It was my first visit to The Ripped Bodice, a romance-forward bookstore in Culver City, California. Any employee pointed me toward a book called A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas. It was the first in a new Sherlock-Holmes-inspired series. “This is one of our most popular books,” the helpful clerk told me. Maybe I presented as a prude. In the years of avid patronage that have ensued, I have never — NEVER — acquired any book from The Ripped Bodice that contained less “romance” than the Lady Sherlock series. But the clerk had merely told me that it was a bestseller, and that had been, simply, a fact.
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