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O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King

O Jerusalem (1999)

by Laurie R. King

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Title:O Jerusalem
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O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King (1999)

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Following a bombing in 1918, Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell fled England to British-occupied Palestine under auspices of Mycroft. Disguised as Bedouins and working with two Arab brothers, Ali and Mahmoud Hazr, they became part of mission for His Majesty’s government trying to solve several murders of British agents.
They were led on a trip criss-crossing the mostly barren land. While Jews and Arabs had coexisted without severe problems, the Arabs were apprehensive of what would happen following the Balfour Sykes-Picot agreements which would mean the Arabs would lose their homes. They didn’t know about the Paris Peace talks and didn’t trust politicians in other areas to protect them. They had been under Turkish domination for four hundred years and would fight to prevent that from happening again.
After the Hazrs finished testing them, Sherlock and Mary learned a large part of their assignment was to locate Karim Bey, a sadistic, former torturer for the Turks, who was planning to dynamite the Temple Mount in Jerusalem while General Allenby was meeting with local leaders on the site. They also have to ferret out a British spy.
The book is written in Laurie R. King’s wonderful style, reminiscent of the original Sherlock Holmes series. She provides a lot of detail of what the country looked like at that time:
“The residents were only slightly more numerous than in the days when Hagar and Ishmael had been turned out into the wilderness” and there were about seven thousand residents in Jerusalem. The pace alters between a stroll and a fast race, depending on where they were and what was happening. There was a lot of adventure and suspense as the quartet met with others and tried to get information to answer their questions and prevent a catastrophe. There were also vivid descriptions of the life of Bedouins as they travel from location to location.
My favorite quote: Using insult instead of argument is the sign of a small mind. Holmes. I plan to cite it frequently when posting comments on Facebook. ( )
  Judiex | Apr 16, 2016 |
O Jerusalem takes us back in time to the first book when Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes had to flee England because of the danger they were in. The country they chose, or rather Mary chose, was Palestine.

This is the first book in the series that I didn’t quite like as much as the previous four books. That doesn’t mean that the book isn’t good. Just that it took some rereads to make me really appreciate the book. Now it’s a good book for me, and I wouldn’t mind re-read, but I was a bit disappointed when I read it the first time. Could be because I preferred the stories to move forward not reading about past events. It was quite a lot of years since I read it the first time so it’s hard to know exactly why. The case was probably just not as engrossing as the previous books cases.
( )
  | Feb 9, 2016 | edit |
I thought The Moor had been a boring chapter in the Mary Russell series, but I preferred that story to O Jerusalem's trudging around in circles with very little action or deduction. ( )
  BrookeAshley | Oct 12, 2015 |
The fifth in the series about a "retired" Sherlock Holmes and his apprentice, the 19th year-old Mary Russell. This one takes place in and around Jerusalem shortly after the end of the First World War. It is sort of a suspenseful historical mystery. I am enjoying the series. They present interesting snatches of history and particularly the history of a woman's role in various cultures. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
Love Laurie King. I am going back and forth with this and her Kate Martinelli series. ( )
  jenngv | Jun 25, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Laurie R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sterlin, JennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Dorothy Nicholl, and in memory of Donald, with love and gratitude.
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During the final week of December 1918, shortly before my nineteenth birthday, I vanished into British-occupied Palestine in the company of my friend and mentor Sherlock Holmes.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553581058, Mass Market Paperback)

Although O Jerusalem is Laurie King's fifth book in her Holmes-Russell series, it actually takes us back to the era of her first book, The Beekeeper's Apprentice. Perhaps King was afraid that her characters, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, were becoming too cozy as an old married couple, and she wanted to recreate the edgy sexual tension of their first encounter.

It's 1918. Nineteen-year-old Mary and her fiftysomething mentor are forced to flee England to escape a deadly adversary. Sherlock's well-connected brother Mycroft sends them to Palestine to do some international sleuthing. Here, a series of murders threatens the fragile peace.

Laurie King connects us, through details of language, custom, history, and sensual impressions, to this very alien environment. Russell, Holmes, and two marvelously imagined Arab guides named Mahmoud and Ali trek through the desert and visit ancient monasteries clinging like anthills to cliffs. They also find time to take tea with the British military legend Allenby in Haifa and skulk through or under the streets of Jerusalem. King puts us into each scene so quickly and completely that her narrative flow never falters.

Stepping back in time also gives King a chance to show us Holmes through the eyes of a Russell not yet as full of love as a honeymooner, nor as complacent as a comfortable wife. "There it was--sardonic, superior, infuriating," Mary says about Holmes's voice at one point.

Wisdom is knowing when, and how much, to shake things up--even in a successful series. Laurie King is a wise woman indeed. --Dick Adler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:56 -0400)

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Mary Russell once again teams up with Sherlock Holmes as they are pursued by murderous strangers through the bazaars of 1918 Jerusalem.

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