You start by meeting Evelina Cooper a misfit of society who happens to be Sherlock Holmes niece which means we have a nice set up for some interesting mystery in this A Study In Silks by Emma Jane Holloway. She’s an obvious kind of fits but doesn’t for high society London type. This leads to quite the adventure and intrigue.
I’m going to start by telling you what I liked about this book. The story was solid it was fun and interesting. I was left solving the mystery right along with Evelina. I loved the characters and how well thought out they were. Aspects of the cast like Nick and Tobias took until the very end to shine through, but I was always thinking there was more to be revealed in the best of ways. The world is a mishmash of steampunk and magic during the times of Sherlock Holmes adventure. While the great detective doesn’t show up until the very end he’s not needed. Evelina is a very well fleshed out mystery solving woman.
Now I told you what I enjoyed sadly the things that bothered me in this book are much longer. First it was slow to read not only was it a slow start with a lot of confusing character perspective jumping, the whole story felt too drawn out. I don’t mind a long book but when I finish something over 500 pages going “Yeah this could use a 200 page cut” that’s not good. Most of what I was reading felt like the same things rehashed from various perspectives. Another issue I had was the plot kept feeling like it’d pick up a little bit then slow right back down. Perhaps Holloway is just too long winded in her descriptions for my taste, but it really kept pulling me out of the book which is disappointing.
The saving grace for this book was the ending though. I was floored and ecstatic and ready to jump right into the next book. Until I remembered how long it took me to read this one. I’ve been toying with the score since I finished it but I think this book deserves 3 out of 5 stars just for the ending. I’m left too interested to not read book two but I can’t say I loved this one. Really wish the book was a bit faster paced so I could score it higher.
My final note is I’d pick it up on the cheap if you are interested in it!