Book ReviewSecret Letters

Reviewer's Rating: 
I truly enjoyed this book...and yet, it failed to rock my world because (see explanation in review).
Hyperion, 2012

Inquisitive and observant, Dora dreams of escaping her aristocratic country life to solve mysteries alongside Sherlock Holmes. So when she learns that the legendary detective might be her biological father, Dora jumps on the opportunity to travel to London and enlist his help in solving the mystery of her cousin's ransomed love letters. But Dora arrives in London to devastating news: Sherlock Holmes is dead. Her dreams dashed, Dora is left to rely on her wits - and the assistance of an attractive yet enigmatic young detective - to save her cousin's reputation and help rescue a kidnapped heiress along the way.

I'm a sucker for a good historical novel set somewhere in the 1800's and this novel's setting was bang on. I love it when authors are accurate and provide little drops of historical facts woven unobtrusively into the flow of the story, which Leah did very well.

I have to admit that I've never read Sherlock Holmes stories - it should probably be on my reader's bucket list, but the lack of any romance has always held me back. This young adult novel, however, delivers a smartly written witty dialogue between our heroine and hero of the day who tend to rub each other the wrong way more than the right way. For us it's a fun, rocky ride that remains very innocent due to the proprieties of the day.

The pacing of the novel was tight and true to it's course. There are no lagging bits of boredom or times when things moved too fast to keep up. This is a key component of the editing process and it's been well tended to in this novel.

The only shadow in this sunny review is the mystery component. It is a tad cliche. I can't go into more details without giving it away, but for me, it was the only lackluster element in the book and the reason my rating wasn't higher.

I read this novel as an "in between the authors I love" filler and I'm glad I did. The book ends set up for a sequel and having been published in 2012 I was thinking I could happily move right into the next installment, but it is still in the works. No worries, I'll just add Leah Scheier to my 'watch' list and recommend you do the same.

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