Locked Rooms

>> Sunday, April 19, 2009

Yesterday I finally finished Locked Rooms - a Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mystery by Laurie King. I just love this series and I can't believe how long it took me to get to this one. This time Russell and Holmes are in San Francisco and the big mystery is about Russell's past. We've seen them in England and in exotic locales - it was fun to see them in the US this time. I loved this bit from Holmes about the difficulty of finding good Irregulars here.

The modern fashion for universal compulsory education had put a distinct cramp into the style of a consulting detective. In his Baker Street days, he'd been regularly able to summon a group of street arabs to serve at his beck and call, but now - and particularly in this democratic republic of America - all his most valuable resources were parked behind desks, chafing at the restrictions and wasting their most productive years while their heads were filled with mathematical formulae they would never use and the names of cities they would never visit.
I love it! One of my favorite things about this series is the relationship between Russell and Holmes - and the way the author plays with the original Holmes stories. You can see both in this little bit. . .
I grabbed my coat and headed towards the door, which Holmes already had open, driven there by the urgency of my tone. "It's your Irregulars," I told him.
His face lighted with joy, and as he galloped down the corridor towards the lift he cried, "Come, Russell - the game's afoot!"
Hammett, catching up his coat and walking beside me with more decorum, looked at me askance. "He actually says that?"
"Only to annoy me," I told him, and all but shoved him towards the opening lift door.
Hammett, you say? Dashiell Hammett? That's right - an extra bonus for the San Francisco setting is that Dashiell Hammett makes an appearance - a substantial one. Alan has read some of his books but I've only seen the movies - Maltese Falcon and the Thin Man movies. More books added to the must read pile. . .

If you haven't read these Russell and Holmes mysteries, start with Beekeeper's Apprentice and work your way through the series. You're in for a treat.


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