by Laurie R. King
the 9th Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes book
*** About the Book ***
This 9th book in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series finds our investigative duo returning home from a lengthy trip abroad (most of which is covered in the previous 3 books). Upon arrival they are greeted with two mysteries: one of Holmes's beehives has gone mad and Holmes's long-lost son has appeared on their doorstep. As the story progresses, Russell finds herself alone in her efforts to discover the solution to both mysteries.
*** Why I Read It ***
I picked up the first book in this series somewhat by accident, at the prompting of a local indie bookseller. I loved the series so much that I read the next 7 books in one month. I was thrilled when I won a copy of the latest book (this one) just after it was released; I had planned to buy it anyway, so it was a win-win for me! I've had it sitting on my shelf since late Spring, and figured that now was the time to get it read.
*** My Thoughts ***
When I heard this book was going to include Holmes's son, I immediately had to figure out who that son was. According to King, the son is the product of Holmes's relationship with Irene Adler, a character introduced in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short story A Scandal in Bohemia. Back in August I picked up an audio version of several Holmes stories which included Scandal; unfortunately I found that it was a radio dramatization and not technically an audio book so I returned it to the library. I did, however, listen to Scandal first so I would be familiar with the story. I found that it helped to have that background; it wasn't absolutely necessary, but it was good for me.
Although I did enjoy this book it was not one of my favorites in the series. I felt like it meandered at the beginning and got off to a slow start. It did pick up about halfway through though, and the pace was excellent after that. As always, King continues to develop the characters of Russell and Holmes in unexpected ways, and I definitely enjoyed the new aspects of their personalities in this book.
I do have one complaint that I hope someone can help me out with. If you've read the book, please let me know how you see the bee mystery relating to the other main mystery. For the life of me, I don't see how they relate nor why the bee mystery is so important. The only connection I can make is the theme of "madness", but I'm not sure that's what I'm supposed to be seeing here. If you have any thoughts on this, please let me know!
*** Your Thoughts ***
In addition to the question I've asked you in the paragraph above, I also want to know who out there is a Mary Russell fan. Have you read any of the series? What did you think of it?
I've not been able to find any reviews of this book by bloggers I know ... if I missed yours please let me know and I'll add it here.
And finally, here's a book trailer for you to check out. Actually, it is the author reading excerpts of the book along with video from the places she's describing. It's rather long, but if you are interested in this book then you'll enjoy it.