Audiobook review: A Tempest at Sea by Sherry Thomas
After the shocking conclusion to her previous adventure, Charlotte has been in hiding for months, recently reuniting with Lord Ingram (Ash). His brother, Lord Remington, needs Charlotte for a mission, and in exchange, he offers her protection against Moriarty. This eventually places Charlotte and Mrs. Watson in disguise on the RMS Provence, along with Ash and his family, Livia, Lady Holmes, and Roger Shrewsbury, the man whose actions ruined Charlotte over a year ago. Charlotte’s undercover work is disrupted when one of the passengers is found murdered and Lady Holmes is a primary suspect.
A Tempest as Sea is another engrossing adventure in this incredible series. Written in the style of Agatha Christie’s classic whodunits, the story is tense and exciting. There is a finite pool of suspects trapped on the boat, with a Scotland Yard detective working the case. The story progresses through all the suspects and potential witnesses, each given a piece of the puzzle; however, not all accounts are reliable.
The story features two mysteries for Charlotte to ponder. First is the sensitive dossier believed to be with a German governess overseeing two young charges. Charlotte dons a couple different disguises to move among the passengers, including three-time widow Mrs. Ramsey. As Mrs. Ramsey, Charlotte shines. She has the freedom of a wisened widow to speak her mind, which is hilarious as she puts both Detective Brighton and her mother in their respective places.
The murder of a wealthy passenger puts her entire mission in peril. And unfortunately, Charlotte does not have the freedom to investigate. Instead, Ash must act as her eyes and ears, staying close to the case as the inspector’s secretary. This gives A Tempest as Sea a very different feel. The majority of the case is shared via Ash’s POV; his worry for Charlotte and crippling anxiety overwhelming his every thought. The case is complex, as there are many players, several of which may not be who they seem. The mystery is well written, however, I missed witnessing Charlotte’s thought process, and the story is slightly less because of the lack of Charlotte’s participation.
I love the evolution of Charlotte over the course of the series. She’s not a romantic but knows she misses Ash when not together, and recognizes he means so much to her. She states she misses him because it’s a fact but also because she knows it is an expression of love. Once, she wouldn’t have dreamed of a relationship but now, embraces it. And I love that Ash understands Charlotte and doesn’t look for more than she gives. My only minor complaint is that Charlotte refers to Ash as her “lover” too often and it sounds awkward.
Narration: The story is shared from multiple third-person POVs, both male and female; primarily Charlotte and Ash. This is the seventh book in the series, and the character voices and overall narrator are very familiar to me. I enjoy Ms. Reading’s performance quite a lot. Her narrator has a feminine, British-accented voice. The dialogue is successfully altered based on gender, age, socio-economic background, and nationality – enough to identify each character out of a group. Ms. Reading’s male voices are fairly deep and genuine. She does a wonderful job infusing the dialogue with just a hint of emotion, or in Charlotte’s case, her attempts to express the appropriate emotion, making the entire story come to life. This time around, Reading does an AMAZING job with Lady Holmes – first with the overall tone, graveled and aged. But when she gets angry, she is scary – the emotion and anger poured into the tone. The self-righteousness attitude is so clearly portrayed in her voice.
In the end, A Tempest at Sea is a delight!
About the Book:
After feigning her own death in Cornwall to escape from Moriarty’s perilous attention, Charlotte Holmes goes into hiding. But then she receives a tempting offer: Find a dossier the crown is desperately seeking to recover, and she might be able to go back to a normal life.
Her search leads her aboard the RMS Provence, sailing from Southampton for the eastern hemisphere. But on the night Charlotte makes her move to retrieve the dossier, in the midst of a terrifying storm in the Bay of Biscay, a brutal murder also takes place on the ship.
Instead of solving the crime, as she is accustomed to doing, Charlotte must take care not to be embroiled in this investigation, lest it become known to those who harbor ill intentions that Sherlock Holmes is abroad and still very much alive.
Author: Sherry Thomas
Narrator: Kate Reading
Series: Lady Sherlock #7
Genre: Historical Mystery with romantic elements
Audiobook Release Date: March 14, 2023
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio
Length: 13 hours and 47 minutes
Source: audiobook publisher
Audio Speed: 1.5x
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)
Reviews in the Series:
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas (Lady Sherlock #1) – Audiobook Review
A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas (Lady Sherlock #2) – Audiobook Review
The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas (Lady Sherlock #3) – Audiobook Review
The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas (Lady Sherlock #4) – Audiobook Review
Murder on Cold Street by Sherry Thomas (Lady Sherlock #5) – Audiobook Review
Miss Moriarty, I Presume? by Sherry Thomas (Lady Sherlock #6) – Audiobook Review