When I was in high school, I read and fell in love with Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw,” so the librarian at my school recommended one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books, The Hound of the Baskervilles. I can’t remember why, maybe class work got in the way, but I never had the chance to read it. Now as interest in narratives from the 20s gains resurgence, including several modernized TV shows based on Sherlock Holmes, it’s no surprise that there is a new YA series based on Portia Adams, a budding detective and the heir of 221 Baker Street – the former offices of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson during the 30s, called the Portia Adams Adventures series by Angela Misri.
If you’ve read Jewel of the Thames, book 1 in the series, then you’re likely dying to see how the rest of the trilogy continues with Thrice Burned, the second novel. You’ll have to wait until March 25, 2015 to read it, but between today and the 24th of March, you can pre-order your copy from the publisher, Fierce Ink Press. If you haven’t read the first book, go and do that now, so you’re ready for book 2 on release day!
In Thrice Burned, Portia is still reeling from learning that her guardian, Mrs. Jones, is really the infamous Irene Adler and her grandmother. As if learning that wasn’t shocking enough, the revelation that Sherlock Holmes is her grandmother has left her feeling betrayed by a mother who took the secrets of Portia’s lineage to the grave. As a diversion, Portia throws herself into her work, continuing to consult with Scotland Yard on their hard-to-crack cases. While on the case of an arsonist who’s plaguing London, she meets Annie Coleson, a disgraced reporter who might have the missing clues that’ll help Portia solve the mystery. As the women strike up a friendship, Annie begins reporting on “P.C. Adams,” the consulting detective who is trying to keep London safe, with the promise that she’ll keep Portia’s real identity secret. Downstairs neighbour and friend Constable Brian Dawes starts to take a shining to Portia, just as she begins to question her feelings for him. Meanwhile, Portia garners the attention of Gavin Douglas Whitaker, a medical student who is – by all accounts – Portia’s equal, and may just help distract her from thoughts of Brian. Then, as the press begins to take an interest in P.C. Adams, an impostor comes forward claiming to be the person behind the pseudonym, forcing Portia to decide between maintaining her anonymity and letting the world know who the real P.C. Adams is. Clearly there’s a reason that they say, “If you play with fire, you might get burned.”
In a story where the main character is forced to confront not only her true lineage and connection to the one and only Sherlock Holmes and decide whether she should maintain her secret identity or come out in front of the world as the real P.C. Adams, is it any wonder that the cover references the constellations? Some of the main themes in this story are, as they say, written in the stars. Plus, when the crime Portia is trying to solve deals with arson, the colour choice made by the cover designer is great, don’t you think? While keeping with the general idea of book 1’s cover design, the one for Thrice Burned fits with the new plot points perfectly.
If you’re like me, you won’t want to wait until March 24th to secure your copy of Thrice Burned, so it’s a good thing that you don’t have to wait. Whether you’re looking for the eBook, the eBook and some book swag, or the limited edition paperback and some hot book swag, you can pre-order your copy of Thrice Burned anytime between now and March 23rd to make sure you get it on release day!