So I have to laugh at myself a little here. It took me several weeks to listen to this book. I kept turning it on, and I’d hear these familiar characters and feel connected to them, but then I’d heard bits of plot elements from prior books and struggle to remember what the heck they were talking about. I thought I’d remembered the series pretty well, but I guess not, I thought. So before writing up this review, I went back to see my thoughts on prior books. Turns out, I read the first three books in 2018, almost back to back, and then read the fourth when it released last year. It’s this fourth book (The Art of Theft) that I kept missing stuff from, and when I went back to read my review, it was a big long explanation of how chaos was happening in my house so I didn’t really process the book while I was reading it. Apparently, I’d already forgotten most of it in the few days between finishing and writing the review! I even claimed I’d go back and reread before the 5th book, and possibly re-review. Snort. I’d completely forgotten that that was even a thing.
Um, no, I didn’t go back and reread the 4th book, and that made the reading of the 5th book a little more difficult. I kept disengaging as I tried to remember how things were fitting together. But still, it was a good book, and I continue to enjoy the series. Plus Kate Reading could practically read the phone book and I’d listen at this point. She’s just an amazing audio narrator and I can’t recommend her performances enough!
A quick note on one lovely thing in this volume. All the Lady Sherlock books deal with gender roles and how limiting they were for women during the time period. Thomas rubbed against this particularly hard in this book, including a womanizer and scumbag as one of the men Treadles is accused of murdering, and added more on the discrimination against folks of non-anglo descent as well. In the current political climate, I appreciate authors tackling many of our modern-day issues in these other settings, especially when they come off as completely time/setting-appropriate rather than heavy-handed commentary. Thomas pulls off this balance very well.