In 1915 orphaned Mary Russell literally stumbles across Sherlock Holmes on one of her walks across the English Downs. Holmes pretty quickly recognizes the young woman's exceptional mind and becomes her mentor. With Holmes, Mrs. Hudson and Doctor Watson (Uncle John) Mary finds the family she has lost. Holmes finds a kindred spirit he can mentor, training her in his observational and investigative methods. She assists him in investigations, eventually taking on her own cases. King has captured the time and place and the Holmes persona in this enjoyable addition to the Sherlock Holmes pastiche.
APPEAL: Strong sense of time and place, excellent characterizations, the mysteries are definitely secondary. King has written a perfectly believeable version of who Holmes might have become in his retirement.
NOTES (language, violence, sex, humor, satire):
First book in a series that currently numbers 12; Agatha Award nominee (1994 finalist), one of the Century's 100 Best Mysteries by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association, ALA Notable Book
detectives, England, historical fiction, Mary Russell, mystery, Oxford University, Palestine, Sherlock Holmes, women detectives, World War I, young women
Alan C. Bradley's The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
DATE/STAFF: 10/22/2012 / BF