A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Book Review: Body on Baker Street

On this Mysterious Monday, we are pleased to bring you our review of the second book in one of our new favorite cozy mystery series. The book is Body on Baker Street, and the series is the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mysteries, by Vicki Delany.

The plot

Body on Baker Street, by Vicki Delany
Gemma Doyle is part owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, a little shop on Cape Cod where one can find just about any book or trinket that has anything to do with Sherlock Holmes. Right next door is Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room, run by Gemma’s best friend, Jayne. Wouldn’t it be delightful to stock up on books at the bookshop and then pop over to the Tea Room for tea and nibbles, perhaps followed by a walk along the beach? This is why we think these should be real places.

The bookshop is hosting a talk by renowned best-selling author Renalta Van Markoff, who writes a series in which Holmes and his supposed landlady are having an affair. Her books are loved by many and hated by a few who take their devotion to the canon of Sherlock Holmes a bit too far. On the day of the big event, things are going wonderfully—well, except for the assortment of semi-crazy people who follow in Renalta’s wake. Anyway, things are going okay until Renalta suddenly drops dead in the middle of her talk. Gemma immediately suspects poisoning, and of course she is right, because she is brilliant. Unfortunately, her friend Donald, a devoted Sherlockian, becomes a prime suspect, and he asks, begs, Gemma to investigate and prove his innocence. The question now is, which of those semi-crazy people might have murdered Renalta? Could it have been the one who dresses like her, the one who claims she plagiarized her work, or perhaps the rather beige personal assistant who is constantly verbally abused by her? Or is it someone else entirely?

The cat

Of course there is a cat, and we think he is rather marvelous. He’s a black cat named Moriarty, loved by everyone except Gemma. This is because Moriarty cozies up to just about anyone—except Gemma. It is only fitting that Gemma should have a nemesis named Moriarty. We only wish that he played a more central role in resolving the mysteries, but then we suppose that might be out of character, given his, um, scratchy relationship with Gemma.

Our verdict

We loved the first book in this series (Elementary, She Read), and if anything, we enjoyed this one even more. We were just so pleased to meet Gemma and Moriarty again and catch up on the goings-on at the bookshop. Gemma is a character much like Sherlock himself: She’s usually the most brilliant person in the room, she knows it, and she’s not shy about letting others know it, often in a way that insults people or otherwise ticks them off. Let’s just say her people skills are…a work in progress. And she is working on them in Body on Baker Street (but she still ticks plenty of people off, much to our delight). We particularly enjoyed the “famous author visits and is murdered” plot, and the characters surrounding the famous author are just perfect. Plus, Gemma solves the case in a very Sherlockian fashion, which will never fail to make us happy. Moriarty has his share of fun too, and the antagonistic relationship between him and Gemma is growing on us. We very much look forward to the next book in this series to see how things develop.

Highly recommended!

Two Paws up--A Great Read!

A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good read; two paws is for a great read. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!

We received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. We wouldn’t tell you it was good unless we really liked it!

The link below is an Amazon Associates link. If you purchase the book through this link, old SoLT and I could get some coin for our kibble account. Thank you!


  1. I used to be a member of "The Baker Street Irregulars", a group of people who got together once in awhile and talked about Sherlock Holmes and tested each other on our knowledge of his capers. Anyone who combines that with cats goes to the top of my reading list!

  2. I loved this book, actually even more than the first! Moriarty is such a handsome boy.