Friday, February 12, 2016

Review: Jewel of the Thames by Angela Misri

Jewel of the Thames by Angela Misri
Series: Portia Adams Adventures #1
Published: March 25th, 2014
Publisher: Fierce Ink Press
254 pages (ebook)
Genre: Young Adult Historic Fiction/Mystery
Acquired this book: Bought
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}
There’s a new detective at 221 Baker Street

Set against the background of 1930s England, Jewel of the Thames introduces Portia Adams, a budding detective with an interesting — and somewhat mysterious — heritage.

Nineteen-year-old Portia Adams has always been inquisitive. There’s nothing she likes better than working her way through a mystery. When her mother dies, Portia puzzles over why she was left in the care of the extravagant Mrs. Jones but doesn’t have long to dwell on it before she is promptly whisked from Toronto to London by her new guardian. Once there Portia discovers that she has inherited 221 Baker Street — the former offices of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

Portia settles into her new home and gets to know her downstairs tenants, including the handsome and charming Brian Dawes. She also finds herself entangled in three cases: the first involving stolen jewelry, the second a sick judge and the final case revolving around a kidnapped child. But the greatest mystery of all is her own. How did she come to inherit this townhouse? And why did her mother keep her heritage from her? Portia has a feeling Mrs. Jones knows more than she is letting on. In fact, she thinks her new guardian may be the biggest clue of all.

If you regularly visit my blog, read my reviews, or follow me on social media, you’ll know I love all things Sherlock. I’ll read any book with a Sherlockian premise, and luckily I’ve enjoyed all the ones I’ve read, including Angela Misri's debut, Jewel of the Thames.

What makes Jewel of the Thames so wonderfully different is that it’s not a retelling of the original Holmes stories. 19-year-old Portia discovers she’s inherited the famed 221 Baker Street, so she moves from Toronto to London to live there. Her mother’s death has left her on her own except for a mysterious new guardian who seems intent on keeping Portia’s heritage a secret.

Portia is an interesting combination of Watson and Holmes - clever, intuitive, and observant - so she fits in well in their former home and office. I enjoyed the unique premise in a familiar setting, and thought the period - 1930s London - was a nice touch. Portia has to fight to be taken seriously a lot of the time, between her age and her gender, and I liked that she stood her ground and used her intelligence to overcome problems. The mysteries she helped solve were all interesting, as was the on-going mystery of Portia’s extended family and why she had inherited 221 Baker Street.

I could easily see Jewel of the Thames as a period drama on the BBC. The mysteries are well thought out, the plot and characters were interesting, and there's a lot of potential for further stories and character growth. Between that and the fantastic twist at the end, I'm eager to read the next book, Thrice Burned.

Have you read Jewel of the Thames? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Do you enjoy Sherlockian stories?


  1. And I, sadly, am not a Sherlock fan. I'll admit this one sounds intriguing because it's not a retelling but a whole new story. It sounds good.


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