For years now, readers of the Russell Memoirs have wondered about the tantalizing mentions of Japan. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes had spent three weeks there, between India (The Game) and San Francisco (Locked Rooms). The time has finally come to tell that story.
It is 1925, and Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes arrive home to find...a stone. A stone with a name, which they last saw in the Tokyo garden of the future emperor of Japan. It is the first indication that the investigation they did for him in 1924 might not be as...complete as they had thought. In Japan there were spies, in Oxford there are dreams. In both places there is a small, dark-haired woman and danger.
"Narrator Jenny Sterlin is required to be nimble of tongue as Sherlock Holmes's wife, Mary Russell, journeys from Oxford to Japan and back to expose a blackmailer and save the honor of Japan's future emperor." (AudioFile)
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Another fine story from Laurie R, King
I've been a fan of this series for some years. I have read all but maybe one or two of these wonderful modern Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell novels. I have enjoyed every one of them and hope Ms. King never stops writing them.
The first of the series I read -- which is not the first book in the series -- was set in Jerusalem. I was actually searching for a different book which has (almost) the same name -- Oh! Jerusalem, by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins (another good one, worth your time).
I lived in Jerusalem for nine years. Reading the book delighted me with its descriptive richness and the accuracy of the geography. I've read a lot of books supposedly set in Jerusalem and this was the first one I felt captured it, not just physically but spiritually. I could smell the spices and see the sun on the stone.
dreaming spiesDreaming Spies is the latest in Laurie King's brilliant modern tales of Sherlock Holmes and his intrepid and scholarly wife, Mary Russell. While on a sea voyage to Japan -- intended as a vacation -- the journey transforms into a convoluted, multi-faceted hunt for a blackmailer, a priceless book, and a document that can save an empire.
As the intensity of the chase increases, Holmes and Mary form a peculiar alliance with a mysterious young Japanese woman. Twists and turns of plot abound. Nobody and nothing is who or what they seem to be. It's impossible to know who is the hound, and who the fox.
I have always wanted to visit Japan and now, I feel as if I have. I was originally planning to read it as text, but this has not been a good year for my reading print. I finally gave in and bought the audiobook. I'm glad I did. Jenny Sterlin, who has been the narrator on this entire series, is wonderful. As she always is. She will always be the voice of Mary Russell to me. The wife of Homes and the teller of this and all of Laurie King's Sherlock Holmes-Mary Russell books.
You don't have to read the books in order, though it certainly wouldn't hurt if you did. Each book in the series stands on its own.
Laurie King is an exceptionally literate writer. The elegance of her language is one of her most attractive qualities as an author. In many places, her prose is almost poetry, lyrical and as silky as a rose petal. I recommend the book and the series. If you like mysteries which you cannot predict, enjoy vivid descriptions of exotic climes, I think I can say without reservation you will like her novels.
If you always hoped Sherlock might meet a nice woman, get married, and get a life -- in these books he does exactly that. All of your favorite Holmes characters will drop by for visits. And he does it without losing any of his detecting edge. He is still Sherlock Holmes ... but more human and definitely more humorous than he used to be in the old days.
Dreaming Spies is a great read. Every book in the series is a good reads. Absorbing, exciting, unpredictable. Beautifully written. Summer is coming. Take a few with you on your next vacation. Print or audio, you won't be disappointed.
- Marilyn Armstrong
King & Sterlin: A Team We Can Count On