Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book Review: Jewel of the Thames by Angela Misri + Giveaway

Title: Jewel of the Thames: A Portia Adams Adventure
Author: Angela Misri
Publisher: Fierce Ink Press
Publishing Date: March 25th 2014
Length: 256 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, mystery, 1930s, England, Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes
Source: Publisher

There’s a new detective at 221 Baker Street

Set against the background of 1930s England, Jewel of the Thames introduces Portia Adams, a budding detective with an interesting — and somewhat mysterious — heritage.

Nineteen-year-old Portia Adams has always been inquisitive. There’s nothing she likes better than working her way through a mystery. When her mother dies, Portia puzzles over why she was left in the care of the extravagant Mrs. Jones but doesn’t have long to dwell on it before she is promptly whisked from Toronto to London by her new guardian. Once there Portia discovers that she has inherited 221 Baker Street — the former offices of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

Portia settles into her new home and gets to know her downstairs tenants, including the handsome and charming Brian Dawes. She also finds herself entangled in three cases: the first involving stolen jewelry, the second a sick judge and the final case revolving around a kidnapped child. But the greatest mystery of all is her own. How did she come to inherit this townhouse? And why did her mother keep her heritage from her? Portia has a feeling Mrs. Jones knows more than she is letting on. In fact, she thinks her new guardian may be the biggest clue of all.

Summary by Goodreads 


Finally! We have a new detective investigating the YA scene. As soon as you read more about Portia Adams and the cases she's got to solve, you can't resist to get drawn into her story.
Portia Adams makes careful observations and isn't too fast with her verdicts and assumptions. When she presents her view on a case and explains her theory, it's with certainty and not only a vague guess. She's an incorruptible and bright private eye for her very young age. You'll like that about her! Holmes and Watson would be proud of her, too. Knowing that she's living in Baker Street 221 now and working on her cases like a professional. Portia will let you take part in her current investigation and show you new discoveries. While Portia's solving her cases you'll sure learn something useful and curious.

Doesn't Portia moving into the quarters of Baker Street 221 give Angela Misri's story an almost mythical touch? I mean, those two, Holmes and Watson, are probably the world's most famous detective duo and have experienced much approval and quite a fandom in popular culture through TV, movie adaptations and merchanise. This story wouldn't feel as strongly linked to the original Sherlock stories and their appeal if it wasn't for the local proximity to the place that once housed Sherlock's original aura of detective grandness.
Angela Misri writes Portia's story as one cohesive story with the same setting and characters but opens a new "casebook", when one case is solved and the next begins. In retrospect, all three cases were very intelligent and not always too easy to solve. You can test your intuition and follow Portia on her investigations and see how she prepares for new situations, absorbs new facts and material to broaden her horizons in various fields. 
Despite its shortness, the story's pace was what dampened my early enthusiam about it to some extent. Meetings with Portia's new mentor and the promising relationship with Brian, the young constable trainee who lives in another Baker Street 221 apartment, weren't as revelatory and progressive as they could've been. Still I accept that a 20th century gentleman needs to take his time before he makes serious advances on a woman he fancies. Let's see how things develop in the next Portia Adams novel.

Also of interest is how Angela Misri interprets her London setting of the 1930s and the history of two fictional characters themselves, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and makes it her own. Sherlock Holmes was originally invented by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the late 19th century. It is fascinating to observe how a character and a story idea that worked so many decades ago, still have the power to draw readers these days in its ban. 

3,5/5 ***/* JEWEL OF THE THAMES: A PORTIA ADAMS ADVENTURE - An atmospheric 20th century London setting, clever cases and a young woman with an unerring instinct for truth and justice.

It's been a while since I've read a Sherlock Holmes' adventure and so JEWEL OF THE THAMES was a welcome reminder of how fun detective stories can be. Portia Adams is the woman you should consult if you are looking for your next YA book!

"My brow furrowed and I opened my mouth to ask what assets those might be, but was surprised
into silence by an old hand that reached between our two chairs to grasp mine. I looked down at our now joined hands and then back up at the older woman, surprised to see tears in her eyes for the first time since meeting her." ― p. 8

JEWEL OF THE THAMES you might enjoy THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by no other than the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. CLARITY by Kim Harrington is a chilling murder mystery of the psychic kind. And THE THOUSAND DOLLAR TAN LINE by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham is about 21st century Tv culture's most famous private investigator teen, Veronica Mars and her cases.

* Be on the look-out for Angela's next Portia Adams Adventure instalments. Click here to find out what they are about.

* Click here to listen to an excerpt of JEWEL OF THE THAMES.

* Have a look at Angela's Pinterest board A Portia Adams Adventure!

* For further information about Angela and her books visit

* Thanks to Fierce Ink Press and Colleen McKie for providing me with a digital review copy!


Tour Schedule 

March 17 Canlit for Little Canadians — Review
March 18 Canlit for Little Canadians — Q&A
March 19 Nayu’s Reading Corner — Review and Guest post
March 20 Escape Through the Pages — Review
March 20 Jalyn Ely — Review
March 21 Book Angel Booktopia — Spotlight Post
March 23 Glamorous Book Lounge — Review
March 24 The Tales Compendium — Review
March 25 Christine Plouvier, Novelist — Guest Post
March 26 Bookish Comforts — Review
March 26 The Fly Leaf Review — Review
March 27 Liberty Falls Down — Review
March 27 Miss Page Turner — Review
March 28 Miss Page Turner — Q&A
March 31 Rami Ungar The Writer — Q&A
April 2 L.S. Engler — Q&A
April 3 So Here’s Us — Guest Post
April 3 A Book Drunkard — Review



Thanks to Fierce Ink Press I'm giving away an eCopy of JEWEL OF THE THAMES. The giveaway is open internationally, excluding UK residents, and ends April 15th 2014.

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