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Jewel of the Thames (A Portia Adams…
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Jewel of the Thames (A Portia Adams Adventure) (Volume 1) (edition 2014)

by Angela Misri (Author)

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243443,774 (3.5)None
Member:EDHSLC
Title:Jewel of the Thames (A Portia Adams Adventure) (Volume 1)
Authors:Angela Misri (Author)
Info:Fierce Ink Press Co-Op Ltd. (2014), Edition: Collector's ed., 256 pages
Collections:Fiction
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Jewel of the Thames (A Portia Adams Adventure) (Volume 1) by Angela Misri

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3.5 stars

I quite enjoyed this book, even though I was able to figure out the mysteries of the heroine's family pretty much immediately. I'm not sure if readers were meant to be able to do so, or not - anyone with the slightest knowledge of Sherlock Holmes probably will be able to figure things out (I know no more than what I've discovered from watching two seasons of Sherlock).

The mysteries Portia stumbles into were a different story, as I found myself largely clueless as to the culprits of the crimes (except for the last one - I totally called that one). I liked that Portia was naturally intelligent, inquisitive, and observant, but not some wunderkind who needn't slog through the sometimes tedious research process like the rest of us (you've come across those special snowflake Mary Sue-esque characters before, I'm sure).

I would have given this four stars, but there were a number of grammatical mistakes that drove me a bit crazy (it's a pet peeve of mine) and the book ended rather abruptly. I suppose that is to let us know that Portia will be back for more adventures. ( )
  Cailiosa | Aug 18, 2014 |
3.5 stars

I quite enjoyed this book, even though I was able to figure out the mysteries of the heroine's family pretty much immediately. I'm not sure if readers were meant to be able to do so, or not - anyone with the slightest knowledge of Sherlock Holmes probably will be able to figure things out (I know no more than what I've discovered from watching two seasons of Sherlock).

The mysteries Portia stumbles into were a different story, as I found myself largely clueless as to the culprits of the crimes (except for the last one - I totally called that one). I liked that Portia was naturally intelligent, inquisitive, and observant, but not some wunderkind who needn't slog through the sometimes tedious research process like the rest of us (you've come across those special snowflake Mary Sue-esque characters before, I'm sure).

I would have given this four stars, but there were a number of grammatical mistakes that drove me a bit crazy (it's a pet peeve of mine) and the book ended rather abruptly. I suppose that is to let us know that Portia will be back for more adventures. ( )
  Cailiosa | Aug 18, 2014 |
Generations of fan-fiction writers have endeavored to exploit Arthur Conan Doyle’s success by inventing adventures for Sherlock Holmes, but with varying effectiveness. In Jewel of the Thames, novelist Angela Misri sidesteps fan-fiction drawbacks by introducing a brand-new Baker Street detective: nineteen-year-old Portia Adams.

Portia’s North American origins travel both sides of the United States-Canada border, but now that she has been orphaned, she must make an unexpected move to England, in tow of a glamorous, dudeen-smoking, elderly female “guardian,” who installs the young woman at 221 Baker Street. During her first year there, Portia accumulates three “casebooks” of unique amateur sleuthing adventures, all connected by the most intriguing adventure of all: solving the enigma of her true ancestry.

In the first few chapters there’s a noticeable lack of dialogue, but the characters communicate more as the plot thickens. To distinguish North Americans from Britons, the latter sometimes munch mouthfuls of heavy dialect, including the ever-popular but practically indecipherable Scottish brogue. The year is 1929, parking the book in the neighborhood of historical fiction, and making some characters’ behavior and attitudes approach anachronistic, politically correct modernity; although oddly enough, as time goes by, Portia acquires an archaic manner of speaking. But despite some vocabulary faux pas, the author exhibits a more impressive command of language than this reader has encountered among many writers, in recent years.

The narrative is subject to the pitfalls of the first person singular point-of-view. For example, physical self-descriptions by first-person narrators sound awkward at best, and narcissistic at worst. There can also be the temptation to cheat on the inherent ignorance of the first person point-of-view, by betraying what’s inside other characters’ heads through the application of revealing adverbs to their speech and behavior.

Occasional continuity hiccups occur, but the story shares clues without resorting to red herrings. While Portia generously displays her gifts for inductive and deductive reasoning, she takes enough dodgy decisions (including some that land her on the wrong side of the law), and expresses sufficient perplexity and self-doubt, to keep her realistic and likable.

The villains are two-dimensional, however, and the supporting characters largely stereotypical, especially the cast of clueless constables. The hunky candidate for romantic interest lives, coincidentally and conveniently, downstairs. The reader is expected to take Portia’s word for it that her benefactor is a person of mystery, but Doyle experts will twig the truth early on, although this is probably not an issue for many younger readers; and curiosity about exactly how the truth would out, was enough to keep this reader turning pages.

Now and then, bits of research verification seem to have gone missing, but the evidence that research did go into the writing of Jewel of the Thames makes Angela Misri a jewel of a writer.

This reader looks forward to watching Portia grow into her role as the new consulting detective on Baker Street.

(The book I read was a pre-publication e-copy received from the publisher when it was still subject to editing.)
( )
  christineplouvier | Apr 20, 2014 |
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"Even for teens who haven"t yet encountered Doyle' stories, Portia Adams will prove to be a whip-smart, worthy new heroine. "Quill & Quire 'Classy and clever. Portia Adams is equal parts toughness and charm -- Tim Wynne-Jones, two-time winner of the Arthur Award from the Crime Writers of Canada 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. Featuring casebook illustrations by Sydney Smith. RATED E - Everyone over ten: Content is suitable for everyone but may contain mild violence and language and minimal suggestive themes.… (more)

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