Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

The Art of Theft

Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Art of Theft (2019) Sherry Thomas

The Art of TheftCharlotte Holmes has been taking a break from consulting after her last case. But when Mrs. Watson’s old friend asks for help, Charlotte, Livia, and everyone else is drawn into a heist.

I’ve had a request for this from the library since it came out, so when it finally became available, I had to read it, and read it quickly so it would then be available for the next person.

It’s possible that I just wasn’t in the mood for this, and forcing myself to read a book I wasn’t in the mood for affected my feelings. Because I just didn’t particularly enjoy this book.

There were bits and pieces I enjoyed, such as this bit between Charlotte and Livia.

“How can you like this house, Charlotte? Are you sure that you are not actually color-blind?”

“I forgot to tell you?” said Charlotte mildly. “After you accused me of being color-blind the first few times, I performed some tests and determined that there is nothing the matter with my sight.”

“But there is already so much red and coral on this side, and that is all green.” Livia pointed an accusing finger at the opposite wall, behind one large gilded mirror.

“It’s a nice green.”

“It’s a wrong green,” said Livia, half shuddering.

Especially as it was followed by this.

Unbroken stretches of a single color or texture, especially in clothes and interiors, overwhelmed me as a child. I had to close my eyes to ward off headaches. I’m no longer affected to the same extent, but I still have an instinctive preference for more colors and textures over fewer.

But for the most part I just could not get into the story.

First, things remain unsettled between Charlotte and Ash.

And Charlotte Holmes and Lord Ingram, without everything holding them back, might come together in a storm of sparks while the physical pleasures were new. But, as time went on, they would reveal themselves to be what they had always been: two highly mismatched individuals.

I just don’t care about their relationship. It’s wrong of me, but I just don’t. I get that Charlotte has physical feelings for Ash. And I get that Ash adores Charlotte (to the point he made a terrible marriage), but I don’t care about them as a couple at all and in fact would prefer them to remain friends and nothing else.

It’s probably a lot of this has to do with my life-long love a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes, who has always come across as Ace / Aro. Sherlock has no romantic feelings, and you never see him having any sexual feelings. He lives in his mind.

Making Charlotte allosexual just feels inherently wrong to me. I get that she’s a completely different character (which is why I was ok reading the earlier books in the series, when I normally HATE all non-canon Holmes stories) but I simply can’t get onboard with the boinking. Charlotte has so many of Sherlock’s other characteristics, the 180 from from him here is just too jarring.

Secondly, I may love heist movies, but I rarely enjoy heist books–at least when a heist book appears out of nowhere in the middle of a series. I generally love thieves as characters, but I don’t love characters who are not naturally thieves acting as such when it seems to go against their characters and skills. (Livia taking part in the heist was one of my biggest issues. It felt contrary to her character, the same as for “Madame”.

As much as I like Livia and want her to succeed, these book just did NOT work for me, and I may well be done with the series.

I do love the cover however!

Publisher: Berkley
Rating: 5/10

Categories: British, Dislike/Abandon, Female, Historical, Mystery, Private Eye     Comments (0)    

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