like I won't be re-reading before book four comes out.

  18. 5 out of 5

    ☕️Kimberly

    For those considering the story/series I recommend reading or listening in the order of their release. While each holds its own case to be solved, the overall arcs and character development scream to be read in order. In The Hollow of Fear, Charlotte must investigate her toughest case thus far. Lord Ingram is suspected of murdering Lady Ingram when she is found dead in the ice building of their estate. The mystery that unfolded was so clever that even I was astounded when all was revealed. We For those considering the story/series I recommend reading or listening in the order of their release. While each holds its own case to be solved, the overall arcs and character development scream to be read in order. In The Hollow of Fear, Charlotte must investigate her toughest case thus far. Lord Ingram is suspected of murdering Lady Ingram when she is found dead in the ice building of their estate. The mystery that unfolded was so clever that even I was astounded when all was revealed. We meet a new character, Sherringford Holmes, supposed brother of the ailing Sherlock Holmes and suspiciously shaped like Charlotte Holmes. *winks* I loved  every moment. We spend quite a bit of time with Lord Ingram, a favorite character of mine since the beginning of this series. He really has gotten him into quite the mess, and all evidence supports he is involved. It was exciting seeing Charlotte work to solve the mystery and of course clear the devilishly handsome Lord Ingram. Secondary characters like Mrs. Watson and Charlotte's sister Livia added interesting side-threads. I loved that we got to know Livia more. We see movement in the slow-burning romance, and I loved every moment of it. The way Charlotte's mind works combined with her forward, logical thinking adding some humor in addition to tender, romantic encounters. As a parent of a child with Asperger's I feel comfortable around Charlotte and while some find her thinking unconventional or shocking I can only nod my head. The Hollow of Fear was my favorite listen to date, Kate Reading narrates the series and beautifully captures Charlotte many sides. I could not imagine listening to the series without her. Each character has a distinct voice and she enhances the tone, mystery and pacing of this brilliant story. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer

  19. 4 out of 5

    Monnie

    What a clever, thoroughly delightful book! At the outset, though, I wasn't so enthusiastic; set in Victorian England, with language and customs to match, I realized I wouldn't be able to breeze through this one as I'm accustomed to doing with other mysteries and thrillers. But a couple of chapters into it, I realized I didn't want to. This is, for the record, the third in the author's "Lady Sherlock" series (and the first, but definitely not the last, for me). The star of the show, Charlotte Holm What a clever, thoroughly delightful book! At the outset, though, I wasn't so enthusiastic; set in Victorian England, with language and customs to match, I realized I wouldn't be able to breeze through this one as I'm accustomed to doing with other mysteries and thrillers. But a couple of chapters into it, I realized I didn't want to. This is, for the record, the third in the author's "Lady Sherlock" series (and the first, but definitely not the last, for me). The star of the show, Charlotte Holmes, is a consulting detective in Sherlock Holmes fashion - operating a business at 18 Baker Street - with a Mrs. Watson as a helper when needed. Lacking the standard social graces of the times, she and her sister, Olivia, are estranged from the parents they "disgraced" and on their own (a third sister, Bernadine, is disabled and still lives at home but plays a role in this story as well). The Sherlock nemesis, Moriarty, gets frequent mention as an archenemy. When a home construction disaster forces participants at a party there (Charlotte included) to relocate to the mansion of her friend and love interest, the handsome Lord Ingram, things don't quite go as planned. Early on, a young servant who's sent to fetch ice from the ice house makes a gruesome discovery: The body of Ingram's estranged wife, who's been missing for a time but thought to have run away of her own accord. Scotland Yard comes running, and the subsequent investigation points to Lord Ingram as the perpetrator. Charlotte, of course, is certain that he's innocent and, mostly disguised as "Sherrinford" Holmes, Sherlock's brother, puts her powers of deduction to work to unearth the real killer (even as she loses her usual "power" to chow down, especially sweets). Along the way, there are too many twists, turns and sleights of hand and mind to mention, and everything is resolved in the end including Charlotte's appetite (well, almost everything; this is, after all, a series). Thus, I'm already yearning to read the next installment. Many thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this one and introduce me to a wonderful series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    Originally reviewed here @ Angieville This series. My feelings for it are fierce and tangled, much like the ties that bind its protagonists. Charlotte, Lord Ingram, Livia, Inspector Treadles, Bancroft, Lady Ingram . . . characterize them each how you will, but there is nothing equivocal about them. While there is infinite room for every sort of gray area in their circumstances, their histories, and their difficult presents, the feelings that they engender (at least in me) are nothing if not stron Originally reviewed here @ Angieville This series. My feelings for it are fierce and tangled, much like the ties that bind its protagonists. Charlotte, Lord Ingram, Livia, Inspector Treadles, Bancroft, Lady Ingram . . . characterize them each how you will, but there is nothing equivocal about them. While there is infinite room for every sort of gray area in their circumstances, their histories, and their difficult presents, the feelings that they engender (at least in me) are nothing if not strong one way or the other. And really, I wouldn't have it any other way. Who wants to feel the least bit milk-soppy about the people who inhabit their wonderfully complicated Victorian mysteries? Not me. That is who. Which is to say that I was prepared for a tumult of emotions as I embarked on this the third volume in Sherry Thomas's Lady Sherlock series. Just, as it turns out, nowhere near prepared enough. Be warned: unavoidable spoilers for the first two books abound. Death has finally found its way to Lord Ingram's door. Though it may have seemed to him and to those who know him best that he was already bearing one man's fair share of suffering in his life, the term takes on new meaning when the body of his estranged wife is found on the grounds of his country estate. He is already playing impromptu host to a number of his neighbors who were forced to flee their house party nearby, and the group just happens to include Charlotte Holmes's sister, Miss Livia Holmes. All hell breaks loose in a matter of a few short hours, and both the London gossips and Scotland Yard are calling for his blood in short order. And Charlotte, the only person who can really help him, the only person he actually wants at his side throughout this ghoulish ordeal, is forced to do so in disguise. Unable to disclose her identity for fear of betraying her oldest friend, Charlotte enters a race against time and the mysteriously related Moriarty to clear Lord Ingram's name and uncover the true culprit. "Charlotte Holmes. I thought I might see you here." The voice belonged to Lord Ingram, but slightly raspy, as if he were under the weather―or recovering from a night of hard drinking. She turned around slowly. "Hullo, Ash." A complicated pleasure, this man. A complicated pleasure, this book. I knew it would be far more personal than either of the previous adventures. But I had no real comprehension of just how grave this tale would be, when the danger comes calling at the very door of the one character who deserves it the least. Because it's Ash. It's Ash. And from the moment Charlotte turns in his orchard and says, "Hullo," I was full of fear. I mean, I was flooded with anxiety for all three hundred and twenty-nine pages. Every last one of them. And so while I might have reasonably expected to enjoy the larger quantities of page time in which these two dear characters are actually together, the whole thing was neatly sideswiped by the terror of the unknown and of what they both actually stood to lose. Being somewhat conversant with Ms. Thomas's willingness to put her characters through their paces, as it were, I felt no sense of assurance that the pain would not be too much to bear. In point of fact, every single thing about The Hollow of Fear felt very nearly too much to bear. And while that may sound dire, and it is, this book is also threaded through with small and perfect moments, with Thomas's trademark empathy and insight. As always with this series, many of my favorite moments involve the realities of the lives of women and the truths that are so difficult to speak. Lady Ingram hadn't been angry because she'd wished to marry a different man, as Mrs. Watson had thought at the time, but because her life hadn't been her own. Charlotte did not pity Lady Ingram―the woman played no small role in her own fate. But she sometimes thought of the former Miss Alexandra Greville, brought to London and told to smile, told to be happy that an eligible man loved her, told that upon marriage she would have everything a woman could desire. When it should have been obvious to all who knew her that such a life would unravel her. Yet they'd pushed it on her with all their might―and made it plain that for her to do anything else would be a gross betrayal of her family. Perhaps she had always been a monster, but even the lady monsters of the world couldn't escape the expectations that came of being women. My, what empathy. Even the lady monsters. My Circe-loving heart all but exploded at that particular moment. And then this between Lord Ingram and Charlotte: "Is it true, what I once heard your sister say, that you don't like to be embraced?" She took some time to think. "Sometimes Livia needs to hold someone, and I'm the only suitable person nearby. When I was little, I used to wriggle out of her arms and escape to a corner of our room. But it wasn't so much that I couldn't stand being held as that I didn't want to be held indefinitely. Later I taught myself to count to three hundred to mark five minutes―which helped me to realize that she needed only about half that time. I can take two to three minutes of being held. But Livia remains hesitant to this day―she's still scarred by my bolting away from her embrace." He would be, too. In fact, sometimes he felt scarred by her, even though she had never done anything except be an excellent friend. Ah, Ash. It's untenable, the whole situation. But I shall continue to hope. And while I was pleased with how things played out on nearly every level, there was a part of me that felt a twinge of disappointment at how one aspect of their relationship developed. As I reflect on it, my reaction may be simply that it felt somewhat abrupt, that I would have appreciated a more measured progression, given how restrained and private these two individuals are. I value those two qualities in them so very much, not the least because I know I recognize them in myself. That was my one qualm. But honestly, the writing. It continues to slay me. The complexity of emotion redolent in every word is a joy to read. Sherry Thomas absolutely nails it, and I am nothing if not dying for the next book. A final favorite passage: She wasn't sure that she wanted to understand the full spectrum of human emotions―everything that remained seemed dire to one degree or another. But this warm, silly mutual delight, this she wouldn't mind experiencing until she comprehended its place in the world.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Best book of the series thus far in my humble opinion.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Desi

    Can’t say much without spoiling the plot but this was the best of the trio. Maybe the country setting lent itself to a tighter plot. I liked that the ending did not take the easy way out, as regards the presence of a certain cumbersome to the overarching plot individual, although I’m still not sure I believe the eventual villain would have acted so out of character vs the way they were previously portrayed. For the couple shippers there was finally some movement on that front, and they are prett Can’t say much without spoiling the plot but this was the best of the trio. Maybe the country setting lent itself to a tighter plot. I liked that the ending did not take the easy way out, as regards the presence of a certain cumbersome to the overarching plot individual, although I’m still not sure I believe the eventual villain would have acted so out of character vs the way they were previously portrayed. For the couple shippers there was finally some movement on that front, and they are pretty cute together. Note on reading methods I think the audio book added massively to my enjoyment of this one. This style of story does well when read aloud.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    After the sensational twists at the end of the last installment, I was left reeling and then impatient to see what happened next in this fabulous gender-bending retelling of the Sherlock Holmes adventures. The Lady Sherlock series is meant to be read in order and wouldn't do well picked up out of order. I will try to avoid series spoilers for potential readers which will keep my thoughts on this one rather vague. So, Charlotte unearths secrets with far reaching effects in the last book. One secret After the sensational twists at the end of the last installment, I was left reeling and then impatient to see what happened next in this fabulous gender-bending retelling of the Sherlock Holmes adventures. The Lady Sherlock series is meant to be read in order and wouldn't do well picked up out of order. I will try to avoid series spoilers for potential readers which will keep my thoughts on this one rather vague. So, Charlotte unearths secrets with far reaching effects in the last book. One secret affects her own family and another is devastating for Lord Ingram. Both of their family secrets were kept out of Society's gossiping grasp, but events out of their control might still expose everything including the fact that Charlotte isn't just a fallen woman, but is masquerading as the most brilliant detecting mind in London, Sherlock Holmes. Each story, brings these eccentric, but also historically accurate characters and background to vivid life. Charlotte Holmes with a brilliant mind and no ability to survive in the stifling social world, is faced with the most desperate case of her life when her friend, and potentially something more, Lord Ingram is the chief suspect in his wife's murder. Everyone knows they were estranged, but someone has cunningly framed him in neatly so that facts of innocence are hard to find. Holmes is terrified and off her sweets which terrifies everyone else around her. She sets things in motion that dazzle the reader by the end of the book when everything made a brilliant sense. In the meantime, old-fashioned detective work doggedly leads them forward even as a chief inspector of the CID is determined to collar Lord Ingram for the crime to advance his notoriety and his career. Behind the mystery, continues some ongoing threads that carry over through the series. Four people are narrating the story and each have their own story threads: Lord Ingram who realized too late that the eccentric genius girl he pushed away in his youth for the poise and beauty he thought he wanted may never be able to feel let alone share his love. Charlotte's sister who is loyal to Charlotte and has her own secret love with a dangerous man. A lowly Scotland Yard detective who is struggling to reconcile his hero is really a woman and his own wife has set aside typical womanly things to lead a company. And, of course, Charlotte Holmes, herself, who sees the world so much differently than everyone else. I love this series for the clever mysteries, but most of all the character development. The author writes eccentric people, but doesn't stray from historical accuracy (if living in Holmes' world can be described this way) for the time to do it. I enjoy how it all fits together so well. All in all, I was thrilled to read this one and now am left impatient for the next book. Those who love Sherlock Holmes or historical mysteries in general should definitely give these a try. I rec'd this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jen (That's What I'm Talking About)

    Note: This review contains spoilers from the previous titles in the series. Dealing with the aftermath of the shocking discovery that Lady Ingram is a spy for Moriarty, The Hollow of Fear shifts location away from London and out into the country. The gossips think there is something suspicious about Lord Ingram and the disappearance of Lady Ingram, and their beliefs are confirmed when she turns up dead on Lord Ingram’s estate during a country party. With her sister Livia in attendance and her clo Note: This review contains spoilers from the previous titles in the series. Dealing with the aftermath of the shocking discovery that Lady Ingram is a spy for Moriarty, The Hollow of Fear shifts location away from London and out into the country. The gossips think there is something suspicious about Lord Ingram and the disappearance of Lady Ingram, and their beliefs are confirmed when she turns up dead on Lord Ingram’s estate during a country party. With her sister Livia in attendance and her closest friend, Lord Ingram, the primary suspect, Charlotte disguises herself as Sherlock Holmes’s brother to help solve the case. The Hollow of Fear is an utterly fantastic story, and my favorite of the series thus far. It is a solid mystery with twists upon twists. And so many things are revealed, with the entire playing field shaken and rearranged. The layers of the mystery are a bit more convoluted in this one - necessitating a set of short flashbacks to the near past, so that readers become privy to all the action and secrets that were redacted during the first telling. It was a bit confusing, but in the end, made for a better, more suspenseful story. 
While the mystery is top notch, the interactions between the various characters, along with Charlotte’s own personal growth, make The Hollow of Fear an amazing story. Charlotte is growing - she’s understanding human nature more as she interacts with the outside world and spends time with Mrs. Watson. The give and take between Charlotte and best friend Ash is bittersweet. He loves her deeply and she loves him in her own way. They understand so much about one another, which is why they know that they cannot be together. Maybe someday they will be in a place to further explore their feelings. *sigh* I also love getting inside the head of Inspector Treadles, who is struggling to understand his place in a world where woman crave more than being a polite society matron. Narration: The story is shared from multiple third-person POVs, both male and female; primarily Charlotte, Livia, Mrs. Watson, Inspector Treadles, and Lord Ingram. By now, this my third book in the series, the character voices and overall narrative are very familiar to me. I rather enjoy Ms. Reading’s performance. Her narrator has a fairly deep, feminine, accented voice. The dialogue is altered based on who is speaking - enough to identify that it is more than one person speaking, and most characters are assigned a specific voice. Ms. Reading’s male voices are fairly deep and genuine. The story is narrated with an English accent. At 1.5x, the narration at times is slightly faster than I may want, but not usually noticeable, and it is a comfortable speaking speed for me. The Hollow of Fear solidified the Lady Sherlock series as an-auto-buy MUST read for me! Story: A Narration: A-

  25. 5 out of 5

    *The Angry Reader*

    I’ve said before - series cheat. By book 3 I have such a fondness for the characters that 5 stars should be inevitable. (I’m looking at you, Lady Julia. I have no idea how you bungles that so badly.) Ahem. Back to my point. I love Charlotte. She’s sort of boring, but only if you’re living in a sitcom world. And Sherry Thomas so delicately spoon feeds us Charlotte that I finished the book thinking I’d barley read about her at all. But as in the last one - so much happened! I had a ton of questions I’ve said before - series cheat. By book 3 I have such a fondness for the characters that 5 stars should be inevitable. (I’m looking at you, Lady Julia. I have no idea how you bungles that so badly.) Ahem. Back to my point. I love Charlotte. She’s sort of boring, but only if you’re living in a sitcom world. And Sherry Thomas so delicately spoon feeds us Charlotte that I finished the book thinking I’d barley read about her at all. But as in the last one - so much happened! I had a ton of questions through this one. The mystery was top notch. And I knew that I was missing something. The explanation was deliciously satisfying. As much as I love Charlotte I love the other characters too. Different. But equally as strong. Particularly Livia. And Watson. And Treadles. Omg Treadles shown in this one! I preordered book 4. And recommended this series to a friend. Such remarkable books. Ok. Ps. Bc I can’t not. The way they handled that..ahem...thing. I thought I would be crushed or frustrated by mainstreaming or someone not being true to themselves. But nah. Perfect.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie Reus

    Fantastic historical mystery! Complicated characters, smart writing and an end I didn't see coming! I thought I knew who the villain would be but Thomas surprised me. I can't wait to see what else she comes up with. (Note: This series needs to be read in order & it's not a romance).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Antonella

    I love this series. Needless to say I can't wait to read more. Characters and issues like I never read before in historical books. Mystery that keeps you in the story from the get go and no matter how hard you try you still can't figure out what the hell happened. Thanks to Andrea for trying to figure out this one with me. You were great Sherlock to my Watson. Read this series! That's all!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    Fantastic. This series just keeps getting better and better.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Beau North

    I received an advance copy of this book at RWA and let me tell you, it was 100% worth fighting the crowd. Charlotte Holmes is not what I’d call a relatable character, so it’s always endearing when she finds herself in unfamiliar waters. In the first book, her anxiety over her choice and her mounting fear over the repercussions put us in her shoes in a way that peering inside her head could never accomplish. Her mind just works differently. Here we get to see what happens when her greatest ally i I received an advance copy of this book at RWA and let me tell you, it was 100% worth fighting the crowd. Charlotte Holmes is not what I’d call a relatable character, so it’s always endearing when she finds herself in unfamiliar waters. In the first book, her anxiety over her choice and her mounting fear over the repercussions put us in her shoes in a way that peering inside her head could never accomplish. Her mind just works differently. Here we get to see what happens when her greatest ally is threatened, and I can honestly say she has never been more wonderfully human than she is here. The scenes between Holmes and Lord Ingram crackle with electricity, to the point where I felt sympathy for Mrs. Watson, giddy from merely being in the vicinity of such powerful attraction. This book also gives dear, poor Livia a chance to shine, and I always like it when Livia gets to be the heroine of her own adventure, rather than a sidekick in Charlotte’s.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: Lady Sherlock #3 Publication Date: 10/2/18 # of Pages: 329 I am absolutely gobsmacked! Stunned! It has been a full day since I finished this book and my head is still swimming. This author has a way of delivering a fresh, interesting, exciting, absolutely stunner of a story every time. Yes, I was totally stumped right to the end – and that just doesn’t happen with me. I always figure out the villain early on in the book. I am sure you could read this story and thoroughly enjoy it if you did Series: Lady Sherlock #3 Publication Date: 10/2/18 # of Pages: 329 I am absolutely gobsmacked! Stunned! It has been a full day since I finished this book and my head is still swimming. This author has a way of delivering a fresh, interesting, exciting, absolutely stunner of a story every time. Yes, I was totally stumped right to the end – and that just doesn’t happen with me. I always figure out the villain early on in the book. I am sure you could read this story and thoroughly enjoy it if you didn’t read the first two books in the series – A Study in Scarlet Women and A Conspiracy in Belgravia – but I highly recommend that you read them in order. The character originations and background begin in the first book and build from there. In A Study in Scarlet Women, we learned about Charlotte’s background and solved a triple murder. A Conspiracy in Belgravia starts the day after the first book ends and focuses on the search for Mr. Myron Finch and it also gives us more information on Moriarty. This book continues directly after the second book ends. Goodness that author can create some twisted tales. The last line in book #2 was ‘Hello Brother’ and the first line in this book begins with ‘Hello Brother. Charlotte is greeting her illegitimate half-brother Myron Finch who has been hiding right under their noses all this time. He is Mott, the Holmes’ coachman. He explains to Charlotte why he has been hiding and from whom. He explains that he has stolen something from Moriarty and tells her what it is and why it is important. Just as Charlotte is about to leave, Stephen Marbleton arrives – and they realize that they are being watched and that the watchers are closing in on them. They quickly devise an escape plan and all, except Charlotte, manage to totally escape. However, Charlotte isn’t the one that is being sought, so they let her go. A few months later, Charlotte and Mrs. Holmes are at a small cottage in the country. The fact that they are near Stern Hollow, Lord Ingram’s country seat, is totally coincidental. Charlotte is there so she can freely visit with her sister Livia who is attending a house party at her father’s cousin’s (Mrs. Newell) home – she has another reason for being there that also has nothing to do with Lord Ingram, but I won’t tell you about that one. Because she is a fallen woman, Charlotte cannot openly contact Livia. Charlotte doesn’t let that stop her though. She and Mrs. Holmes have created a disguise. Charlotte will become the brother of Sherlock Holmes – Sherrinford Holmes. She has studied moving like a man and has practiced lowering her voice, so she’s ready for her role. Then – disaster – a boiler at Mrs. Newell’s home ruptures and floods the house – effectively ending the house party. However, many of the guests get moved to a neighboring estate – Lord Ingram’s – for a couple of days until they can all make arrangements for their trip home. Speaking of disasters – not too long after his home is filled with guests – the body of Lady Ingram is discovered in his ice house. The local constabulary is sent for and they promptly request help from Scotland Yard. Inspector Treadles is chosen to accompany Chief Inspector Fowler on the case. Fowler is bent on making a name for himself and he fully intends to put the blame solely on Lord Ingram and sadly, it looks as if the evidence will support him in doing that. It appears that it will be up to Sherinford Holmes to solve the crime and save Lord Ingram. Inspector Treadles doesn’t want to believe that his old friend is guilty, but he has to do his job. What he can do, however, is keep the identity of Sherinford Holmes a secret and hope that he really can save Lord Ingram. Is that even really Lord Ingram’s wife that they found? I hope I’ve given you enough to whet your appetite because I don’t want to go further and tell you all the secrets. Just know that it is a wonderfully exciting read with an ending that you absolutely won’t believe. I was also happy to note that Inspector Treadles finally had his grand epiphany and realized that it was okay for Charlotte to be smart and for him to ask for her assistance and that it was also okay for his wife to want more than just being a wife. He realized she could do both and they could still love each other. I loved that part. Another thing I loved was the development with Bernadette. I won’t tell you that either, but I love it. Now – I have to wait and wait and wait, very impatiently for the next book where I hope to see not only another wonderful mystery but some growth in the relationship between Lord Ingram and Charlotte. I highly recommend this incredibly complex and stimulating read.

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