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)
While the audio version was absolutely excellent and was as good as the print version, the print version was excellent in its own right and could in no way be call inferior to the audio version.
Mary Russell, wife of Sherlock Holmes, is having issues with her memory which is bringing problems to them both. With lives in jeopardy Sherlock Holmes enlists the help of Dashiell Hammett, the author of Sam Spade mysteries and much more.
Jenny Sterlin does her usual superb job of reading in this book. She is the best voice for the characters.
I consider the Mary Russell / Sherlock Holmes books by Laurie King to be excellent and look forward to the next one as soon as the present book has been completed. Locked Rooms answered a lot of questions and was a very satisfying finish to the angst Mary suffered over the perceived guilt surrounding the death of her family. It was also written in a style somewhat different than the other books in the series of eight.
Mary is always my favourite character. She is improbably intelligent, outspoken and well travelled, married to a middle aged icon. Her many skills include the art of disguise as a detective in her own right, adept at self protection and attack, a degree in theology and chemistry from Oxford, master of many languages, an ardent feminist and the only other match to Holmes beyond Adler. Her stories are written over a span of almost 20 years, as memoirs, introduced by a series of writings delivered to a novelist with a request for any information on the writer, Mary Russell. Intriguing!
She is her usual enigmatic and factual self, with a little vulnerability thrown in. Mary has suffered dreams and memories that tormented her over the death of her family in an auto accident that she considers her fault. The resolution of this restores her equilibrium and brings piece of mind.
The best scene is the one that takes place in San Francisco's Chinatown where Holmes, Russell and a group of 'irregulars' end up on a chase of two suspects. The Chinese man with them, Long, was the son of her parents' good friends. He calls on the crowd to prevent them from getting away. Russell confronts the two before they are arrested, and is able to solve the last mystery — a memory she has of a man who tampered with her parents' car the day they died.
Oh yes. I was driving a long distance when I started it and sat in the driveway for a while after I stopped to hear more.
King often brings interesting characters into her novels. Mary has met met T. E. Lawrence, J. R. R. Tolkien and Edmund Allenby in addition to several characters in specific novels. In The Game, the spy is one whom Holmes knows from his travels in India long ago, under the name Sigurson - Kimball O'Hara, known to the world by the name Rudyard Kipling called him, Kim. In A Letter of Mary, a fictional Lord Peter Wimsey makes a brief cameo appearance. In God of the Hive, modern-day Robin Goodfellow is introduced to help Russell. She also meets Holmes' old acquaintance, Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould, the squire of Lew Trenchard, to help solve the mystery of the ghostly hound in The Moor. Locked Rooms is no exception where Holmes and Russell team up with a former Pinkerton agent Dashiell Hammett.
AudioBook Fan Extraordinaire
I cannot give away one of the most memorable moments without spoiling the final chapter, but this book is excellent and paints a very real unidealized picture of our favorite heroine Mary Russell. Who is she and where does she come from? This will answer many of those questions for us, and most importantly for her. Mary when she is away from Sherlock and among her peers is a very different Mary and we are both shocked and pleased.
Mary left her heart in San Francisco
Be sure to read this book after "The Game" so you understand the references. Locked Rooms is a wonderful book, delving deep into Mary's innermost thoughts and feelings, but always with a purpose. Our detecting duo meet with interesting characters and they are given sufficient space for enjoyment. The book moves at an exciting pace for some of the time, but takes a slower stroll when needed. As much as I complained about "The Moor" I want to praise Laurie King for this book, Locked Rooms. I think she has reached a high point. I will proceed to the next in the series with high hopes.
Absolutely - already have. Laurie King's writing brings Sherlock Holmes back to life.
I still smile when I think of the immense relief the character Holmes must have felt as soon as Russell, after having "come back to herself," so to speak, stands before him with a gun pointed at his newly acquired irregular, Dashiell Hammett.
As always, she is a master.
Both. I particularly enjoy the way King develops her characters to include you into their personalities as well as their story.
In the upper third, but not too high.
All of her performances, including this one are superb. This story - set in San Francisco - presented several potential difficulties in regard to accents, but she managed all very well
More of a psycological study of the heroine than a detective-thriller; but it contains an excellent, vivid depiction of the great San Francisco earthquake and fire. As a historical window into a devastating event it has few peers. Delightful historical fiction.
Another great sequel to the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes novels. This reminds me of the earlier two books; interesting, well-written, without the 'dark side' of the last novel "The Game".
Here the mystery of much of Mary's early years come together with Sherlock taking the back seat more perhaps than previous novels.
A good read or listen!
Laurie King has a remarkable talent. Her characters are riveting. Her attention to the details not only of character, but of plot are exceptional. Every Mary Russell book has taught me about issues and events from the past that I had no knowledge of. I love Jenny Sterlin's narration, as well. She is excellent.
I read the 1st book in this series "Bee Keepers Apprentice" quite some time ago and enjoyed it. There is something to be said for a book that keeps you engaged and ends happily! I didn't realize when purchasing this book, however, that it is BOOK NUMBER 8 in the series! (oops!) However, despite the 6 books I missed, I still enjoyed the story as it does stand on its own. However, I recommend reading in order. My only complaint with this book is the narrator's embarrassing attempt at American accents. Although I still enjoyed the narration as a whole, her CA accent varied between Chicago and slight southern regions. I recommend this novel if you are looking for a light-hearted mystery.
Narrative makes the world go round.
At first I was disapppointed that the setting was California rather than post-WWI war England, but King managed to weave her usual engrossing web of fiction/ history/ psychology on the other side of the Atlantic, making the streets of San Franciso as vivid as those of London. Although Holmes is in the background, he's still a strong (and not always silent) presence. In the course of the narrative, Russell manages to unlock some of the memories she had walled up. Knowledge of the previous novels in the series is is not required for enjoyment - but will probabaly follow.
In order to understand the context of King's latest book it would be helpful to have read her previous books - although not necessary. Each of her books delves a bit deeper into Mary's background, which enriches her character. I love the series - the period descriptions are wonderful - and I enjoy the narrator who perfectly captures Mary's and Holme's "voice".
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