Friday, March 6, 2015

Mary Russell

A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes

Laurie R. King

Laurie R. King’s New York Times bestselling novels of suspense featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, are critically acclaimed and beloved by readers for the author’s adept interplay of history and adventure. Now the intrepid duo is finally trying to take a little time for themselves—only to be swept up in a baffling case that will lead them from the idyllic panoramas of Japan to the depths of Oxford’s most revered institution.

After a lengthy case that had the couple traipsing all over India, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are on their way to California to deal with some family business that Russell has been neglecting for far too long. Along the way, they plan to break up the long voyage with a sojourn in southern Japan. The cruising steamer Thomas Carlyle is leaving Bombay, bound for Kobe. Though they’re not the vacationing types, Russell is looking forward to a change of focus—not to mention a chance to travel to a location Holmes has not visited before. The idea of the pair being on equal footing is enticing to a woman who often must race to catch up with her older, highly skilled husband.

Aboard the ship, intrigue stirs almost immediately. Holmes recognizes the famous clubman the Earl of Darley, whom he suspects of being an occasional blackmailer: not an unlikely career choice for a man richer in social connections than in pounds sterling. And then there’s the lithe, surprisingly fluent young Japanese woman who befriends Russell and quotes haiku. She agrees to tutor the couple in Japanese language and customs, but Russell can’t shake the feeling that Haruki Sato is not who she claims to be.

Once in Japan, Russell’s suspicions are confirmed in a most surprising way. From the glorious city of Tokyo to the cavernous library at Oxford, Russell and Holmes race to solve a mystery involving international extortion, espionage, and the shocking secrets that, if revealed, could spark revolution—and topple an empire. (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes on an adventure that takes them from Japan to the England. Someone wants them to help the Emperor of Japan, and to do so, they must first learn about Japan’s history and culture.

This is book #13 in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, but is my first introduction to this pair. I had no problem enjoying the story even though I’m a latecomer to the series. The little snippets regarding Mary’s past and her relationship to Sherlock has only peaked my interest to want to go back and read the earlier books.

Mary is strong willed and independent. She has a sharp, observant eye and quickly picks up on human behavior that most people would miss. I liked her relationship with the much older Sherlock. They seem like a well suited pair who play off each other strengths and weaknesses.

The author did a good job incorporating a bit of a history and travel lesson in with some fun action and suspense. The information about Japan was informative and made for an interesting backdrop to the main plot. This was both an entertaining and educational read and I’m glad to become a new fan of the series.

Many thanks to Random House Publishing - Bantom Dell, via Netgalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

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