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"Locked Rooms" by Laurie R. King
Dedicated to the World's First Consulting Detective: Sherlock Holmes!
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"Locked Rooms" by Laurie R. KingReviewed By Scott Harker
Publisher: Bantam, Copyright 2005, First Hardback Edition.
Locked Rooms is the eighth novel by Laurie King featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. There are many kinds of pastiches in the world. This is a rarity which chronicles the married years of Sherlock Holmes. For those who have not read any of the Russell and Holmes series, they take place after 1915 when Holmes first befriends Mary Russell and then marries her... leading to many new adventures.
The Story: Mary Russell, with Holmes, is returning to San Francisco, California where her parents and younger brother died in an automobile accident. She was the sole survivor of the tragedy. Russell has decided it is time to sell the family home and deal with other family business. But even before their boat docks in San Francisco, Russell is haunted by murky dreams of her childhood...
Once in California, Russell is shot at and Holmes becomes involved with a mystery dealing with the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.
As Russell is recovering lost memories of her family: She discovers that several people her parents knew where murdered shortly after her parents' death, enjoys a bit of 1920's jazz and learns about the esoteric philosophy of Feng Shui. Meanwhile a Chinese bookseller, some San Franscisco street children and Dashiell Hammett are used by Holmes as "irregulars" to help both protect Russell and resolve the various mysteries their arrival in California have awakened...
The Writing: Laurie R. King is an excellent writer whose work continues to add new depth to the world of Sherlock Holmes. She is also the author of the Kate Martinelle novels.
In Locked Rooms, parts of the story are told from the viewpoint of Russell while other parts are narrated by Sherlock Holmes. While Russell is, on her own, a strong and interesting character. It is in the Holmes narratives that the author's abilities soar. The illustrations of how Holmes' minds work as he puts the various puzzle peices together is delightful reading for any Sherlock Holmes fan.
The Rating: ... This novel certainly deserves 5 "Pipes." Well written and well plotted, it is books like Locked Rooms that shows why Sherlock Holmes continues to live into the 21st century.
To Purchase on Amazon, visit: Locked Rooms (Mary Russell Novels)
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