Buy Thrice Burned
Regular price $7.00
Publisher: Fierce Ink Press
Reviewer: Melissa on March 12, 2015
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
If you play with fire, then you’re bound to get burned. At the beginning of Thrice Burned, Portia is still reeling from learning that her guardian, Mrs. Jones, is actually the infamous Irene Adler. Oh yeah, and she’s also Portia’s grandmother. As if this information wasn’t shocking enough, the revelation that Sherlock Holmes is her grandfather makes her feeling betrayed by her mother who never revealed this information to Portia herself before her death. To keep her mind off things, Portia throws herself into schoolwork and continues to consult with Scotland Yard on their hard-to-crack cases, such as a brazen theft that the perpetrator boasted about before it took place and the disappearance of prostitutes. This time around Angela Misri introduces readers to a disgraced reporter named Annie Coleson, starting a friendship while Annie begins reporting on “P.C. Adams,” the consulting detective helping to keep London safe with the promise that she won’t reveal Portia’s true identity. Throw in an unrequited love triangle, another guy for distraction, and an imposter claiming to be P.C. Adams, book two in the Portia Adams Adventures is a whole new type of story.
While I’m fairly certain that it’s, at least in part, because I had to put down Thrice Burned after only reading the first of three cases to finish last month’s book club pick, this book seemed a little slower than Jewel of the Thames. However, it wasn’t the only reason that book two wasn’t as fast-moving as the first book. While in the first novel Portia was very excited about helping Scotland Yard and often resolved the cases way faster than I would’ve been able to, the readers will come face-to-face with Portia’s depressive tendencies. When she isn’t working on interesting, complex cases or when the clues she has seem to take longer to sort through and resolve, Portia suffers from a deep depression. Not only does she not leave the house at all, not even to walk her dog Nerissa, but also she creates a contraption that will allow her to open the door so that Nerissa can slip downstairs for Constable Brian Dawes to walk him instead. Even though Portia was able to solve some very complicated cases in the past, she becomes plagued by self-doubt. Since she almost convicted the wrong person once, she worries that she’s just a hack, not the real deal.
Portia’s depression isn’t the only thing that is different this time around. In the first novel, Portia’s only friend is Constable Brian Dawes, so with the introduction of Annie Coleson, readers get to see the way that Portia interacts with female friends. It also increases the tension on the romantic and professional fronts. Moreover, it seems like some of the content in Thrice Burned is slightly more adult than was the case in the first novel. There’s nothing explicit, but since one of the cases involves prostitutes, it’s interesting to see how indirect the narrator is about who they are and what they do, forcing readers to read between the lines.
While Portia still solves all of her cases eventually, Misri – once again – creates an increasing number of questions that will hopefully be resolved in the last novel. In other words, Thrice Burned will leaving you burning for the next book in the series.
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