For years now, readers of the Russell Memoirs have wondered about the tantalizing mentions of Japan. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes had spent three weeks there, between India (The Game) and San Francisco (Locked Rooms). The time has finally come to tell that story.
It is 1925, and Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes arrive home to find...a stone. A stone with a name, which they last saw in the Tokyo garden of the future emperor of Japan. It is the first indication that the investigation they did for him in 1924 might not be as...complete as they had thought. In Japan there were spies, in Oxford there are dreams. In both places there is a small, dark-haired woman and danger.
©2015 Laurie R. King (P)2015 Recorded Books
"Narrator Jenny Sterlin is required to be nimble of tongue as Sherlock Holmes's wife, Mary Russell, journeys from Oxford to Japan and back to expose a blackmailer and save the honor of Japan's future emperor." (AudioFile)
In Locked Rooms, when Laurie R. King mentioned the stop Holmes and Mary made in Japan on their way from India to San Francisco, it was clear that there would be a book based on their Japanese adventures. Four books later, we have that tale.
King adds another layer which took place a year later, in Oxford. It is a very satisfying double story, one which allowed King to contrast the attitudes and actions of Mary and Holmes with those of their Japanese allies. The plot takes many twists, surprising even Holmes.
Couple the intelligence and skill with which King writes, with the intelligence and skill Sterlin brings to the narration and you have a winning audiobook. It's been well worth the wait!
Jenny Sterlin has always been the voice of Mary Russell for me. It's the voice I heard in my head long before I listened to my first LR King via Audible.
Writing that evokes place and time and remains lyrical and clean.
Russell and Holmes come to life through her voice.
I very nearly did listen to it in all one sitting. Knitted most of a sweater in fact. Will listen again beginning tomorrow.
Laurie R. King writes good stores and does meticulous research. This book did not disappoint and I think it's going to be my #2 LRK favorite right behind O Jerusalem
I've been a fan of this series for some years. I have read all but maybe one or two of these wonderful modern Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell novels. I have enjoyed every one of them and hope Ms. King never stops writing them.
The first of the series I read -- which is not the first book in the series -- was set in Jerusalem. I was actually searching for a different book which has (almost) the same name -- Oh! Jerusalem, by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins (another good one, worth your time).
I lived in Jerusalem for nine years. Reading the book delighted me with its descriptive richness and the accuracy of the geography. I've read a lot of books supposedly set in Jerusalem and this was the first one I felt captured it, not just physically but spiritually. I could smell the spices and see the sun on the stone.
dreaming spiesDreaming Spies is the latest in Laurie King's brilliant modern tales of Sherlock Holmes and his intrepid and scholarly wife, Mary Russell. While on a sea voyage to Japan -- intended as a vacation -- the journey transforms into a convoluted, multi-faceted hunt for a blackmailer, a priceless book, and a document that can save an empire.
As the intensity of the chase increases, Holmes and Mary form a peculiar alliance with a mysterious young Japanese woman. Twists and turns of plot abound. Nobody and nothing is who or what they seem to be. It's impossible to know who is the hound, and who the fox.
I have always wanted to visit Japan and now, I feel as if I have. I was originally planning to read it as text, but this has not been a good year for my reading print. I finally gave in and bought the audiobook. I'm glad I did. Jenny Sterlin, who has been the narrator on this entire series, is wonderful. As she always is. She will always be the voice of Mary Russell to me. The wife of Homes and the teller of this and all of Laurie King's Sherlock Holmes-Mary Russell books.
You don't have to read the books in order, though it certainly wouldn't hurt if you did. Each book in the series stands on its own.
Laurie King is an exceptionally literate writer. The elegance of her language is one of her most attractive qualities as an author. In many places, her prose is almost poetry, lyrical and as silky as a rose petal. I recommend the book and the series. If you like mysteries which you cannot predict, enjoy vivid descriptions of exotic climes, I think I can say without reservation you will like her novels.
If you always hoped Sherlock might meet a nice woman, get married, and get a life -- in these books he does exactly that. All of your favorite Holmes characters will drop by for visits. And he does it without losing any of his detecting edge. He is still Sherlock Holmes ... but more human and definitely more humorous than he used to be in the old days.
Dreaming Spies is a great read. Every book in the series is a good reads. Absorbing, exciting, unpredictable. Beautifully written. Summer is coming. Take a few with you on your next vacation. Print or audio, you won't be disappointed.
while i enjoyed the description of life in Japan in the 20's this wasn't a compelling mystery and both Mary and Holmes seem to have lost their deductive powers.
Laurie King is back strong with this installment of the Sherlock and Mary Holmes stories. Very fond narrative description of Oxford and Japan.
Sadly, the reading leaves much to be desired. Himself sound bored and stuffy, the wit is missing from his voices the Japanese accents are appalling.
Yes, if the person is a Sherlock/Mary Russell fan and is intersted in Japanese culture.
This story is not my favorite, but I completed it and enjoyed some parts.
Sherlock and Mary Russell being outsmarted. A rare occurrence.
This story, for me, had a very slow beginning. There were too many descriptions of the people on the ship. I was actually wondering if we would ever arrive anywhere.
I guess I every book can't be her best. usually I feel like I've learned something eg history, culture but not so much this time. the story wasn't very compelling either. it was just flat.
This book was a huge disappointment. I'm a Sherlock Holmes fan and have read all of Ms. King's previous books featuring the aging detective and his young wife, Mary Russell. They were good, and I was eager to read the latest installment. What a disappointment!
The book drags on interminably, providing details of sea voyages, ships, gardens, libraries, bath houses, and buildings. What it does not provide is the usual twists and turns of a typical Holmes book (and of Ms. King's previous books). We meet Ms. Sato, and know she's looking for a book with a document inside. The book was mistakenly given to the King of England as a gift, by Japan's Prince Hirohito. The book never explains why this document might have brought down governments, just that it would and therefor must be rescued from any possibility of entering the public domain. Ms. Sato, a shinobi (aka ninja) and apparently also samurai, is duty bound to restore it. We also know that the book is the subject of a blackmail demand by Lord Darley, and that it has also been forged. In a nutshell, that's about all the plot the reader gets until the last two hours.
I couldn't wait for the book to end. I forced myself to finish because it's Sherlock Holmes, but it seemed interminable. If I had to hear Russell's fascination with cherry blossoms one more time, I might have been tempted to throw my iPod on the floor!
In fairness, the last two hours were pretty good, but I didn't appreciate having to slog through so much chaff to get to the wheat.
Having just read Mycroft, by Kareem Abdul Jabbar, I was interested in Russell's antipathy for Holmes brother in this book. Of course, both Holmes and Mycroft are much older in King's book and there obviously has been much water under the bridge. However, it's a negative turn for the Mycroft character that isn't really explained, and which I do not appreciate.
Jenny Sterlin does an excellent job of narrating. I love the voice she uses for Holmes, which manages to convey both age and brilliance, as well as English upper class intonation. However, not even she could save the boring plot.
Slog through this if you're a Holmes fan, but don't expect the usual entertainment of King's previous books.
Great book, brilliantly narrated by Ms Sterlin, who I find I actually think of as Mary Russell. Lots of twists and turns in this story, and just when you think it is all finished, yet another twist comes along.
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