Haunted by her dreams, Mary Russell arrives in San Francisco in 1924 to settle her parents' estate. But she quickly encounters a few surprises and learns there may be a great deal more to her childhood in this city than she ever knew. As Mary tries to cobble the pieces of her shadowy past together, her husband Holmes wonders if she may be repressing vital memories. And one thing seems certain; someone wants Mary's remembrances to stay buried.
King is at the top of her game with Locked Rooms, a wonderfully intricate and marvelously evocative mystery rich with unexpected twists and turns.
©2005 Laurie R. King; (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC
"A highlight in an altogether outstanding series." (Booklist)
"Richly imagined....The narrative has real momentum, the characters are engaging, and the prose, as always, is intelligent, evocative, and graceful." (Publishers Weekly)
"A humdinger of a plot that deepens with each retelling of the dreams, plus pulsating descriptions of San Francisco's tent cities, looters, and flattened Chinatown in the 1906 quake's aftermath." (Kirkus Reviews)
This is a jewel of a book! It's part of a series, and you won't want to miss any of its related titles. I only wish there were a dozen more of them.
I ran across the first book in this series by accident several years ago. I listened to it as an audiobook, and have no doubt the narration was key to my liking the book so much.
The premise is clever: These are the stories of Sherlock Holmes -- who supposedly was not a fictional character at all -- and his brilliant young female protegee, Mary. King deftly explains away any evidence that Holmes was not a real person, including Conan Doyle's involvement in the his chronicles. She depicts Holmes as a delightfully eccentric and complex man, making him much more appealing and interesting than Doyle's sometimes dour character.
Mary is the real star of these books, however, and she is one of the most fascinating fictional characters I've ever encountered. She is both brave and vulnerable, and brilliant without being intimidating. Her relationship with Holmes grows as the series continues, and is characterized by a mutual love and respect very uncommon during the time in which the novel is set. Just seeing the brilliant Mary and equally brilliant Holmes interact is worth the price of admission, and the clever plotlines and dialogue are icing on the cake.
The narrator for this series is unparallelled, capturing the essence of both Mary and Holmes so precisely that I can't imagine how anyone could enjoy this book as much in print.
If you're a Holmes fan, you won't want to miss this series. If you're not, this might turn you into one!
Laurie R King's Mary Russell books are delightful. This book is definitely the eighth book in a series. Read "The Bee Keeper's Apprentice" first and get caught up in how Russell and Holmes built their partnership. Mary Russell is an intelligent young woman who has "grown-up" throughout the series. Each book is different and enjoyable for different reasons.
I was intrigued by the American vs. British perspective. Jenny Sterlin's vocal portrayal of Holmes matches the image I have of him from his other biographer -- Watson through his literary agent, Conan Doyle.
Sit back and enjoy twist after twist. I certainly could not have predicted the resolution of Russell's past. Who can you trust when you are meeting people?
I have followed the series and this helped in my enjoyment. I found towards the end it felt a bit extended and wordy but all in all a very enjoyable story and the Mary Russell, Sherlock interaction very believable. Definitely recommended and fills in a lot of gaps in the Mary Russell story.
Unlike the previous reviewer, I like the narration. I have both read and listened to the whole series. This is the voice I have come to associate with the main character. The amnesia is believable, in light of the previous books.
I live in San Francisco, and I often look for books that use the City as a setting. Sometimes they are disappointing, but Locked Rooms was just stunning for its research. I know Laurie R. King lives in California, and perhaps she has fallen in love with the romance of San Francisco history. She did a great job with this book weaving in details of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. Also her characters were walking down streets I know so well I think I could conduct a walking tour of Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell in San Francisco. The whole book added wonderful depth to Mary Russell's character (if you're a series fan). Plot twists weren't excessively obvious, either. Brilliant.
--then you'll like this book. It's slow to get going, with Mary's problems with memory retrieval going on for too long and not always believably, but the gradual revelation combined with excellent period detail makes this a good listen.
I've read several of Laurie King's Holmes novels, and while entertaining, they are not as clever as they think they are. The problem with creating a novel with Holmes in it, you have to be as smart and sharp as Doyle.
i say "surprising" not because i've read any of this author's previous works, but because i would never have guessed that sherlock holmes married and in san francisco could possibly be enthralling ... but it was. at first, i didnt think so and put the story aside for a month, but when i came back to it, i was immediately drawn in, partly by the excellent narration, but undeniably also by the skill of the author. i look forward to more by both of them.
one of the best. This story belongs to Mary Russell, her childhood and the Chicago fire. Even a guest appearance by Dashiell Hammett!
I never thought i was one for mystery novels but this was a great book! I didn’t realize this was a series and started in the middle but i didn’t feel lost. And the last part was so thrilling i couldn’t put it down, i recommend this book.
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