Historical, Mystery

Review: Jewel of the Thames

Cover of "Jewel of the Thames," featuring art of an apartment building with the silhouette of a person holding a magnifying glass above the title text
Image from A Portia Adams Adventure website

Title: Jewel of the Thames

Series: A Portia Adams Adventure #1

Author: Angela Misri

Genre: Historical/Mystery

Back Cover:

There’s a new detective at 221 Baker Street.

Nineteen-year-old Portia Adams has always been inquisitive. There’s nothing she likes better than working her way through a mystery. When her mother dies, Portia is left in the guardianship of the extravagant Mrs. Jones. Portia is promptly whisked from Toronto to London by her guardian, where she discovers that she has inherited 221 Baker Street — the former offices of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

Portia settles into her new home and gets to know her downstairs tenants, including the handsome and charming Brian Dawes. She also finds herself entangled in three cases: the first one involving stolen jewelry, the second one a sick judge and the final case revolving around a kidnapped child. But the greatest mystery of all is her own. How did she come to inherit this townhouse? And why did her mother keep her heritage from her? Portia has a feeling Mrs. Jones knows more than she is letting on. In fact, she thinks her new guardian may be the biggest clue of all.

Review:

I’m a huge Sherlock Holmes fan (Arthur Conan Doyle’s books, the movies with Robert Downey Jr., the BBC TV show…). So when an email appeared in my inbox saying “There’s a new detective at 221B Baker Street,” I decided to say yes before I even read anything about the book.

Portia was completely enjoyable. She was a bookish introvert like me, but with awesome deductive skills. She wasn’t quite as good at deductions (or disguises) as Sherlock, but she’s young. I’m sure she’ll get there.

There were also some good minor characters, like Portia’s guardian, Mrs. Jones, who has a lot of interesting secrets. And Constable Brian Dawes, whose parents live below Portia (and who I’m thinking may eventually play Watson to Portia’s Holmes).

The mysteries were very much like something I’d imagine Doyle would write – a little less complicated, perhaps, but still great. They were engrossing and fun, and just like Doyle’s plots, I had a hard time guessing the culprit. Angela Misri certainly did her research, and just like a good Sherlock Holmes mystery, I feel like I learned something while being entertained.

In my opinion, the writing was what really made the book. It read like an old classic book – in a good way. It perfectly fit the subject and tone and added the finishing touches to a very Sherlock-esque story.

The Jewel of the Thames was a fun mystery that definately felt like a Sherlock Homes adventure. It was a good start to a series, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Portia’s skills develop in further books.

I received a free review copy of The Jewel of the Thames from the publisher. Their generosity in no way influenced, or sought to influence, this review.

The Portia Adams Adventures series:

  1. The Jewel of the Thames
  2. Thrice Burned
  3. No Matter How Improbable

 

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