Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: A Ruse of Shadows by Sherry Thomas

Posted July 3, 2024 by Jen in Historical Fiction, Listen Up!, Mystery-Suspense Fiction, Rating B Tags: , , , , ,

Audiobook review: A Ruse of Shadows by Sherry Thomas

Audiobook cover of A Ruse of Shadows by Sherry ThomasCharlotte Holmes, the brilliant investigative mind behind Sherlock Holmes, for the first time finds herself the suspect and focus of a police investigation. Ash’s brother, Lord Bancroft, escaped his prison and was murdered, with Bancroft himself pointing his finger at Charlotte from beyond the grave.

Jumping around in time over the span of a few weeks, A Ruse of Shadows weaves a complex tale that ties in a plethora characters, locales, and events, all leading up to Bancroft’s death. Beginning with “current day,” Charlotte is interrogated as the only suspect in Bancroft’s death. The story then jumps back in time a couple weeks as Charlotte recalls what really happened. Once in a while, the story would check in with Charlotte’s interrogation, where the reader would realize she’s keeping the bulk of the truth from the chief investigator.

Due to the need for multiple investigations by Charolette, many of her found family take part in the adventure. I absolutely loved seeing nearly every one of her companions play a part in the story. I especially loved getting Mrs. Watson’s POV as she comes up with some excellent theories on what is happening, and that Charlotte praises her. Charlotte does not express emotion, and at one time, felt she was incapable of feeling them. But as the series progresses and she surrounds herself with true friends, we witness Charlotte learning what it means to love and be loved. Her friends and close family accept her as she is, which allows her in turn to feel comfortable exploring some emotions. 

Unfortunately, A Ruse of Shadows starts to fail under the weight of its own complexity. There are too many interconnecting webs, too many characters, too many aliases, all of which create a mystery that is overly and unnecessarily complicated. The convoluted stories within stories overwhelmed me, and I found myself confused even as Charlotte lays out the details of the case at the conclusion of the tale.

Narration: The story is shared from multiple third-person POVs, both male and female; primarily Charlotte and Ash. This is the eighth 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. 

In the end, I continue to enjoy the Lady Sherlock series, and despite my difficulties with A Ruse of Shadows, I’m pleased with the end results and look forward to the next exciting adventure.

My Ratings:
Story: B-
Narration: A

About the Book:

Charlotte’s success on the RMS Provence has afforded her a certain measure of time and assurance. Taking advantage of that, she has been busy, plotting to prise the man her sister loves from Moriarty’s iron grip.

Disruption, however, comes from an unexpected quarter. Lord Bancroft Ashburton, disgraced and imprisoned as a result of Charlotte’s prior investigations, nevertheless manages to press Charlotte into service: Underwood, his most loyal henchman, is missing and Lord Bancroft wants Charlotte to find Underwood, dead or alive.

But then Lord Bancroft himself turns up dead and Charlotte, more than anyone else, meets the trifecta criteria of motive, means, and opportunity. Never mind rescuing anyone else, with the law breathing down her neck, can Charlotte save herself from prosecution for murder?

Author: Sherry Thomas
 Kate Reading
Lady Sherlock #8
Genre: Historical Mystery with romantic elements
Audiobook Release Date: June 25, 2024
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio
Length: 13 hours; 3 minutes
Source: audiobook publisher
Audio Speed: 1.5x

Purchase info:
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
A Tempest at Sea by Sherry Thomas (Lady Sherlock #7) – Audiobook Review