Thursday, December 2, 2010


Pages: 473
Date: 02/12/2010
Grade: 4.5
Details: no. 9 Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes

I do adore this series featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes. And it had been way too long since I'd last read a story about them.
This book almost made up for the long wait though, since it lived up to all my expectations. Beautifully written, well plotted and exciting without depending on thrills, this was a fascinating read.
Mary and Holmes return home after a long journey to find Damian Adler waiting for them there. Damian is the son of Holmes and "that woman", the one who got away. He is also a young man Holmes didn't know existed until a few years previously. A young man who appeared uninterested in any contact with his father.
Now he's looking for help though. Damian's wife and young daughter have disappeared, and he needs his father to find them. Holmes immediately agrees to help and the two men set of to London.
Mary stays at home where she keeps herself busy trying to figure out why one of Holmes' bee hives has swarmed, but she can't keep her mind of Damian and the mystery he brought to her home. Before long, Mary finds herself in London too, lodging with Mycroft and delving into an obscure religion and blood sacrifices in various ancient locations, taking a variety of forms.
When Damian disappears and his wife turns up murdered, Mary has to wonder not only if Damian might be a coldblooded killer, but also if her husband may for once have abandoned his famous objectivity and reasoning.
Years ago I marvelled at how well Mrs. King partnered the young Mary Russell with the much older Sherlock Holmes, and that sense of wonder is still with me. The relationship works. Their cooperation during investigations is effective, with the two of them being equals when it comes to detection and nicely complementing each other when necessary.
Something occurred to me while reading this book though. Wouldn't it be great if Mary Russell could meet Maisie Dobbs (from the books by Jacqueline Winspear). After all they do operate during the same era. I can't help thinking it would make for a marvelous story if they ever did.

No comments: