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The Art of Theft

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Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, is back solving new cases in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of The Hollow of Fear. As "Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective," Charlotte Holmes has solved murders and found missing individuals. But she has never stolen a priceless artwork—or rather, made away with the secrets hidden behind a Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, is back solving new cases in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of The Hollow of Fear. As "Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective," Charlotte Holmes has solved murders and found missing individuals. But she has never stolen a priceless artwork—or rather, made away with the secrets hidden behind a much-coveted canvas.   But Mrs. Watson is desperate to help her old friend recover those secrets and Charlotte finds herself involved in a fever-paced scheme to infiltrate a glamorous Yuletide ball where the painting is one handshake away from being sold and the secrets a bare breath from exposure.   Her dear friend Lord Ingram, her sister Livia, Livia's admirer Stephen Marbleton—everyone pitches in to help and everyone has a grand time. But nothing about this adventure is what it seems and disaster is biding time on the grounds of a glittering French chateau, waiting only for Charlotte to make a single mistake...


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Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, is back solving new cases in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of The Hollow of Fear. As "Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective," Charlotte Holmes has solved murders and found missing individuals. But she has never stolen a priceless artwork—or rather, made away with the secrets hidden behind a Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, is back solving new cases in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of The Hollow of Fear. As "Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective," Charlotte Holmes has solved murders and found missing individuals. But she has never stolen a priceless artwork—or rather, made away with the secrets hidden behind a much-coveted canvas.   But Mrs. Watson is desperate to help her old friend recover those secrets and Charlotte finds herself involved in a fever-paced scheme to infiltrate a glamorous Yuletide ball where the painting is one handshake away from being sold and the secrets a bare breath from exposure.   Her dear friend Lord Ingram, her sister Livia, Livia's admirer Stephen Marbleton—everyone pitches in to help and everyone has a grand time. But nothing about this adventure is what it seems and disaster is biding time on the grounds of a glittering French chateau, waiting only for Charlotte to make a single mistake...

30 review for The Art of Theft

  1. 5 out of 5

    Yun

    The Art of Theft sees the return of one of my favorite heroines, Charlotte Holmes, who had opened a consulting business under the fake name of Sherlock Holmes, whom she pretends is her brother. In this book, an old friend of Mrs. Watson's is in trouble. She's being blackmailed, and our heroine must steal a priceless artwork in order to safeguard her secrets. This series just keeps getting better and better. All my favorite characters are back, including Lord Ingram, as proper and stick-in-the-mud The Art of Theft sees the return of one of my favorite heroines, Charlotte Holmes, who had opened a consulting business under the fake name of Sherlock Holmes, whom she pretends is her brother. In this book, an old friend of Mrs. Watson's is in trouble. She's being blackmailed, and our heroine must steal a priceless artwork in order to safeguard her secrets. This series just keeps getting better and better. All my favorite characters are back, including Lord Ingram, as proper and stick-in-the-mud as ever while tortuously pining after Charlotte; and Livia, Charlotte's lovable but full of self-doubt sister. And all these characters rally around Charlotte. They must all work together to steal the artwork, which makes for an interesting and unusual dynamic this time around. Charlotte is as sharp and in command of her acumen as ever. It's just so much fun to follow along as she smartly lays out their plans and deduces what's going on. Her competence and wit is brilliant and entertaining, especially when juxtaposed against the Victorian time period of this story when women are valued more for their looks than their brains. This book picks up pretty much where the last one left off, and it references things that have happened in the previous books, so this is probably a series best read in order. The mystery in here is fun, though don't expect any Agatha Christie-level "aha" moments or anything like that. Still, I adore this series and am already eagerly waiting for the next book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this an A- at AAR, so that's 4.5 stars rounded up. The Art of Theft is the eagerly awaited fourth book in Sherry Thomas’ superb series of historical mysteries starring Charlotte Holmes, a most unusual young woman whose keen, logical mind and incredible deductive skills would have been completely disregarded in Victorian England had she not invented the infirm but brilliant brother Sherlock who is – in name only of course – the greatest detective the nation has ever seen. While each I've given this an A- at AAR, so that's 4.5 stars rounded up. The Art of Theft is the eagerly awaited fourth book in Sherry Thomas’ superb series of historical mysteries starring Charlotte Holmes, a most unusual young woman whose keen, logical mind and incredible deductive skills would have been completely disregarded in Victorian England had she not invented the infirm but brilliant brother Sherlock who is – in name only of course – the greatest detective the nation has ever seen.  While each book in the series has a central mystery that is solved by the end, there are a number of overarching plot-threads and recurring characters which mean it’s probably not the best idea to pick up The Art of Theft without having read the other novels in the series; readers will get much more out of the wonderfully intricate characterisation and the various relationships between the characters by starting at the beginning with book one, A Study in Scarlet Women.   Because of the way the books are interlinked, there will be spoilers for the rest of the series in this review. The aftermath of the tumultuous events of The Hollow of Fear sees Lord Ingram Ashburton in the country looking after his children, Mrs. Watson in Paris with her niece, Miss Olivia Holmes nearing the completion of her Sherlock Holmes story, and Miss Charlotte Holmes helping to settle her eldest sister, Bernadette, whom she removed from a home, into her new surroundings.  It’s a brief period of quiet that is broken when Charlotte receives a request for help from someone identifying  themselves only as A Traveler from Distant Lands. Deciding she needs a distraction – from caring for her sister and from pondering the shifting nature of her relationship with her long-time friend (and now, former lover) Lord Ingram – Charlotte arranges to meet this traveler, correctly assuming the request for help to have come from a woman in need.  Her visitor proves to be none other than an Indian maharani, who also turns out to be the first client ever to decline to use Sherlock Holmes’ services.  Charlotte immediately deduces that this is because the maharani needs someone who is able to do more than investigate; and her supposition is borne out not long afterwards when she and Mrs. Watson – who has confessed to Charlotte that she and the maharani had been lovers once upon a time – visit the maharani at her hotel to offer their assistance. The lady is still resistant, but when Charlotte most ably demonstrates that she does indeed possess the skills the maharani needs to help with her current predicament, she explains that she is being blackmailed, and that she has been given specific instructions as to what to do in order to receive a packet of letters she does not wish seen by unfriendly eyes.  Every yuletide, an exclusive and extravagant art sale is held at Château Vaudrieu, just outside Paris.  The cream of French society flocks there, as do art connoisseurs, manufacturers, millionaires and princes from around the world – and the maharani’s letters are hidden in the back of a painting by Van Dyck.  She needs someone to steal the painting in order to retrieve the letters – and given the château’s location and the amount of security that surrounds the event, it will be no easy task. Charlotte is certain that the maharani has not told them everything, but even so, she enlists the help of Lord Ingram and Mr. Stephen Marbleton, and soon they, together with Mrs. Watson and Olivia are crossing the channel and travelling to Paris, where they will meet up with one of Lord Ingram’s friends and allies, Lieutenant Attwood.  An initial reconnaissance mission of the château undertaken by Mr. Marbleton and Lord Ingram reveals that there Is much more going on there than preparations for a masquerade ball and grand art sale. Before long our intrepid band is plunged into something  that goes far beyond simple blackmail – and which will once again see them pitting their wits against the mysterious Moriarty, the shadowy criminal mastermind whose very existence has slowly become irrevocably intertwined with that of our protagonists. If you’ve followed the series – and have followed my reviews of it – you may be asking yourself why I’ve not graded this book quite as highly as the last couple.  I did struggle with the grading because this whole series is more than a head and shoulders above almost every other similar series out there, and Sherry Thomas’ writing is so wonderfully clever and precise.  I liked pretty much everything about the book – the developments in the relationship between Stephen Marbleton and Olivia, which is plagued by seemingly insurmountable difficulties;  the inclusion of a past, lesbian love affair for Mrs. Watson and the subtle discussions of colonialism and the British Raj; and I was pleased to see Charlotte starting to face up to the truth of her feelings for Lord Ingram, and the uncertainty she’s feeling as to how they can return to their old, comfortable association now they’ve been (albeit very briefly) lovers. The mystery is as detailed, complex and well-executed as ever, and I enjoyed the ensemble nature of the story – including the appearance of Lieutenant Leighton Attwood from the author’s  My Beautiful Enemy  (and a nice nod to that novel’s heroine).  But after the drama of  The Hollow of Fear  and its late-book revelations about Lord Ingram’s (soon-to-be ex-) wife, his brother’s betrayal, and the steps forward and steps back in the complicated relationship between Lord Ingram and Charlotte, The Art of Theft sometimes felt as though it was treading water somewhat. The characters face physical danger, for sure, but the stakes simply don’t seem as high for them personally as in the previous book and I wasn’t as completely gripped by this story as I was by previous instalments.  I suspect Ms. Thomas is keeping her powder dry, though.  Looking at the bigger picture; with the middle book (The Hollow of Fear) of a five book series reaching a high point in the story arc,  it makes sense that following book (The Art of Theft) would be a kind of ‘interlude’ or transition before heading into the finale, which I am sure is going to be a corker, given the cliffhanger at the end of the last chapter of this one!** Still, with all that said, The Art of Theft is a cracking tale, a sophisticated, fantastically well-conceived mystery featuring richly-detailed settings and fully rounded, multi-faceted characters whose relationship are drawn with considerable skill and insight. It may not be my favourite of the series, but it’s still a terrific read, and one I’m more than happy to recommend. **Note: Since this review was posted, the author has informed me that she has plans for more than five books in total, and that “book 3 isn’t the middle of the arc, but more like the turning point at the end of act 1.”

  3. 5 out of 5

    Navessa

    *happy sigh* There are few things you can count on in life. For me, one of those things is this series. I know that whenever I pick up the latest release in it, I’m in for a five-star worthy read. This installment only serves to reinforce this as my favorite ongoing series. If you’re worried that this makes me a biased reader, fear not. Kate Daniels is another of my favorite series, and I one-starred one of the books in it. Because WTF, Curran? In The Art of Theft, Sherry Thomas takes all the *happy sigh* There are few things you can count on in life. For me, one of those things is this series. I know that whenever I pick up the latest release in it, I’m in for a five-star worthy read. This installment only serves to reinforce this as my favorite ongoing series. If you’re worried that this makes me a biased reader, fear not. Kate Daniels is another of my favorite series, and I one-starred one of the books in it. Because WTF, Curran? In The Art of Theft, Sherry Thomas takes all the characters we’ve grown to know and love and places them in immense danger. One of the chief complaints from other readers of this series is that it’s “too slow”. Which, fine, I get that. In this day and age of 80k books with zero downtime, I can understand why a book with longer sentences and a sharper focus on the minutiae of the time period it’s set in might seem a little long-winded. Not so much with this installment. Thomas has already set the scene for us. The past worldbuilding is expansive. Now, she sheds some of the scenes others thought extraneous and gets down to the fine art of terrifying her devoted readers. Seriously. Sherry, you trying to kill me? There were scenes in this that were nothing short of hair-raising. The danger to these characters I’ve grown so fond of was palpable throughout. By now you’re probably wondering about the plot, and while I can’t get into too much because of the spoilers for the rest of the series, I can instead give you an overview. "Here is the summary of our task:" A blackmailed Maharani. Letters hidden in the back of a priceless Van Gogh. A breathless race across the continent. An ominous mansion rumored to contain a den unspoken sins. And, at the very heart of everything, their greatest enemy lurks, unseen. Aaaaaand that’s about all I can tell you. One of the things I love most about this series is that I never really know what the hell is going on. Oh, I think I do. But Thomas’ plots are like onions. They are so layered that by the time you get ‘to the bottom of it’ you realize that everyone is in way over their heads and no one remembered to pack the life raft. Paired with this masterful plotting is a cast of characters that only grows more diverse and nuanced with each installment. This is my very favorite kind of retelling. One that expands upon the foundation of the original tales. Adds more depth. Makes it feminist. The thing about most historical romances that I have trouble stomaching these days is that a lot of the authors in the genre skip over the more troubling aspects of the time periods they set their books in. They don’t talk about slavery. Or the fact that women were basically treated as chattel. And while this series is definitely more in the realm of historical fiction, there are several central romances unfolding within it. Sherry Thomas looks a lot of the truths I just mentioned in the eye and writes about them in a way that is still (sadly) so relevant today. "…fundamentally, this is about the imbalance of power between the sexes. As long as women’s primary access to power is via access to men, and as long as men value women primarily as either carriers of their bloodline or vessels for their carnal desires, both men and women will be commenting on women’s youth and beauty – or lack thereof – ad naseum, the former group as they would appraise any other interchangeable commodity, and the latter as assessment of competitive advantages and disadvantages." So, again, I cannot recommend this series enough for anyone with a longer attention span who loves a well-researched, well-written retelling. And now my long wait begins for the next installment. That cliffhanger… This review originally posted on The Alliterates.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hollis

    I think I expected way too much from this book. And that's a me problem. I've had a pretty up and down experience with this series but it had all really started to turn around by book three. However I should've known that the things I wanted from this series, particular after that last installment, wouldn't happen so soon. Or the way I wanted. I didn't mind the mystery of the week, and there was both an appropriate amount of character growth and/or realization, as well as reluctance, both of I think I expected way too much from this book. And that's a me problem. I've had a pretty up and down experience with this series but it had all really started to turn around by book three. However I should've known that the things I wanted from this series, particular after that last installment, wouldn't happen so soon. Or the way I wanted. I didn't mind the mystery of the week, and there was both an appropriate amount of character growth and/or realization, as well as reluctance, both of things I can't really disclose this far into the series, but I guess I still expected things to come to a head? Which they almost did? Just to get foiled at the very last paragraph.. literally. That said, the way the conflict tied into the bigger picture, even though it meant reuniting us with certain characters I would've preferred not to see again, was pretty clever. Also, I'm happy that the rest of this plucky ensemble Scooby Doo cast gets more and more spotlight each book. It isn't just the Charlotte/Sherlock show. Even if their own storylines didn't get quite the HEA wrap-up that they deserved. But there's still more (how many?) books to go, so. Maybe. I will continue to read on but I'm sad this didn’t overtake my love for book three. I guess here's hoping, once again, for book five. ** I received a ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. ** --- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    The Lady Sherlock series has been a loved series from the very beginning. In fact, I would even go as far as to say it is one of my most, if not my most, favorite series in the genre. It is just so much fun, always entertaining, so well written and I love the growth and mystery of all the characters. The mystery is always center stage but the relationships and love interest are a close second and I love that, especially after book three were we get just a little bit more of it all. And with the The Lady Sherlock series has been a loved series from the very beginning. In fact, I would even go as far as to say it is one of my most, if not my most, favorite series in the genre. It is just so much fun, always entertaining, so well written and I love the growth and mystery of all the characters. The mystery is always center stage but the relationships and love interest are a close second and I love that, especially after book three were we get just a little bit more of it all. And with the way book three went, I was honestly expecting this one to run along the same lines relationship wise and sadly, it just didn't. It seemed for every step forward the characters made with each other there was always two steps back that lead them even further away from one another, which was disheartening and honestly, made the story seem less some how. I was really looking forward to the romance becoming more and in almost all cases, it didn't. However, the mystery and characters themselves were outstanding and once again Thomas' writing is enchanting and you can't help but get sucked right into the story and left wanting more. I can only hope with that ending, that we will get more of that little extra something so many of us are rooting and hoping for in book five. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lady Wesley

    18 October 2019 Brava Sherry Thomas! Brava Kate Reading! 18 August 2019 Huzzah! I got an ARC from Edelweiss. I shall wait, however, until I read it to give it five stars. I must take a moment to share my pleasure at finding that this quote from my review of A Conspiracy in Belgravia (Lady Sherlock #2) was selected by the publisher to appear at the front of this book. I am breathless. Not to mention sleepless . . . . Sherry Thomas is simply a genius – twisting classic Sherlockian memes into 18 October 2019 Brava Sherry Thomas! Brava Kate Reading! 18 August 2019 Huzzah! I got an ARC from Edelweiss. I shall wait, however, until I read it to give it five stars. I must take a moment to share my pleasure at finding that this quote from my review of A Conspiracy in Belgravia (Lady Sherlock #2) was selected by the publisher to appear at the front of this book. I am breathless. Not to mention sleepless . . . . Sherry Thomas is simply a genius – twisting classic Sherlockian memes into complicated knots and then gradually untying them so that we’re left with a beautiful seamless ribbon of an adventure tinged with romance. I haven't the talent or imagination to be a published author, but at least somebody found merit in my Goodreads review. 😊

  7. 5 out of 5

    OLT

    So who stole Sherry Thomas's wonderful craftsmanship when she was writing this fourth installment of her Lady Sherlock series? Where's the superb writing? Where's the great character development? Where's the sparkling, interesting dialogue? Where's the clever interaction among the characters? Where, oh, where? I dunno. Not here in this book, for sure. If you like capers or heists, you will like this story. I much prefer my stories to revolve around the characters and their relationships and So who stole Sherry Thomas's wonderful craftsmanship when she was writing this fourth installment of her Lady Sherlock series? Where's the superb writing? Where's the great character development? Where's the sparkling, interesting dialogue? Where's the clever interaction among the characters? Where, oh, where? I dunno. Not here in this book, for sure. If you like capers or heists, you will like this story. I much prefer my stories to revolve around the characters and their relationships and interactions, rather than on an Ocean's Eleven type plot, with chasing around here and there, putting on disguises, infiltrating a chateau, planning theft of artwork, or breaking into safes. This book could have been written by any competent author imaginative enough to think up a good, ensemble-cast caper/adventure, with most emphasis on the action and very little on the characters. So I guess you can tell that I'm disappointed. I looked in vain to find Thomas's creative genius, excellent writing, and clever characters. This was just an okay read. Nothing wowed me. As a matter of fact, I was looking forward to being done with it all. The basic plot here has Charlotte et al (that would be Mrs. Watson, Olivia Holmes, Lord Ingram, Stephen Marbleton, and a cohort of Lord Ingram) off to a chateau in France in aid of an old friend of Mrs. Watson: the maharani of a minor Indian kingdom who is being blackmailed. The terms of this blackmail require the theft of a large Van Dyck painting which is one of several works of art to be auctioned off during a large house party at this chateau. Naturally Charlotte intuits much more about the case than any reasonable human could and it all makes for a reasonably interesting heist story, but it is not an inspired or inspiring read, just a rather prosaic account of events. If you read THE HOLLOW OF FEAR and then follow it up with this one, you may feel disappointment. Personal relationships had started moving ahead well in that book. In this one, I felt as if we were taking a few steps back. Nothing new here. There's some reference to Charlotte and Ash's romance, also to that of Livia and Stephen. Lady Ingram makes an appearance. There's reference to Moriarty, but really nothing much that's new or advances the series story arc. About the only bits in this that were not part of the caper but rather attempts at human interaction were just some moments when characters in the book "school" Livia and, hence, Thomas "schools" her readers about certain social issues or problems: (1) Who you love does not alter who you are. One's sexual orientation should not matter in a friendship. (2) Don't allow yourself to be bullied. Never let others make you feel less than you are. (3) Do worthwhile things (such as writing Sherlock stories) for yourself, not to impress others. (4) Women have it tougher in life than men, always having to prove themselves. (5) Colonialism, not good. Yeah, yeah. Thanks for the lessons, Ms Thomas. Words to live by, but just tossed into a book incidentally and superficially, they don't mean that much. I would have preferred more of an in-depth look at the characters and their relationships. And talking about Charlotte's chins does not count.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bookish Ally

    I really enjoy this series. Fast paced with characters full of eccentricities, this series is full of romantic (clean) tension and twists and turns. Another fun installment, and already looking forward to her next.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    AHHH October is so far away!!!! 3/6: GET READY KIDS! COVER ART AND SYNOPSIS

  10. 4 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    3.5 stars Do you ever just come across a book that by all accounts you should absolutely love, and then you just don’t? Well that’s what happened to me with the Lady Sherlock series. I picked up the first book fully ready to be hooked and in love with this series only to feel let down and disappointed. I don’t even think I finished the first book and I didn’t pick up any of the others in the series. I was heart broken and as the years have gone on, I keep thinking I should pick this series up 3.5 stars Do you ever just come across a book that by all accounts you should absolutely love, and then you just don’t? Well that’s what happened to me with the Lady Sherlock series. I picked up the first book fully ready to be hooked and in love with this series only to feel let down and disappointed. I don’t even think I finished the first book and I didn’t pick up any of the others in the series. I was heart broken and as the years have gone on, I keep thinking I should pick this series up again because it should be a series that I love. Sassy heroines, Victorian England, murder mysteries. I should be all over this series. But I kept my distance, too fearful that I wouldn’t like it. Then I was pitched the fourth book in the series and I was once again faced with the debate—-do I pass or not? I almost passed because I was too afraid I wouldn’t like it but again, it’s a series that I should love and I was frankly too upset about that to pass on this one. So I decided to give Lady Sherlock another try. So I tried to in to this one with my mind open. This is a ‘gender bender’ type book where Sherlock Holmes is actually a woman, and I thought that was an exciting twist right off the bat. Though I did know that from my first attempt with the first book, but I think it’s worth noting for new readers. Having Sherlock Holmes actually be a woman rather than a man right away puts readers in a familiar yet different position with this detective. I haven’t gone back and read the other books, mostly because I felt like my opinion of this book was already clouded by my attempt at the first book and I didn’t want to complicate it further. I did feel slightly confused by all the characters and how they knew each other and what sort of history they had, but that confusion only happened at the beginning. Not that the author clarified anything necessarily, it was more that the central mystery part took over and I became wrapped up in that rather than some of the character relations. So reading the other books will certainly help and would have made the beginning a little easier to follow, but in the end the mystery was the focus and I didn’t feel terribly lost in this one as the story went on. As with many historical mysteries, there is often a secondary romantic plot line and this book does include a little romance and I rather enjoyed that part of the book. I know that Thomas has written romance novels as well and that reflects in this romantic plot line as Charlotte and Lord Ingram as they have great chemistry, however I was hoping their romantic plot would advance a little more in this one but perhaps there have been leaps and bounds in the previous books and this one was meant to slow it down? I am not sure since I haven’t read the others, but for me there was undeniable chemistry between them but I kept hoping for more by the end. This book series seems to be one that people either love or just don’t. I was firmly in the ‘don’t’ camp, but after this book, I have warmed to the idea of picking it up again. There are plenty of people who loved this one and while I might not have loved it, I did like it and enjoyed picking up this series again to give it another try. Would I read the other books in the series or future books? Absolutely! I am actually going to go back and read the first one and see if I like it better this time around! See my full review here

  11. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    One of the best aspects of my 2019 summer reading list (The Summer of Sherlock) was the discovery of this charming series, the Lady Sherlock series. I’m really enjoying a lot of these feminist revisionist Victorian adventures! The Victorian age as it should have been. I love Charlotte Holmes as a character and I relate to her when she would rather be at home with a cup of tea and a pastry than out in the world pursuing criminals! I rather favour coffee and popcorn, but it’s the same idea. I have One of the best aspects of my 2019 summer reading list (The Summer of Sherlock) was the discovery of this charming series, the Lady Sherlock series. I’m really enjoying a lot of these feminist revisionist Victorian adventures! The Victorian age as it should have been. I love Charlotte Holmes as a character and I relate to her when she would rather be at home with a cup of tea and a pastry than out in the world pursuing criminals! I rather favour coffee and popcorn, but it’s the same idea. I have to laugh at her concept of Maximum Tolerable Chins, which is the point at which she restricts her pastry consumption until her clothing fits more comfortably. Been there, done that, my dear Charlotte! My only disappointment with this book was that it did not deal with the Treadles’ plot line until the very last pages! I really want to know what happens between Inspector and his wife, but it seems that I must wait for the next book. In the meanwhile, I have to applaud the author for being able to bring Charlotte and Lord Ingram together and then separate them so skillfully, retaining the romantic pursuit and it’s accompanying plot tension into the fourth book of the series. Of course I am also interested in the Livia and Stephen Marbleton situation, but it is Charlotte & Ash who command my attention in terms of relationships. Ms. Thomas also uses the Maharani’s character deftly as a way to explore colonialism and to introduce a person of colour into the very white, upper-class world that the main characters inhabit. All in all, I will be very excited when Book 5 is published, hopefully next year.

  12. 5 out of 5

    ☕️Kimberly

    Last year I devoured the first three audiobooks and was delighted to listen to The Art of Theft. This delivered a different flair, although it still had some mystery and required cunning skills, disguises and observation. Mrs. Watson accepts an case from a old lover whom she feels some guilt over leaving. This particular case involves recovering or should I say stealing a priceless artifact for the Dowager Maharani of Ajmer. Ash, Livie, and Mr. Marbleton accompany them to France. What an Last year I devoured the first three audiobooks and was delighted to listen to The Art of Theft. This delivered a different flair, although it still had some mystery and required cunning skills, disguises and observation. Mrs. Watson accepts an case from a old lover whom she feels some guilt over leaving. This particular case involves recovering or should I say stealing a priceless artifact for the Dowager Maharani of Ajmer. Ash, Livie, and Mr. Marbleton accompany them to France. What an adventure! They needed access to an impenetrable chateau, from invitations to jobs. Carefully laid out plans must be made. It was clever, with plenty of twists and anxious moments. Of course, Sherlock had questions that needed to be answered. All of this kept me listening. Now as for the romance… between one Lord Ingram and our Lady Charlotte..Eep! So many developments from maids to moments that made my heart flutter or had me stopping my foot. It was all rather delightful, but I still suggest locking them in a closet for a spell. Kate Reading is such a delight as the narrator for this series. She brings these characters and their personalities to life. I giggled aloud and becoming quite caught up in the thick of it all. She even enhanced secondary characters through tones and mannerisms. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I have been impatiently waiting for this book and was so excited to get the opportunity to review it. I first went back and reread the first three in the series. A lot goes on in these books and I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget anything. These books were just as good the second time as they were the first. And I think that the Art of Theft is the best so far in a really spectacular series. Here we have an old lover of Mrs. Watson’s that needs help retrieving letters from a home outside of I have been impatiently waiting for this book and was so excited to get the opportunity to review it. I first went back and reread the first three in the series. A lot goes on in these books and I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget anything. These books were just as good the second time as they were the first. And I think that the Art of Theft is the best so far in a really spectacular series. Here we have an old lover of Mrs. Watson’s that needs help retrieving letters from a home outside of Paris. So Charlotte, Mrs. Watson, Lord Ingram, Mr Marbleton and Livia plan to infiltrate this house during a ball. This book added a new character of Leighton Atwood, Lord Ingram’s cousin and a fellow operative for the crown. This book we see Charlotte in a more active role. She has dressed and played the part of a man before but we have never seen the group truly go into a dangerous situation before. I liked the more adventurous plot and I really liked Charlotte and Lord Ingram working together as a team. They had worked for the same goal before but never truly together. They work well together each deferring to the others expertises. From the cliffhanger at the end I expect them to work even more together in the next book. As for their personal relationship , after the intimacy of the last book. They have both stepped back and seem to be trying to figure out what they each want from the other. I love them together! As much as I like the tension between them I really want them to be together in a committed relationship. I love how he humanizes her and her love for him makes her more vulnerable. Hopefully in the next book they will finally get together for good! The writing was excellent, the mystery was interesting. The only problem is that I have to wait a year for the next book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: Lady Sherlock #4 Publication Date: 10/15/19 Number of Pages: 304 Sherry Thomas has done the impossible as far as I am concerned. I am never a fan of re-worked, re-vamped, reimagined lives of fictional characters – except – this author has created a clever, absorbing, fast-paced, interesting newly imagined Sherlock Holmes and I am in awe. The series maintains the shadowy, misty, shivery mood of the original Sherlock series while imbuing it with a bit of humor and showing how women chafe Series: Lady Sherlock #4 Publication Date: 10/15/19 Number of Pages: 304 Sherry Thomas has done the impossible as far as I am concerned. I am never a fan of re-worked, re-vamped, reimagined lives of fictional characters – except – this author has created a clever, absorbing, fast-paced, interesting newly imagined Sherlock Holmes and I am in awe. The series maintains the shadowy, misty, shivery mood of the original Sherlock series while imbuing it with a bit of humor and showing how women chafe under the societal strictures of the times. The series is filled with mysteries that are filled with unexpected twists and turns, vile villains and yes, of course, romance. As with all of the earlier books, there are a lot of people populating this book as well as a lot going on. Several romances at different stages, several mysteries and many people at different stages of life and choices. As always, Moriarty is the overarching villain of the book and the series. For me personally, I hope Moriarty is wrapped up fairly quickly and doesn’t haunt all of the books, characters and romances. Yes, I know he was the original Sherlock Holmes nemesis, but since this is a reimagined Sherlock, why can’t he be resolved within the first five or six books? Sherlock Holmes received a request for a consultation from “A Traveler From Distant Lands”. However, once the person appears for the consultation and realizes that Sherlock is bedridden, she declines to employ him. Later, we discover that the person was a very close friend from Mrs. Watson’s past and she’s really desperate. The client, the Maharani of Ajmer, is being blackmailed by someone who is holding letters that could cause her and her small kingdom a lot of trouble and embarrassment. The letters are hidden behind a Van Dyck painting in the French chateau, Vaudrieu. It seems that the Maharani needs a cat burglar rather than a mystery solver. However, no matter the risk, Mrs. Watson cannot refuse her old friend. As Charlotte and company investigate, they learn there is much more to the Chateau Vaudrieu than they originally thought. There are plots within plots and very real danger to Charlotte and her friends. When Lady Ingram shows up, we add yet another layer of intrigue to the mystery – not to mention the nasty Moriarty making an appearance. There are so many twists and turns that your head will spin, but our intrepid Charlotte is, as always, up to the challenge. When we closed the last book, I thought things with Charlotte and Ash would be moving forward quickly, but in this book, they seem to have regressed and are sort of each in their own little worlds again. We also see the romance between Livia and Stephen grow, but it is going to be a very rocky road for the two of them I’m sure. The set-up for the next book was well done and leaves you breathlessly waiting for the next episode. Excellently done! BTW -- I would recommend reading the series in its entirety rather than reading this book as a stand-alone. If not the entire series, then at least read the first book in the series prior to this one. Otherwise, you just won't understand - and probably won't like -- Charlotte. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    aarya

    Not as much romantic development as I would’ve liked but I am an impatient romance reader. This series is going to be the death of me. I don’t love the constant references to Charlotte’s dieting and refraining from desserts. It adds nothing to the books. Just sigh. I love these books to death, and the repetition of this topic makes me cringe. On the plus side, I was pleasantly surprised and ecstatic at how Indian colonialism was discussed. It was nuanced and brilliant. I was very happy to see Not as much romantic development as I would’ve liked but I am an impatient romance reader. This series is going to be the death of me. I don’t love the constant references to Charlotte’s dieting and refraining from desserts. It adds nothing to the books. Just sigh. I love these books to death, and the repetition of this topic makes me cringe. On the plus side, I was pleasantly surprised and ecstatic at how Indian colonialism was discussed. It was nuanced and brilliant. I was very happy to see Leighton Atwood (from MY BEAUTIFUL ENEMY) as a secondary character.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Blackjack

    I found the fourth book in the Lady Sherlock series quieter than the others given its focus on the interrelationships in Charlotte's inner circle. I have thought quite a bit about the role of community in this book and series because I was not initially sure about the expanding role of Charlotte's friends and family into her investigative work. I've concluded that I do like Charlotte & co. rather than Charlotte-as-individual solving cases, and I think this theme is important to the I found the fourth book in the Lady Sherlock series quieter than the others given its focus on the interrelationships in Charlotte's inner circle. I have thought quite a bit about the role of community in this book and series because I was not initially sure about the expanding role of Charlotte's friends and family into her investigative work. I've concluded that I do like Charlotte & co. rather than Charlotte-as-individual solving cases, and I think this theme is important to the development of this series. The Lady Sherlock books upend many tropes and stereotypes, and the upending of Sherlock as rugged Individual Man who alone can solve any problem has to be debunked in a feminist retelling. Sure, Charlotte is still undeniably brilliant and intellectually heads above all humans, but she often needs help, and more importantly, she embraces it and uses collaboration as a strength rather than weakness. The more I think about the theme of community and collaboration, the more I love it, and it reminds me fondly of the power Buffy the Vampire Slayer found in her Scooby gang. Thus, in this fourth book, as Charlotte sets out to retrieve blackmail materials on behalf of her dear friend's lover and knowing that cat burglary is not her strength, she doesn't hesitate to pull in her talented cohorts. Her sister Livia, Livia's adoring suitor and talented cross-dresser Stephen Marbleton, the devoted Ash, the middle-aged Watson, Watson’s lesbian Indian former lover, and the welcome addition of Leighton Atwood -- all transport willingly to Paris to engage in some espionage/art theft/cat burglary. I love the diversity of people who fill the pages of this series, as it adds to the richness of the world Charlotte is deliberately creating for herself now that she has successfully separated from her repressive parents and their stifling middle class values. This book also reveals that Charlotte's mentally challenged sister, Bernadette, is living with her permanently, much to Charlotte's increasing satisfaction with her private world-building. Ash, however, remains one of the most irksome aspects of Charlotte's existence, and this book slows their relationship trajectory down as both contemplate life with as well as life without the other. From a romance standpoint, I ended up feeling satisfied with the more contemplative pace of their relationship and enjoyed the internal reflection on both of their parts. Cross-dressing as a theme still intrigues me in the series and gives me much to consider. Charlotte, to my mind, performs gender roles for the same reason she performs many other social expectations; she knows she is expected to behave like a genteel woman but she doesn't understand the logic behind the rules. And doesn't that say so much about gender? As a gender performer, Charlotte is extreme in her appearances - all flouncy bow ties, hour-glass figure, big breasts, and constrained manners. When she cross-dresses as a man, which she engages in frequently, she is portly, gregarious, assertive, and comfortable taking up lots of physical space. Which is the "real" Charlotte? In this book, she does seem more intuitive and empathetic towards others than in previous books, and I’m not sure why that’s the case. Nevertheless, I don't feel closer to knowing who she is or if there is a Charlotte Holmes beyond performativity. I'm so curious to see how Thomas continues to address her characterization. I'm also not sure why men in this series comfortably cross dress as women and with regularity, other than because disguise helps in their secretive word of spying and crime solving. Maybe that's all it is, but I think more is going on. Having said all of this, I didn't love this book nearly as much as the previous two. The Parisian heist didn't sufficiently grab my interest and the reduction of the story to this one geographic site and plot felt a little narrow in comparison. All of the other elements work well though, and I found this an ultimately satisfying addition to the series. I'm overjoyed to learn too that there will be many more Lady Sherlock books. Thomas has created such a wonderful and complex world that I can't picture this series coming to an end anytime soon.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    With each new installment in this series, I have come to highly anticipate the clever cases, the Victorian Era ambience, and most of all, the characters peopling these books. This author's Lady Sherlock isn't just a wink and a nod at the venerable detective, but a classy tribute that Sherlockians cannot help but approve. The Art of Theft is fourth in the Lady Sherlock series and is part of a series with not just a few series arcs though each mystery is new, making it a series that is best With each new installment in this series, I have come to highly anticipate the clever cases, the Victorian Era ambience, and most of all, the characters peopling these books. This author's Lady Sherlock isn't just a wink and a nod at the venerable detective, but a classy tribute that Sherlockians cannot help but approve. The Art of Theft is fourth in the Lady Sherlock series and is part of a series with not just a few series arcs though each mystery is new, making it a series that is best appreciated in order. The Yuletide approaches and Sherlock Holmes gets a visit from a dignified Maharini no less. And, shock of all, she keeps her problem to herself and chooses to dismiss the great detective or his clever 'sister'. But soon, Mrs. Watson gets a visit from her past and she learns her former lover, the older Indian Queen who went to Sherlock, is in trouble. For her feelings and her guilt over saying no years ago, she accepts the case with Charlotte's approval even though it is likely to tax them to the limits. Charlotte doesn't hesitate to round up Ash, Livie, and Mr. Marbleton to round out their team headed to France. They must break into a nearly impregnable chateau and steal back what was taken from the Maharini. Naturally, things get complicated even further and it will take all of their brains and abilities to get through this unscathed. Like the rest of the series, this one pulls in narration from all the key players and it starts rolling slowly as the intro to the case and their earlier planning and work transpires. It never felt sluggish or unnecessary because there are the personal interactions and complicated relationships that kept it interesting beyond the moments of great action and suspense. There are a few twists and turns particularly in the latter half that had me flipping pages rapidly. Did we get some good moments with Lord Ingram and Charlotte? You bet! Are there hints of further dastardly deeds from Moriarity? Oh man, are there... We must wait until the next installment for developments. The series is for anyone who adores a good historical mystery series, but fans of Sherlock will not feel insulted to give this series a go. My thanks to Berkley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange of an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elodie

    The Art of Theft Lady Sherlock Historical Mysteries Series #4 Sherry Thomas https://m.facebook.com/AuthorSherryTh... Release date 10/15/2019 Publisher Berkley Blurb : Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, is back solving new cases in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of The Hollow of Fear. As “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes has solved murders and found missing individuals. But she has never stolen a priceless artwork—or rather, made away with The Art of Theft Lady Sherlock Historical Mysteries Series #4 Sherry Thomas https://m.facebook.com/AuthorSherryTh... Release date 10/15/2019 Publisher Berkley Blurb : Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, is back solving new cases in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of The Hollow of Fear. As “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes has solved murders and found missing individuals. But she has never stolen a priceless artwork—or rather, made away with the secrets hidden behind a much-coveted canvas. But Mrs. Watson is desperate to help her old friend recover those secrets and Charlotte finds herself involved in a fever-paced scheme to infiltrate a glamorous Yuletide ball where the painting is one handshake away from being sold and the secrets a bare breath from exposure. Her dear friend Lord Ingram, her sister Livia, Livia’s admirer Stephen Marbleton—everyone pitches in to help and everyone has a grand time. But nothing about this adventure is what it seems and disaster is biding time on the grounds of a glittering French chateau, waiting only for Charlotte to make a single mistake… My review : When Ocean Eleven meets Agatha Christie and Charlie’s Angels ... This is not my usual read but I have heard so many praises for this series that when this book arc went available, I decided to give it a go, even if I do know beginning a series with recurring heroes through the book 4 is far from being a good idea. At first I thought it would be as the usual sleuth stories with a narrator telling the story from the hero’s side like I have previously read. How wrong I was, in fact it is an introspective read from multiple points of view. My first task was to patch the holes about the different relationships and the personality of the various protagonists. Not an easy job regarding Charlotte. Outside of the main heroine, I liked all the different characters, each with their own agenda but all quite good people with their personal talent. Mrs Watson is a fantastic woman, she has lived thousands of life and still is willing to help others. Livia is a woman I hope will find her true voice in what I suppose will be the last installment in this series. As a romance reader, I am on edge about a potential future with the young Mr Marbleton and the end left me hanging about his own avenir. Lord Ingram and Charlotte were the more complex to comprehend for me as I learned their long relationship reached a cap in the previous book and that now they are tiptoeing on eggs wondering about going further or not. He, while willing is holding back his own expectations to Charlotte’s decision. And she is weighting if it is worth the risk. Why my feelings about her are ambivalent as I have not all the pieces of the puzzle she is. In all, it was a fun read seing them plot and anticipate the inane out of their affair with a lot of interaction between the many protagonists. I do not know if the previous books were about Charlotte working alone with Mrs Watson’s help, but here, it felt more like Lady Sherlock’s Agency with all the different helps. 4,5 stars I was granted an advance copy through Edelweiss. Here is my true and unbiased opinion. https://www.facebook.com/429830134272...

  19. 4 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Fascinating Holmesian mystery! Such a complex and rewarding story that explores the Holmsian genre and all it's accoutrements in a brilliant fashion. Charlotte Holmes is an usual person, focussed, brilliant, capable of ingenious guile, a freethinker with a much vaunted love of sweet things. The descriptions of her measures in the face of the dreaded approach of Maximum Tolerable Chins, the sensuality with which she regards deserts just serve to enhance her quirkiness. Charlotte, Lady Sherlock is Fascinating Holmesian mystery! Such a complex and rewarding story that explores the Holmsian genre and all it's accoutrements in a brilliant fashion. Charlotte Holmes is an usual person, focussed, brilliant, capable of ingenious guile, a freethinker with a much vaunted love of sweet things. The descriptions of her measures in the face of the dreaded approach of Maximum Tolerable Chins, the sensuality with which she regards deserts just serve to enhance her quirkiness. Charlotte, Lady Sherlock is asked by fabulous Mrs. Watson to help solve a problem for an old friend. That request opens memory doors for Mrs. Watson, and danger and intrigue for all. Their quest takes Charlotte, Mrs. Watson, and Lord Ingham, along with her sister Livia and Stephen Marbleton to Paris and beyond. A famous private annual Art auction and a glittering ball held at a heavily guarded chateau is where their attention is centered. What they find goes way beyond what any of them expect, except perhaps Charlotte. Devastating discoveries are made, some impacting the now and some stretching into the future. Every minute reading was tantalizing. This grand Victorian mystery not only beckons but delivers! A Berkley Group ARC via NetGalley

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Sherry Thomas's Lady Sherlock series just keeps getting better and better. I'm absolutely thrilled that I had the opportunity to read an advanced copy via NetGalley and luckily it absolutely lived up to my expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Charlotte, Mrs. Watson, Lord Ingham, and all the rest again. I honestly couldn't put it down and sped right through it. It's a real race to solve this complex mystery. There is so much I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Sherry Thomas's Lady Sherlock series just keeps getting better and better. I'm absolutely thrilled that I had the opportunity to read an advanced copy via NetGalley and luckily it absolutely lived up to my expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Charlotte, Mrs. Watson, Lord Ingham, and all the rest again. I honestly couldn't put it down and sped right through it. It's a real race to solve this complex mystery. There is so much more I need to know and I can't wait to read more from this author. Plus, I *need* book five in this series after that ending!

  21. 4 out of 5

    G.

    I love that The Art of Theft is such an ensemble entry into the Lady Sherlock series, because there isn't a character I dislike here. And in general, it's a strong series instalment. I just wanted a bit more of Charlotte's POV. And so the wait for the next one begins.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Kelly

    The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas is a take on the Sherlock Holmes tale. Charlotte, our protagonist is a woman who has solved murders and finding missing people. Mrs. Watson Charlotte's friend has asked Charlotte to help her with friends the Maharani's request, to steal some letters that are hidden behind a priceless artwork. The Maharani is being blackmailed so she needs the maintain her secrets. To do this, Charlotte along with Lord Ingram, Leighton Atwoood Lord Ingrams assistant, her sister The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas is a take on the Sherlock Holmes tale. Charlotte, our protagonist is a woman who has solved murders and finding missing people. Mrs. Watson Charlotte's friend has asked Charlotte to help her with friends the Maharani's request, to steal some letters that are hidden behind a priceless artwork. The Maharani is being blackmailed so she needs the maintain her secrets. To do this, Charlotte along with Lord Ingram, Leighton Atwoood Lord Ingrams assistant, her sister Livia and Stephan Marbleton, Livia's admirer they must infiltrate the Yuletide Ball, at a French chateau. The Art of Theft is the fourth book in the Lady Sherlock historical series and I have to say that I had not read any of the previous books in the series, that said, I had no problem following the characters. I wish I knew more about the relationship between Charlotte and Lord Ingram though. I know that there had been some intimacy between the two at some point. It did not detract though from my enjoyment of the book. That is what happens when you don't read the beginning of the series. No matter, I enjoyed the story, even though I am not a fan of Victorian type stories. I liked the cast of characters, I think that I liked Lord Ingram the best, I would like to learn more about his situation. There is definitely a story there, his wife leaving him for example so I need to go back and read the previous books. Charlotte, even though she is a strong woman, she seems to be very aloof and does not want anyone to get close to her. I liked the storyline, the writing was very good, there is some suspense when Lord Ingram and Mr. Marbleton attempt to get into the compound of the chateau. Then when the group gets into the chateau on the night of the ball and attempt to steal the painting. Things are not as they seem as to what is going on in the chateau. In this book, we learn about Mrs.Watson and her relationship with the Maharani and why the Maharani needs Mrs.Watson and Charlotte's help. I found that her passion for sweets showed her vulnerability and the fun side of her. The other characters in this story were very well fleshed out, her sister Olivia wanting to be like her sister and free to do as she wanted. But she is still underage so still obligated to her parents. Mr.Marbleton is so in love with Livia that he would do whatever was needed to help Charlotte in this adventure. I definitely enjoyed this book and my goal is to read the first book and continue on so I can understand the story better. I recommend it highly!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Barb in Maryland

    4.5 stars Well, it was only a matter of time before Charlotte Holmes and friends became involved in a heist caper! A dear friend from Mrs. Watson's colorful past seeks Sherlock Holmes's help in recovering letters which have fallen into The Wrong Hands. From there on out it all becomes wonderfully complicated--leading to a masked ball and art sale at a mysterious French chateau. Of course, there are twists upon twists--nothing is straightforward--that would be too easy! I loved every bit of this 4.5 stars Well, it was only a matter of time before Charlotte Holmes and friends became involved in a heist caper! A dear friend from Mrs. Watson's colorful past seeks Sherlock Holmes's help in recovering letters which have fallen into The Wrong Hands. From there on out it all becomes wonderfully complicated--leading to a masked ball and art sale at a mysterious French chateau. Of course, there are twists upon twists--nothing is straightforward--that would be too easy! I loved every bit of this book, as I have loved the previous 3 books. Now it is wait, wait, wait for the next one. note: after finishing this, I immediately began re-reading the three earlier books (not a hardship). They hold up well and solidified my belief that this series is best read in order.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Em Wittmann

    Not my favorite in the series, but still nearly perfect. Audio review to come.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    *throws things* *smashes things* *sings Backstreet Boys* Quit playin games with my hearrrrrt Okay seriously, a year between these books is torture. That’s it, you don’t get a real review. I’ve knocked off a star because I’m really tired of the weight gain/dieting as humor thing. Do I need to know every two seconds that Charlotte is restricting? No. Do I need to be told to laugh at her misery every 5 seconds? No. I’d love for someone to do a search for “maximum tolerable chins” and let me know how *throws things* *smashes things* *sings Backstreet Boys* Quit playin games with my hearrrrrt Okay seriously, a year between these books is torture. That’s it, you don’t get a real review. I’ve knocked off a star because I’m really tired of the weight gain/dieting as humor thing. Do I need to know every two seconds that Charlotte is restricting? No. Do I need to be told to laugh at her misery every 5 seconds? No. I’d love for someone to do a search for “maximum tolerable chins” and let me know how many times that exact phrase pops up. (I read this on audio.)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Usha

    I read this book while drinking copious amounts of tea and wished for a French bakery nearby. What I most enjoyed about this book was how all the supporting characters (these characters are well written, multi-dimensional and endearing in everyway) played a vital and significant role in deciphering the mystery. The mystery portion of the plot wasn't the best, otherwise the exposition flows beautifully, well written and very entertaining. The set-up for the next book left me anticipating. The I read this book while drinking copious amounts of tea and wished for a French bakery nearby. What I most enjoyed about this book was how all the supporting characters (these characters are well written, multi-dimensional and endearing in everyway) played a vital and significant role in deciphering the mystery. The mystery portion of the plot wasn't the best, otherwise the exposition flows beautifully, well written and very entertaining. The set-up for the next book left me anticipating. The entire series is highly recommended. Actually, all works by Sherry Thomas are highly recommended.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Horton

    I'm surprised that I didn't engage with this story more, particularly in light of all the five-star reviews it's receiving. Although the writing is professional and clear, the story itself was lackluster to me. The storyline wasn't compelling enough to keep the book moving, and I set it down at the 60-percent mark because I just didn't care about the story or characters yet. Then, thinking that I was so close to finishing it, I picked it up again. I still didn't care about with the characters, of I'm surprised that I didn't engage with this story more, particularly in light of all the five-star reviews it's receiving. Although the writing is professional and clear, the story itself was lackluster to me. The storyline wasn't compelling enough to keep the book moving, and I set it down at the 60-percent mark because I just didn't care about the story or characters yet. Then, thinking that I was so close to finishing it, I picked it up again. I still didn't care about with the characters, of which there are many, and not one was developed beyond the point at which book 3 ended. Also, if it's been a while since you've read the previous book in the series, you're in trouble: the author doesn't give enough backstory to fill in the gaps, and you're left wondering what happened BEFORE chapter 1 of The Art of Theft. I'm really sorry to be so underwhelmed by The Art of Theft. I like the premise of a woman masquerading as Sherlock Holmes, and I appreciate the expanded role and history of Mrs. Watson. I WANT to love this series, but don't love it after this book. In The Art of Theft, the author strings together a lot of action scenes without including the atmospheric detail or intrigue to trigger my imagination, and then peppers those scenes with characters. Then she ends the story with a cliffhanger—which only works if a reader finishes a story interested in what happens next. Unfortunately, I'm not. A disppointment.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Minx

    There is nothing I love more than reading stories that have elaborate cons in them and The Art of Theft had a doozy in it! In this story, Mrs. Watson’s past becomes part of the present with the re-introduction of a person that she knew many years ago. It was a rather scandalous history but with a parting that left Mrs. Watson feeling regretful. When Mrs. Watson learned that her friend was in need of assistance, given this chance to help her friend, she wanted nothing more. Charlotte was, of There is nothing I love more than reading stories that have elaborate cons in them and The Art of Theft had a doozy in it! In this story, Mrs. Watson’s past becomes part of the present with the re-introduction of a person that she knew many years ago. It was a rather scandalous history but with a parting that left Mrs. Watson feeling regretful. When Mrs. Watson learned that her friend was in need of assistance, given this chance to help her friend, she wanted nothing more. Charlotte was, of course, supportive of Mrs. Watson’s desire, although she did caution her as to the challenges but in the end, Charlotte was willing to help Mrs. Watson. Given the extent of what they were being tasked with, Charlotte and Watson knew they would need to rely on more than just their skills and deduction abilities. To that end, they had to bring a few friends into their confidence in order to even have a prayer of retrieving the priceless piece of art work that they have been tasked with obtaining. What seemed like a monumental task from the start grew in size when it became apparent to all involved that there was more at stake than was first explained and that they were all in grave danger. With everything to lose and little to gain, Charlotte, Watson, and companions were faced with incredible odds and, for one of them, a blow so dreadful that death would have been more kind. The Art of Theft started out at a good pace and picked up speed to end in a race against the clock. I loved every single minute! I appreciated that there was a greater emphasis on Mrs. Watson, her past, and her heart. She shocked me ever so much and I liked that she had a second chance to amend a piece of her past that she felt regret for. Surprisingly, Charlotte was not her customary self in this story and both she and Lord Ingram spent time with self-reflection. Their relationship had indeed changed due to the actions taken in the previous book, The Hollow of Fear, and they were both in a state of consideration of where things could or should go between them. My fingers are crossed for something magical but you never know with the always logical Charlotte. Also, I think Charlotte has a delicious secret that was possibly hinted at during this story! I could be wrong, ha ha ha, but I think I am right. With that in mind and with the way that The Art of Theft ended, I am very much looking forward to reading the next installment in the Lady Sherlock series! This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    I'm not sure what happened here. I enjoyed Thomas's previous romances and Lady Sherlock books, but this was dull filler that was devoid of tension. You'd be fine skipping until the last 10% and reading the next book if you care about the characters. I felt like no one moved forward in character development at all, which can be a problem in a long series. Also, liking sweets is not a personality trait. Thomas has always mentioned Charlotte being dessert-obsessed, but it got to a ridiculous point I'm not sure what happened here. I enjoyed Thomas's previous romances and Lady Sherlock books, but this was dull filler that was devoid of tension. You'd be fine skipping until the last 10% and reading the next book if you care about the characters. I felt like no one moved forward in character development at all, which can be a problem in a long series. Also, liking sweets is not a personality trait. Thomas has always mentioned Charlotte being dessert-obsessed, but it got to a ridiculous point in this book. If I never read about her diet or her chins again, it will be too soon. When I was finished, I ran a particularly annoying phrase-"maximum tolerable chins" through my Kindle search. It appeared TEN times. What may have been cute in the first book is now grating. I pray that Sherry Thomas sees the light and retires this phrase before I retire this series.

  30. 5 out of 5

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

    Beginning a few months after the conclusion of the previous book, The Art of Theft picks up with Mrs. Watson returning from a visit with her niece, Charlotte ending her hiatus from mystery solving as Sherlock Holmes, and Stephen Marbleton wooing Olivia. When Mrs. Watson discovers an old friend from her past needs help, she and Charlotte offer their services to steal a valuable painting from a tightly guarded masquerade ball. The Art of Theft is another amazing adventure in the Lady Sherlock Beginning a few months after the conclusion of the previous book, The Art of Theft picks up with Mrs. Watson returning from a visit with her niece, Charlotte ending her hiatus from mystery solving as Sherlock Holmes, and Stephen Marbleton wooing Olivia. When Mrs. Watson discovers an old friend from her past needs help, she and Charlotte offer their services to steal a valuable painting from a tightly guarded masquerade ball. The Art of Theft is another amazing adventure in the Lady Sherlock series. The stories are evolving as Charlotte’s circle grows with each book; this time including both Stephen Marbleton and her sister, Olivia, along side Charlotte, Mrs. Watson, and Lord Ingram (Ash). The adventure takes the group to France, to a potentially sinister Chateaux where it is evident there is more going on than a private art sale. Once again, Charlotte’s uncanny ability to deduce hidden truths allows the group to infiltrate and spy on their targets. I enjoy getting inside her head as Charlotte pulls facts together and executes her plans. There are some jaw-dropping twists and revelations, causing me to hold my breath at times, waiting to find out how everything would be resolved. 
While the mystery is top notch, the interactions between the various characters makes The Art of Theft an amazing story. It felt like everything was heightened this time around, including intense action and more powerful emotional scenes. The group dynamics and general camaraderie provided a deeper connection to Charlotte and the outcome of the various plot lines. I absolutely love that Charlotte continues to develop. She’s so unique, and the author does an amazing job of putting Charlotte’s idiosyncrasies onto the page, getting the reader to understand how Charlotte’s brain works. The give and take between Charlotte and Ash continues to be bittersweet, and the pairing of Olivia and Stephen is equally so. Narration: The story is shared from multiple third-person POVs, both male and female; primarily Charlotte, Livia, Mrs. Watson, and Lord Ingram. This is the fourth book in the series, and 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 each character out of a group. Ms. Reading’s male voices are fairly deep and genuine. I just LOVE how the narrator brings to life the various accents of the characters - this time French - speaking words so lovely when I would have just read over them in the book. While the story is complete, there are a couple bombshells dropped at the end of the story, and now I cannot wait to get my hands on the next Lady Sherlock title! My Ratings: Story: A Narration: A Review copy provided by Penguin Random House Audio Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

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