Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a pretty good historical fiction mystery set in Victorian London. Flottie is the teenage housemaid for Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. She occasionally assists Mrs. Hudson, the cook, and Holmes in his investigations. This time, Flottie helps solve a 23 year old mystery of the missing solid gold Christmas canary that belonged to a wealthy family and was handed down over the generations. It was displayed as the Christmas tree topper every year, until it was mysteriously stolen during a house party.

Holmes gets involved when he’s hired to locate a missing violinist who disappeared after a live hen was delivered to his house. It turns out live hens were delivered to several men, all of whom were present at the Christmas party at which the golden canary was stolen. Also complicating matters is a rash of vandalized Christmas trees on the property where the canary was stolen.

Holmes is called away several times and directs Flottie and Mrs. Hudson to make inquiries on his behalf. As the women begin to investigate, the matter gets more and more complicated. I liked how Mrs. Hudson mentored Flottie and guided her thinking to keep the investigation moving. For being only 17, Flottie is very bright and knowledgeable. She is strong and determined and isn’t afraid to put herself out there to solve the mystery. When some would easily dismiss her, she holds her own and without causing a scene, insists on being taken seriously. I really liked this character.

The reason I marked this book down is that the pacing was uneven and it dragged at times in the middle. I think there was a little bit too much filler and with better editing, could have been a more solid and impactful book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Love Book Tours and the author. All opinions are my own.