Review: Locked Rooms, by Laurie R. King

Locked Rooms
Laurie R. King
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Just when you thought it was safe to revisit this blog, I’ve got yet another Holmes/Russell novel to review. Of the nine books in the series, so far, I have to confess that this one is my favorite because it delves into Mary’s past in San Francisco.

Locked Rooms picks up exactly where The Game left off, with Holmes and Russell on a ship en route to California, with a sojourn in Japan we don’t hear much about. This time there are no shipboard masquerades where we see Mary donning the 1920’s-equivalent of a hot school girl costume, because Mary is having nightmares. Nightmares about her childhood in San Francisco, circa the 1906 earthquake. The problem, of course, is that Mary doesn’t think she lived in SFO at that time.

It was surreal reading about Sherlock Holmes walking the streets with which I’m so familiar, and the murder mystery part of the novel was intriguing, as always. What I found so much more compelling, however, was the internal struggle Mary Russell had, between what she thinks she remembers, and the cold hard facts.

A word of caution: While many of the Holmes/Russell novels can be read out of sequence, this one really requires a working familiarity with the previous books in the series.

Sunday Salon: Escapism

The Sunday

For my first Sunday Salon, it seems appropriate that I talk about the escapist reading I’ve done in the past few days, for what is Sunday but an escape from the endless errands of Saturday and the tedium of the work-week? Forgive me if my account is a bit vague. Money doesn’t grow on trees or buy memory capacity for the human brain, but it can buy lovely, lovely muscle relaxants.

I’m currently about half-way through a novel set in Marrakech, called Lulu in Marrakech, it’s a bit lighter and a lot less organized than I’d hoped, but I’m finding the exotic setting rather engaging.

I’ve also just begun reading By Bread Alone, which takes place in a house built inside a water tower in a funky little English town. I’m only a few pages in, but so far it’s quirky and charming.

Booking Through Thursday: Niche


On Thursday, June 11th, Booking through Thursday asked:

There are certain types of books that I more or less assume all readers read. (Novels, for example.)

But then there are books that only YOU read. Instructional manuals for fly-fishing. How-to books for spinning yarn. How to cook the perfect souffle. Rebuilding car engines in three easy steps. Dog training for dummies. Rewiring your house without electrocuting yourself. Tips on how to build a NASCAR course in your backyard. Stuff like that.

What niche books do YOU read?

I don’t think I read any niches that no one else reads. One niche I do have, however, is that I love boat stories.

I’m not referring to Horatio Hornblower adventures, or pirate-themed bodice rippers, but books like Tania Aebi’s Maiden Voyage which I first encountered soon after its release in 1989, and which tells the story of the then-eighteen-year-old author’s solo circumnavigation of the world via sailboat.

Linda Greenlaw’s books are not all boat stories, but even those that take place entirely on dry land have the same sort of feeling as those which recount her oceanic adventures.

I’m not sure why I like these tales – maybe it’s because the ocean pulses in my blood even when I’m as far inland as possible – but I love having a free block of time to spend on the high seas, even if it is only vicariously.