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Pirate King: A novel of suspense featuring…

Pirate King: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock… (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Laurie R. King

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7207513,063 (3.47)84
Title:Pirate King: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (Russell & Holmes, Book 11)
Authors:Laurie R. King
Info:Bantam (2011), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmes, Pirates of Penzance, musical, silent film, pirates, Portugal, Morocco

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Pirate King by Laurie R. King (2011)



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This one's fine, but not nearly among the best in the series. Not enough mystery, not enough Holmes, a bit too much repetition, &c. If you've read all the rest you'll want to read this one too, but I found it rather less compelling than the others. ( )
  JBD1 | May 31, 2016 |
Pirate King – A Novel of Suspense – L.R. King
4 stars

This is the eleventh book in Laurie King’s Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes mystery series. The series is a pastiche of the original Holmes stories concerning the further adventures of an aging Holmes and his much younger wife during the 1920’s. In this book, Russell and Holmes infiltrate a silent film crew as work is beginning on a film about a cast of characters who are themselves actors in a Gilbert and Sullivan production of Pirates of Penzance. Confused? Yes, it is confusing. King has attempted to fill her story with the same kinds of broad humor and unlikely plot resolutions that are found in a G & S opera. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The so-called mystery is a side show to the comedy and chaos of the film company.

It helped that I am very familiar with Gilbert and Sullivan. There were a number of inside jokes that required a working knowledge of the operas. I also know about the kind of mass confusion that goes along with wrangling the needs and egos of a large group of performers. King may have exaggerated some of her characters to add humor to the story, but it didn’t stretch reality all that much. The atmosphere and mechanics of a working silent film crew were very entertaining. Silent film captions punctuate the text and add to the enjoyment. And then there are the pirates, who turn out to be for too authentic.

This was a very different kind of story from the previous two books. In books nine and ten, I felt there was a great deal of unnecessary padding of the text to create two books with a tension building cliff hanger at the end of the first. Pirate King suffers from cramming too much action and far too many characters into a shorter book. It’s a romp with a great many unlikely details, but entertaining nonetheless.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
I tried to like this book. The first few I read in this series were very good, very Holmesesque. Then the series became more like a history book and not fun at all. I gave up reading more in the series until a friend told I needed to give another try with this "pirate" book. Not enough Holmes in the book up to the point I quit reading. ( )
  kewaynco | Apr 10, 2016 |
So excited to catch up with Mary, Sherlock and Mycroft!
  SkiKatt68 | Feb 26, 2016 |

I would never, never accuse King of overreaching. No one who creates a successful mystery series with a 20-something wife for Sherlock Holmes is overreaching. However, in this volume in the series, the apt word is "misapplied".

Fflyttes of Fancy - just saying that phrase again makes me wince. It's as if King thought of a really good set of puns and decided to build a story around them. A ridiculous story with "real" pirates set against the "fictional" universe of Pirates of Penzance, drifting from England to Portugal to Morocco and thankfully not back again (although England would have been a welcome respite to the more "exotic" locations described). Also, it's as if she wasn't re-reading her own story, because she tells us over and over in the beginning why the actresses have been given names other their own. By the third time, I was feeling decidedly alarmed about the rest of the book.

And, yes, Mr. Pessoa may, in fact, have been a real person, but I could not have cared less about his peculiar personal outlook on life and his own "flights of fancy". In fact, that really sums up the entire novel for me - I just didn't care. The more ludicrous it became, the more offputting it was to finish.

I notice that it does get some of the lower reviews on Goodreads than her other novels, and that the next one has a slightly better average rating, so here's hoping. ( )
  khage | Feb 8, 2016 |
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Sent to Lisbon and Morocco, where a British studio is creating a silent film version of "The Pirates of Penzance," Mary Russell investigates a series of crimes targeting the production and confronts a high-stakes situation when actual pirates orchestrate a hostage situation.… (more)

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