Author: Leah Scheier
Publish date: June 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.
Steeped in Victorian atmosphere and intrigue, this gripping novel heralds the arrival of a fresh new voice in young adult literature." (Goodreads)
Secret Letters is a book that came to my attention a couple months ago when I read Tara's review of it. I thought it sounded pretty interesting and I love historical fiction, so when I saw it on the shelf at the library last week, I knew I had to borrow it. I ended up being pretty satisfied AND have the urge to rewatch season 1 of Sherlock!
I really love the time period in which Secret Letters is set and I thought the characters were great, although I really wish Dora could have had some interaction with Sherlock Holmes before he died (not a spoiler; it's in the blurb). It's not central to the mystery that he is alive, but still. Sherlock! My sadness pretty much went away when Peter Cartwright was introduced, though. Let's just say he's a good character and almost makes up for no Sherlock.
So great characters, good setting, entertaining mystery...what didn't I like since I am terrible and always find something? I felt like there were aspects of the plot that could have been delved into more, particularly regarding Adelaide. I am still really curious about her and feel like Leah Sheier could write a companion book about her. Hmm...
All in all, this was an entertaining read that had me flipping the pages to find out what happened. It wasn't perfect, but I'd definitely recommend it for a fun read if you are in the mood for historical fiction.