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This is a jewel of a book! It's part of a series, and you won't want to miss any of its related titles. I only wish there were a dozen more of them.
I ran across the first book in this series by accident several years ago. I listened to it as an audiobook, and have no doubt the narration was key to my liking the book so much.
The premise is clever: These are the stories of Sherlock Holmes -- who supposedly was not a fictional character at all -- and his brilliant young female protegee, Mary. King deftly explains away any evidence that Holmes was not a real person, including Conan Doyle's involvement in the his chronicles. She depicts Holmes as a delightfully eccentric and complex man, making him much more appealing and interesting than Doyle's sometimes dour character.
Mary is the real star of these books, however, and she is one of the most fascinating fictional characters I've ever encountered. She is both brave and vulnerable, and brilliant without being intimidating. Her relationship with Holmes grows as the series continues, and is characterized by a mutual love and respect very uncommon during the time in which the novel is set. Just seeing the brilliant Mary and equally brilliant Holmes interact is worth the price of admission, and the clever plotlines and dialogue are icing on the cake.
The narrator for this series is unparallelled, capturing the essence of both Mary and Holmes so precisely that I can't imagine how anyone could enjoy this book as much in print.
If you're a Holmes fan, you won't want to miss this series. If you're not, this might turn you into one!
19 of 19 people found this review helpful
Laurie R King's Mary Russell books are delightful. This book is definitely the eighth book in a series. Read "The Bee Keeper's Apprentice" first and get caught up in how Russell and Holmes built their partnership. Mary Russell is an intelligent young woman who has "grown-up" throughout the series. Each book is different and enjoyable for different reasons.
I was intrigued by the American vs. British perspective. Jenny Sterlin's vocal portrayal of Holmes matches the image I have of him from his other biographer -- Watson through his literary agent, Conan Doyle.
Sit back and enjoy twist after twist. I certainly could not have predicted the resolution of Russell's past. Who can you trust when you are meeting people?
6 of 6 people found this review helpful