I have to remember to stop saying that. Jayne says it annoys people when I point out things they’ve overlooked. I think that if people don’t bother to observe the things around them, then they shouldn’t fault me for doing so.
But, I’ll try to behave in future.
My name is Gemma Doyle and I am the owner and manager of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium located at 222 Baker Street, West London, Massachusetts. Along with my best friend Jayne Wilson, I also own Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room next door at number 200 Baker Street.
Jayne also says I can be exasperating to be around. I have to try to remember not to be that too.
I came back from my regular afternoon partners’ meeting with Jayne over tea and scones next door and had the following conversation with my shop assistant, Ruby:
I gave the shop a quick glance before slipping behind the counter to help pop items into paper bags with our store logo on them.
“I’m going to have to reorder The Beekeeper’s Apprentice,” I said to Ruby. “I see you had a rush on it. As well as four of the boxed sets of the complete canon. And that hideous Robert Downey Jr. puzzle moved at long last. Nice to see the Jeremy Brett poster was sold, and three sets of playing cards and two of that Scotland Yard game.” The game didn’t actually have anything to do with Sherlock, but we pretended it did.
“The puzzle didn’t sell,” Ruby said. “I put the mugs on top of it.”
I was horrified. “How many times have I told you, don’t do that. How am I supposed to keep inventory if things are always moving around?”
“Most people these days keep their inventory on the computer,” Ruby said.
“The computer is a functioning backup,” I admitted.
Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany
Even my attempts at keeping track were for naught when that woman’s bridge group bus tour hit the shop. They touched everything, moved almost everything, put things back where they didn’t belong. But all was forgiven when they bought and bought and bought, everything from original Conan Doyle books to the latest pastiche novel to a Benedict Cumberbatch action figure and a set of mugs.
Finally, they left and we have to tidy up.
What’s this concealed in the magazine rack? It’s not ours, and it wasn’t here earlier. It looks very old.
It couldn’t possibly be. . . Could it?
You can read more about Gemma in Elementary, She Read, the first book in the NEW “Sherlock Holmes Bookshops” mystery series.
Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop–located at 222 Baker Street–specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.
The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman’s suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it’s a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.
Fans of Sherlock Holmes will delight in the sleuthing duo of Gemma and Jayne in Elementary, She Read, the clever and captivating series debut by nationally bestselling author Vicki Delany.
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About the author
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. She is the author of twenty-four published crime novels, including standalone Gothic thrillers, the Constable Molly Smith series, the Year Round Christmas Mysteries, and books for adult literacy. Under the pen name of Eva Gates she is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series.
Vicki lives and writes in Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Connect with Vicki at www.vickidelany.com, on Facebook, and Twitter at @vickidelany and @evagatesauthor.
Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Elementary, She Read. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends March 15, 2017. Good luck everyone!
Elementary, She Read is available at retail and online booksellers.