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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Baker Street & Joyful Reading Recap

I joined The Baker Street Challenge specifically so I would have an excuse to read all the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes books. That quickly morphed into My Month of Joyful Reading.

I signed up at the Seven Percent Solution level in The Baker Street Challenge, so I had to read seven books - that's exactly how many Mary Russell books I hadn't yet read.

I highly recommend these books. If you are a fan of Holmes, you will enjoy them. If you like period mysteries, you will enjoy them. If you like historical fiction, you will LOVE them - King is adept at immersing the reader the time period she's chosen.

Here are the links to all my reviews, along with the main theme, topic or setting of each:
  1. Monstrous Regiment of Women - women's movement after World War I
  2. Letter of Mary - archeology and women
  3. The Moor- fraud and The Hound of the Baskervilles
  4. Oh, Jerusalem!- colonial control of Palestine
  5. Justice Hall - World War I battlefront issues and English inheritance law
  6. The Game - colonialism and espionage in India
  7. Locked Rooms - the jazz age in San Fransisco
One thing I love about these books is that they each follow immediately upon the heels of the previous adventure with little time lost between books. Sometimes the characters overlap from book to book as well. And perhaps most importantly, King creates a Holmes who is eminently believable. Think of the BBC TV version of Sherlock Holmes, think of the great detective on his most daring case, and you will have the Holmes as written by King. Kudos to her for such an achievement.

In April, the latest book in the series, The Language of Bees, will be published. And in May Laurie R. King is coming to a library in Baltimore where I'll get to meet her - yeah! I was honored to host her twice on my blog recently (with a guest post and an interview) so I'm really looking forward to meeting her in person.

A big THANK YOU to Bookish Ruth for putting together The Baker Street Challenge. This challenge goes through the end of the year so if you'd like to join there is still plenty of time!


Amanda said...

Oh I can't wait to try out her books. I LOVE Sherlock Holmes and historical fiction. This stuff looks right up my alley. On a side note, what do you think about the upcoming movie?

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

To be honest, I've been living under a rock lately and have not seen anything about the movie. I'd HEARD about it - at least who the main actor will be - and I'm a bit leery ... I'm such a fan of the "old" BBC version and I'd hate to see that image messed with. But I'll reserve judgment until I see a few previews. :)

What do YOU think?

Unknown said...

I'll be seeing the new Sherlock Holmes movie, but I don't think anyone can surpass the fabulous Jeremy Brett as Holmes. He can't be beat IMO!

bermudaonion said...

Congratulations on finishing the challenge!

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll commit to one or so - any recommendations which should be first (or is that a stupid question with an answer like 'start with the FIRST one?)

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Ruth - Exactly. Brett is just perfect for that role.

bermudaonion - thanks!

bkclubcare - YEAH another convert! With this series it makes the most sense to go in order, but at the very least you must start with the first book first. I can't wait to see what you think of it!

Alyce said...

I've never read any Sherlock Holmes books, but you make these sound like a lot of fun.

Ruth King said...

Congratulations Heather, and thanks so much for participating in the challenge. I think you're the first person to complete it!

Also, I have to chime in with a bit of praise for Jeremy Brett. I don't think another actor will equal his depiction of Holmes. He was perfectly suited for the role.

Yvette said...

So great to find another Russell/Holmes enthusiast. This is one of my very favorite series and I reread several of the books all the time. Wonderful writing.
King makes Holmes a flesh and blood man, finally. It doesn't hurt that I am a BIG Sherlock Holmes fan from way back.

Yes, Jeremy Brett was THE Holmes. I often spend time casting the Russell/Holmes books. Who would you pick?

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Yvette - Thanks for dropping by, and welcome! I'm ashamed to say that I haven't read GOD OF THE HIVE yet but I really do intend to get to it soon. I too have been a Holmes fan for a long time, and I'm thrilled with the way King has fleshed out his character - he is completely believable, and makes sense based on Doyle's original characterizations.

As for casting, I'm going to decline that one b/c I honestly have no idea what the names of most actors are ... I just don't pay that much attention. LOL

I hope you'll drop by my blog again - I love hearing from new-to-me readers. :)

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