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O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King
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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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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.
( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
A mystery novel
  Bellmont | Mar 10, 2017 |
Laurie R. King's O Jerusalem follows an elderly Sherlock Holmes and his young apprentice, historian Mary Russel, as they travel to the Holy Land of 1919 seeking refuge from an unknown enemy in England. While in British-occupied Palestine, they work for Holmes' brother Mycroft in discovering who seeks to upset the uneasy balance between Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the city and the region. King's knowledge of the Palestine of 1919 makes for a vivid backdrop against which she plots her narrative. Additionally, like other successors to the Conan-Doyle stories including Mitch Cillin, she incorporates the original stories into her version of Holmes, with Watson writing fictionalized accounts of their cases, Conan-Doyle acting as the literary agent, and even the early stage play and film by William Gillette existing in this world. As a nice homage to that actor, King has Holmes go undercover as a British officer and use Gillette's name (pg. 333). This will primarily appeal to those who have read King's previous novels, though her reverence for the great detective, knowledge of his exploits, and skill in recreating the Palestine of 1919 will endear her to any Sherlockian. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Jan 27, 2017 |
This is absolutely my most favorite series ever! Every book in the series is fantastic-5 star! If you like Sherlock Holmes, you have to read this pastiche. It's the best one I've read yet. ( )
  EmpressReece | Aug 22, 2016 |
This is one of a series of spin-off Sherlock Holmes novels, where the relatively elderly detective partners young theology student Mary Russell. This was the fifth to be published, but was set during a hiatus in the plot of the first novel, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, so I read it now (nearly three years) after that novel. This is a well written novel and the author has obviously done a great deal of research into the time and place, Palestine under the British Mandate just after the end of the First World War and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. In places, the research is in my view a bit heavy at the expense of a well-flowing plot. Despite these literary merits, for me this doesn't work as a Sherlock Holmes novel; there are flashes of Holmesian brilliance, but for large tracts of the novel, he doesn't come across as the Great Detective; and Russell, while an interesting character, isn't entirely believable and her relationship with Holmes not really plausible within his fictional persona. So overall I'm not too sure if I'll pursue this series of a dozen or so novels, beyond the next one that I already have on my Kindle, and which sounds like it may be a bit more traditionally Sherlockian. ( )
  john257hopper | Jul 26, 2016 |
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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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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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