Thursday, July 12, 2012

Secret Letters by Leah Scheier

I finally finished a book! Secret Letters was one that I received as an egalley from Netgalley.
Ever since she learned her birth father's identity, Dora Joyce has been obsessed with solving mysteries. She is a keen observer and is not shy about showing her abilities, much to the dismay of her aunt and cousin. Dora's father is none other than the famous Sherlock Holmes, although he does not know of her existence. Dora's mother along with the man who she thought was her father died when she was very young. She lives with her aunt who is trying to turn her into a proper lady, like her married cousin Adelaide. When romantic letters from Adelaide's past are discovered and she is being blackmailed, Dora uses this chance to get her cousin to London to meet Sherlock Holmes and to, of course, introduce herself to her father. However Dora arrives to late and learns of Holmes' death at a waterfall, right as she is stepping foot on Baker Street. There she meets Peter Cartwright, a former messenger of Holmes, and an assistant for another prominent detective. Peter promises to help Dora, while also encouraging her inquisitive nature. The two team up to get Adelaide's letters back from a footman who works at an estate where the daughter of the lord of the manor has disappeared. It appears that more than one game is afoot and romance may also be in the air. Can Dora help solve the mystery, save her cousin, and not fall in love?

This was a really neat take on the Sherlock Holmes story. Holmes is not present at all in the story, but Dora shows herself as a true daughter of the famous detective. The romance in the story was perfect for the time period and her reactions to different events were very comical. A sequel is hinted at and I hope this is the case. Perfect blend of mystery, history, and light romance.

Favorite Character: I loved both Dora and Peter. Dora is a plucky heroine whose flaws endanger her, but Peter saves her without making her look like a weak-willed girl. They complement each other well and it takes them both to solve the case. I enjoyed hearing about their pasts and can't wait to see if they have a future together.

Favorite Quote: "Promise me that you'll stop telling the entire world that we're in love? It is destroying my reputation."

This was a  quick read with great main characters and a charming story line. Once I got close to the end, I had to stay up to finish it.  I give it 5 bars of chocolate!

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