"The Game is a Footnote" A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery By Vicki Delany: Review/Giveaway

Review by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium owner Gemma Doyle has rightfully earned a reputation for using her acute observation skills to form equally brilliant conclusions. While it has helped to solve crimes that the West London, Massachusetts, police cannot, Gemma is now being asked to solve a far more unusual mystery. The mother of Jayne Wilson, who co-owns with Gemma their Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room, is seeking their help in investigating the haunting of the Historic Society’s Scarlet House. Committee members have been reporting a series of missing and rearranged items, with most of the hijinks occurring at night. While Gemma and Jayne immediately conclude that culprits are more likely to be prankers than spooks, they are persuaded into being reluctant ghostbusters and spending the night in West London’s oldest home. It’s not an ectoplasmic spook whom Gemma stumbles across, though, but the very corporal corpse of one of the volunteers.

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Image Source Crooked Lane
Gemma’s nemesis Detective Louise Estrada refuses to admit that the amateur detective has any justification for meddling in the homicide case, and while not entirely wrong, no one doubts that Gemma will indeed investigate. When not spotting the clues that indicate which customer has just reunited with her spouse, Gemma will be locked in a farm, face hangry farm pigs, and be threatened by a killer as she solves the mystery of the homicidal haunting. A former pop star looking to buy the Scarlet House, a missing bookshop assistant, and the arrival of Gemma’s equally brilliant family member have Gemma putting all of her brain’s gray cells to the test before she herself becomes a ghost.

This eighth in the series is a charming delight for fans of Sherlock Holmes and country cozy mysteries. Scenes depicting Gemma’s skills at connecting the dots from the few clues she sees are always a highlight of these novels, as is her justifiable confidence in her intelligence. Even more entertaining is when the one person who challenges her intellect arrives in town and Gemma is caught off-guard, and for once she is not the only one hoarding all of the information. Gemma’s dogs are on hand to be their usual adorable selves, while her boyfriend is off reluctantly spending time with his father. Despite Gemma’s intellect she rarely displays a condescending attitude towards others although she does admit to an impatience with superficialities that is often hilarious and enviable. A final confrontation with the killer leads to a rescue by a surprising savior, but perhaps it shouldn’t actually be that unexpected. Gemma and Jayne continue to be a clever and very engaging Holmes-and-Watson detecting duo with their friendship as strong as their detecting capabilities. This is another winning mystery by the prolific author who places her own modern twist on the classic mystery genre.

To enter to win a copy of The Game is a Footnote, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "footnote,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 25, 2023. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Read this already. It is good. I recommend
    it (and the whole series).

  2. How have I missed this series? I love Vicki Delaney and can't wait to read this series

  3. Thanks for the chance to win this book! Love anything Sherlock!

  4. Can’t wait to read it!! Lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot) com

  5. Poor Gemma sounds like she goes through the ringer - sounds like a great read. I love the cover as well. aprilbluetx at yahoo dot com

  6. I love this author. This series sounds so good. Thanks for the chance. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. I love Vicki Delaney's books. Can't wait to read the newest.

  8. Been reading this series since the beginning and I'm especially excited to read this one. Investigating a haunting sounds like fun!

  9. I enjoy this aithors reads! tWarner419@aol.com

  10. I have read other books in this series, so I would love to read "The Game is a Footnote" A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery by Vicki Delany.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  11. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham

  12. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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