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Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Study in Ashes by Emma Jane Holloway

I thought this was going to be a trilogy, but A Study in Ashes leaves the door open for more.  I suspect the focus will be different, perhaps on the repercussions concerning Tobias Roth and Alice.

A Study in Silk introduced Evelina Cooper, niece of Sherlock Holmes and practitioner of magic.  Reviewed here.

A Study in Darkness is certainly a darker book and continues the adventures of Evelina, Nick, Imogen, and Tobias.  Reviewed here.

A Study in Ashes finally resolves The Baskerville Affair.

What I liked:  the interesting take on Holmes' The Hound of the Baskervilles; the school teacher's character development; the introduction of the sinister Moriarty.

On the other hand, I had some serious reservations with this last book.

As this series continued, it did get darker and more sinister, but the darkness was not necessarily an improvement as it was too unremitting--too much about the evil characters and not enough about the good ones.  The light touch in A Study in Silk was a pleasure that worked with the good vs evil theme and shouldn't have been abandoned so completely.  

--The Magnus arc was unnecessary and so rushed that it served more as distraction than resolution within the major story line.

--The steampunk elements overcame the narrative in the very lengthy section about the war. 

--In my opinion, the Imogen plot shouldn't have happened.  She deserved a larger role based on the first novel, but not this role.

The end was followed by another section that felt like the end...and so on.

I really enjoyed the first book, but felt let down by this one.

NetGalley/Random House/Del Rey Spectra

Steampunk/Paranormal.  Dec. 31, 2013.  Print version:  352 pages.


  1. Well, that's disappointing. I really enjoyed the first book as well and have the second and third ones ready to read.

  2. Wendy - You may not agree! I thought the first was a mixture of fun and mystery, but the others were more serious. Eager to hear what you think of the next two.