Posted in Books

“Murder on Cold Street” by Sherry Thomas

Normally, at this point in a series (Murder on Cold Street is the fifth in the Lady Sherlock series) I start to lose interest or forget all of the events of the previous books. The dynamics between characters can become stale, or fail to evolve, and the excitement wanes. However, not so with this novel, an adventure that takes the intrepid Charlotte Holmes to a new part of London, where mysterious murders in the form of a locked-door mystery present themselves.

The end of the last book, The Art of Theft, left readers on a cliff-hanger. Inspector Treadles, an ally to the Holmes gang and a friend of Lord Ingram, has been accused of murder. His wife, Alice, is convinced of his innocence, and engages Holmes and her associates to discover the truth of the matter. It is fortunate that Charlotte is on the case, as the evidence is pretty damning: Treadles was found in a locked room, with two dead men, holding a gun and covered in blood. It actually gets worse: the two dead men are associated with Alice, one is her late father’s business partner, and the other works for her at her company, Cousins Manufacturing. Matters look pretty bleak, to put it frankly. Despite that, the gang begins their task, endeavoring to uncover the truth and save the inspector from the hangman’s noose by Christmas.

I am already a big fan of the series, but I was incredibly impressed by this latest book. It advances the relationships between a number of characters, although most satisfyingly that of Charlotte and Lord Ingram. Thomas always has incredibly strong secondary characters, and I hope some of the ones who appear in Cold Street will return. The mystery itself is intricate, interwoven with details from previous books, which lends the story a curated quality that I really enjoyed. I love the little chosen family Charlotte has made for herself, and I am interested to see the developments the next book will bring. This series is easy to love, and I am content and pleased to see the books only improving with time.

The Art of Theft, by Sherry Thomas can be purchases wherever books are sold, or borrowed from your local library.

Posted in Books

“Bury the Lede” by Gaby Dunn

Bury the Lede

Bury the Lede is a murder-mystery graphic novel by NTY bestseller Gaby Dunn, a queer writer known for their work with writing partner and frequent collaborator Allison Raskin, as well as their podcast “Bad with Money” and the associated financial memoir.

The book has beautiful art by Claire Roe, which really conveys the mystique and the dark energy of the story, while not venturing too deep into surrealism. The story follows intern Madison Jackson as she struggles to prove herself in the midst of a salacious crime. Content warnings include: sexual assault of minors, drugs, and graphic depictions of violence.

The story, while convoluted, is an interesting journey through a reporter’s big break. Madison, while clearly a sympathetic figure, crosses a lot of lines to get the story, and that makes her a morally ambiguous protagonist, one who you nonetheless root for. Despite her motives, it is difficult to watch Madison alienate herself from the people who care about her and destroy her relationships to get the headline. It will be interesting to see if there are further books that follow this character, to see if she can right the ship or if she’ll spiral deeper into darkness.

Dunn is an expert at creating well-defined characters, and the art aids in differentiating the characters populating the story. There are a number of interesting figures who will hopefully be explored in the future. Though Bury the Lede works fine as a stand-alone, further volumes could really deepen what already exists in the text. I guess we’ll see.

Bury the Lede can be bought wherever books are sold, or borrowed from your local library. If you can, support your local book store.