Dreaming Spies

Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (1,734 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What listeners say about Dreaming Spies

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Oh well

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.

12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

least inspiring of the series

What did you like best about Dreaming Spies? What did you like least?

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.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

She's Back!

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.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Haiku and Holmes - A Fine Brew

What made the experience of listening to Dreaming Spies the most enjoyable?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

Writing that evokes place and time and remains lyrical and clean.

What does Jenny Sterlin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Russell and Holmes come to life through her voice.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I very nearly did listen to it in all one sitting. Knitted most of a sweater in fact. Will listen again beginning tomorrow.

Any additional comments?

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

18 people found this helpful

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Superb!

Artfully written and superb descriptions of Japanese culture. The relationship between Holmes and Mary continues to grow.
Totally loved it!

14 people found this helpful

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King & Sterlin: A Team We Can Count On

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!

20 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

I loved the first book in the series, but this one? Too legato for me - too implausible. Both of them taken in by a Japanese Ninja? Two crucial
scenes where they have no role except to spectate? It dragged - slow starting and never quite engaging into what I consider a true thriller.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Very distracting accent

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

If you are distracted by bad narration, you might want to give this title another think. Jenny Sterlin's Japanese accent is something like a cross between German and generic Asian, but mostly German, I am surprised she didn't use a dialect coach. The story is good so I am working my way through it, but it is a tough go.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Too Much Travelogue, Not Enough Story

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.

8 people found this helpful

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Didn't get along with the narrator's voice

I actually couldn't get past the 3rd chapter, even when trying very hard. I guess the narrator's voice was not really pleasant to my ears. It sounded monotonous, yet felt important somehow, which kept me both alarmed and disappointed all the time.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Hevpais
  • 04-19-15

Excellent

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hugh Daly
  • 05-26-19

hard work

I have enjoyed all of Laurie r King books but this one was hard work I stuck with it because I knew it was going to be the basis for another story down the line but that's the only reason why

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  • Sue
  • 01-30-19

Review

This book kept me captivated until the end. a thoroughly good read. An exellent story

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • pamf
  • 07-26-18

Excellent narration and story

Jenny Sterlin, the narrator is as ever the voice of Mary Russell. She reads story as if she really is the elderly Mary Russell remembering back over the adventures that she’s had with her husband. Laurie R King’s adventures of Mary Russell are spellbound binding and if you are new to the adventures of Mary Russell then better to go back to the beekeepers apprentice which is the start of her encounter with Sherlock Holmes. The story with back and forward in time and is obviously the result of a huge amount of research in Japan and 1920s England and shipboard life. Kings knowledge of Oxford