©1994 Laurie R. King; (P)1996 Recorded Books, LLC
"Jenny Sterlin creates a Mary Russell who is enormously likable and believable." (AudioFile)
I was actually very suspicious of reading a new "Holmes" novel. (with a female lead??) Sacrilegious was the word that came to my mind. I was well prepared to dislike the character and the story, but instead I found myself sucked into the story. Despite my misgivings, I have to admit the story was engaging and the main character Mary interesting. I think I might give the other books a try, too
a life-long Sherlock Holmes fan, i looked forward to this, especially as it made the "Best of Mysteries" list! Enjoyed it a lot, despite the characteristic British restraint in the narration which my Italian heart always finds a bit dry. the premise was fun, and the writing style and plot did it justice. of course, 21st sensibilities were projected onto early 20th century situations, but if you could get past that it was an enjoyable journey!
This book is a great listen and will be enjoyed by anyone who favors the classic English mystery. It is a very different view of an older, retired Sherlock Holmes, who renews his interest in investigation when he meets Mary Russell, a young, strong-minded and independent young woman whom he takes on as his "apprentice". While some may be disappointed in this depiction of Sherlock Holmes, which varys in some very significant ways from the original portrayed by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the characterization of Mary and her relationship to Holmes more than makes up for and justifies the revisions, in my opinion. Jennie Sterlin is a wonderful reader, and the book moves quickly and leaves the reader anxious for the next installment.
This is the second novel I have listened to by Laurie King and the second of the Mary Russell / Sherlock Holmes sagas. I wish I had read this first. This is where the saga begins. Ms. King knows how to set the scene, give the local flavor and put you right in the middle of the action. I was use to the slam bam thriller/mystery books. Ms. Russell has changed all that. Yes, there is a good mystery (or two) there. Yes, she keeps you guessing. However, she does far more. Through her expert literary craft, she brings you into the scene. I will definitely listen to this book again when I want not only a good mystery but also an enjoyable time away from my daily life. This is a must listen for mystery fans.
Dump all previous knowledge of Sherlock Holmes from your memory and be tantalized anew with this introduction to an incredibly intelligent, analytical man as he introduces an equally intelligent and unimpressed teenaged Mary Russell to his world. Is it possible that the retired (and bored) Sherlock Holmes still has some kick in his stride? Is it possible that young Mary, fighting personal demons and an unwanted guardian aunt, could confront Holmes with a developing alter ego and partner? Be captivated as Holmes and Russell grow into a partnership rife with mental challenge, acute observation, physical danger, and mystery, mystery, mystery. While each of Laurie R. King's Holmes/Russell novels may be read independently, I look forward to the time that they are all recorded for audible so that I may listen as their partnership develops and matures.
This is a terrific listen with a narrator/performer of sensitive interpretation, emotion and talent.
Others here have commented that the reader does a poor job with Homes. I disagree. The story is told from the point of view of a girl, and the reading is quite appropriate. I throughly enjoyed it!
There were times when I felt that this author could have used a great editor to help cut back some repetition and stray thoughts. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this take on Sherlock Holmes and a female side-kick. I was entertained throughout.
I was very pleasantly surprised by Ms. King's work. I've read, listened and watched Sherlock Holmes for years and this has been a most excellent story. It kept my interest and kept me in the car after I reached home on more than one occasion. The only thing keeping this from being a 5 is the reader. Ms. Sterling does a fine job on all characters, save Holmes. Maybe I've just heard too much Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett over the years but, I found Ms. Sterling's Holmes to be a distraction.
This has been one of my favorite books for years now. It is like an old friend. I can now listen to it whenever I get the urge. I encourage anyone who enjoys a good mystery with a great set of characters to READ THIS BOOK!
trying to see the world with my ears
I'm not a fan of mysteries and had no interest in S. Holmes, but thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this original and well-narrated listen. The period details, characters, and narrator captured me. I will surely listen to more in this series.
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