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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Laurie R. King has won sweeping critical acclaim and an impressive collection of awards for her writing. Although other writers have tried, no one has matched King's ability to capture the allure of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary sleuth, Sherlock Holmes.

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What listeners say about Locked Rooms

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1,420
  • 4 Stars
    433
  • 3 Stars
    105
  • 2 Stars
    20
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    20
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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    1,249
  • 4 Stars
    207
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    4
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    6
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,171
  • 4 Stars
    268
  • 3 Stars
    54
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Don't miss this jewel!

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!

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A great listen

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?

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

If you like the series--

--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.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very enjoyable

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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

May be unfair, but IMHO...

I bought this in an Audible clearance sale - I'm glad I didn't waste a credit on it or any more money. I confess this is my first experience with Laurie R. King, but before purchasing I visited the author's webpage and felt fairly confident in leaping into the series. I also confess that I haven't finished listening to the Audible version yet, and ordinarily I would never post a review this way.
I have to constantly remind myself that King is NOT responsible for the dreadful reader of this book. The story (no spoilers!) concerns a woman who grew up in San Francisco at the turn of the last century and was orphaned there at the age of 14, after which she was removed to England. Anybody here remember being 14? Not having read the entire book, I will excuse the "amnesia" which causes her to disavow huge parts of her childhood until the slightest trigger is proffered; there are more, "oh, that's right, now I remember" and "memories came flooding back" moments than you can believe. But for a 24-year old woman who has lived merely 10 years in the UK, the American actress responsible for the first-person narrative come across sounding like Robin Williams as Mrs Doubtfire - "Hell-oooooooooou!" Throughout the chokey narration I keep picturing John Cleese and Graham Chapman pursing their lips and mincing about "mater" and "pater" because that's what this reader does. Her shift into the British husband's voice (his name is "Holmes" - puh-leeze) is over-the-top, thick and nasty; if that's the inflection that King intended her character to use then Mary Russel should have coshed him long ago; he's hateful.

If you've ever know anyone who moved countries in their teens then you can probably appreciate my irritation. An elegant, well-bred American accent softened by a decade in England shouldn't come off like a parody of the Queen.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Best Installment So Far

To be honest, I have finished this story before its predecessor. In the previous story, which I have floundered in finishing, there was considerable action, but it was seemingly long and somewhat extraneous; and Holmes had become a mere foil for Russell. I was despairing of finishing the series.

This story has renewed my interest in the series. An interesting story that continues what becomes their world circling journey - recalling previous installments and linking the series together. A psychological mystery, we learn quite a bit about Russell's past and, to my pleasure, Holmes is featured as more than just a shadow. The relationship between Holmes and Russell is deepened, Holmes returning to the role of wise and resourceful detective, but with a more genuine expression of care and even frustration in his relating to Russell. For her part, Russell is depicted well as a woman with psychological demons arising from her childhood during the San Fransisco earthquake of 1906. Behind it all is a wonderfully entertaining back story of confused intrigue, misdirection, and surprises - that connect the story lines of previous installments, adding to the weight of the character and relationship development.

Recommended.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

OK, Just Ok

What did you love best about Locked Rooms?

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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perhaps the best

I have listened to all of the Mary Russel stories up until this one. I enjoy them all but at times they can become slow and laborious with detail. This particular novel had a good pace, was an easy listen and difficult to "put down," so to speak. I enjoyed it very much. I believe that breaking the story with periods of third person dialog following Holmes in Mary's "absence," was quite a nice change from the usual continuous 1st person Mary monologue. Well done!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

surprising excellence

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I love this series.

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.

4 people found this helpful