BODY ON BAKER STREET by Vicki Delaney
There aren’t very many surprises in this heavily formulaic mystery by Canada’s Vicki Delany. When Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson, proprietors of the Sherlock Homes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street, are approached about holding a book signing with Renalta Van Markoff, the controversial author of the Hudson and Homes mystery series, it’s glaringly obvious who the victim will be in this second book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery. Not only that, but we know what the “murder weapon” will be a good twenty-four hours before the murder is committed (it couldn’t be more obvious if it was lit up with a neon sign!).
There’s the indignant Holmes’ expert who decries Renalta’s interpretation of Conan Doyle’s invention; Renalta’s long-suffering assistant; and finally, the handsome publicist. All are considered suspects and Gemma and Jayne take it upon themselves to solve this murder before an innocent person is arrested.
THE IMAM OF TAWI-TAWI by Ian Hamilton
Ava has just started a new relationship with the actress Pang Fai when she’s contacted by one of Uncle’s oldest friends. He wants Ava to fly to Manila to look into the rumours of a college in Tawi-Tawi, an island in the Philippines, which is said to be training terrorists.
While the first part of this novel seems to consist of Ava “living” on her phone, the pace soon ramps up and Ava is thrust into an investigation that is anything but simple. She partners up with a CIA agent and what they find when they finally are able to investigate the college will chill you to the bone.
Hamilton has raised the bar again with this novel as Ava has to rely on all the guile and wisdom that Uncle ever passed onto her while also digging deep into her own personal resources.