By: Sherry Thomas
Inspector Treadles, Charlotte Holmes’s friend and collaborator, has been found locked in a room with two dead men, both of whom worked with his wife at the great manufacturing enterprise she has recently inherited.
Rumors fly. Had Inspector Treadles killed the men because they had opposed his wife’s initiatives at every turn? Had he killed in a fit of jealous rage, because he suspected Mrs. Treadles of harboring deeper feelings for one of the men? To make matters worse, he refuses to speak on his own behalf, despite the overwhelming evidence against him.
Charlotte finds herself in a case strewn with lies and secrets. But which lies are to cover up small sins, and which secrets would flay open a past better left forgotten? Not to mention, how can she concentrate on these murders, when Lord Ingram, her oldest friend and sometime lover, at last dangles before her the one thing she has always wanted?
Out of all the Sherlock spinoffs I’ve read, admittedly, there haven’t been many, the Lady Sherlock series is my favorite. So far, I’ve enjoyed each book, and after five books, the series has not dipped at all in quality.
Murder on Cold Street picks up right after the previous book. Charlotte and her crew have had next to no time to recover from everything that happened in France when they learn that their old inspector friend has been arrested and will be charged with two murders. It’s all very dramatic and mysterious, precisely what you want in this type of story.
Charlotte doesn’t waste any time starting her investigation. You know that he didn’t do it, but the question is will she be able to solve the mystery in time. This is always a fun story, though, it was also used in a previous book.
Inspector Treadles is sort of on the outs with Charlotte and co. He found out that she was, in fact, the great detective and not her make-believe brother. Treadles has very firm ideas about what women can and cannot do, which has also hurt his marriage. It’s actually his marriage that pushes him to reevaluate how he thinks, and I love that about him. One of my favorite parts of previous books was seeing the brief glimpses into his relationship with his wife. They were the one couple that seemed like they were in a happy relationship.
Treadles’ relationship with his wife was a central focus of the story, but Charlotte’s relationship with Lord Ingram was also progressed. This has been developing throughout the series, but it looks like things are starting to happen now. No more dancing around. Reading the couple’s reactions to each other made me smile.
I appreciated Thomas’ inclusion of Lord Ingram, realizing the amount of privilege he has as a man of power. He could see how much harder Charlotte and Mrs. Treadles had it. However, I appreciated even more Charlotte’s realization of the privilege she had as a white woman when compared to a character that was a biracial woman. Those conversations and insights pushed Murder on Cold Street to be one of my favorites of the series.