One of the (many) things that marks the Lady Sherlock series out as superior to so many other historical mysteries is the incredible amount of character development going on. More layers of Charlotte’s complex personality are peeled back here, and we learn a lot more about Lord Ingram and his unpopular wife ... The story is very cleverly constructed, making excellent use of flashbacks in the latter part to complete the bigger picture ... The Hollow of Fear is yet another tour de force from Sherry Thomas ... A mystery filled with as many twists and turns as any Conan Doyle fan could wish for, a fascinating character study, and an unusual romance, it’s easily the best book of the series (so far) and my only complaint is that I have to wait until next year for another helping.
This book wrecked me, from giving me twitchy tense reading in the beginning to requiring that I ignore everything around me and read in a parking lot so I could finish it at the end ... I’m invested in the characters, especially Livia and Mrs. Watson, and in the eventual happiness of all of them. They’re each, along with ancillary characters who also reveal their true nature beneath their social disguise, trying to right wrongs and restore some form of safety if not justice for those around them. That was exactly what I wanted to read, and I might have to go back and re-read the series again—something I rarely, if ever, do. If you like historical mystery with a very hefty and savory helping of critical analysis of social expectations, sexism, and the roles women are expected to play, you’ll very much like this series.
Charlotte Holmes’s cover is nothing if not impressive: far more than being the great detective’s amanuensis, she is the embodiment of 'Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective' to her clients ... To say more would be to deprive readers of the pleasure of watching Charlotte, aka Sherrinford, at the height of her powers ... The Hollow of Fear is an absorbing tale of detection, with a fascinating, iconoclastic woman at its core.