Laurie R. King, 2015
New Release! I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of review.
Premise: Follows Garment of Shadows. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes meet acrobats, aristocrats and blackmailers while on route to Japan, and more mysteries await on that island.
I had seriously mixed feelings about this book. I’ve had sadly mixed feelings about the series since The God of the Hive, but I enjoyed the two books after it quite a bit. This one… I liked aspects of.
I had to read it twice, actually, because it really rubbed me wrong the first time. It’s not badly written, the story is fine, but the connection, the spark… for me it was just missing.
There are a bunch of new characters, friends and foes, although the main character is Haruki. When I say that, I’m not being poetic. This is her story, her plot, her character arc, even though it’s told completely from the perspective of Mary Russell. I think this is the disconnect I felt. I liked Haruki’s story, but felt distant from it, as Mary herself did, and Mary’s story isn’t particularly intense or meaningful.
There are quite a few good scenes for Holmes and Russell, primarily around maintaining various cover identities while travelling. I was seriously thrown at one point by how little time has passed over the entire series, though. I’ve gotten older, and Russell hasn’t.
It’s still an enjoyable read, and it’s still pleasant, funny, charming in places, but it wasn’t compelling the way Garment of Shadows and some of the earlier books were.
3 Stars - A Good Book.