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Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King

Locked Rooms (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Laurie R. King

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1,505None4,901 (4.04)63
Title:Locked Rooms
Authors:Laurie R. King
Info:Bantam (2006), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, historical fiction, mystery, pastiche, Sherlock Holmes, victorian, california

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Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King (2005)



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Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
3.5 stars.

Better than the last one (with the bizarre look at colonial British India). Bringing Dash Hammett into the 'verse is a little too cute, and yet at the same time I'm very fond of him as a character. It'd be nice to see him join them for a different sort of adventure.

Disability tag: the bad guy has severely disfiguring burn scars gained during looting in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake. A minor character has disabilities from a fall that broke many bones. Hammett has TB. ( )
  sageness | Feb 7, 2014 |
I greatly enjoyed this, and decided to give this full marks. The series is basically Sherlock Holmes fanfic, with the great detective given a female romantic and professional partner. So many ways it could have gone wrong, but I never have felt King's creation Mary Russell was a Mary Sue--for all her capabilities she has had her vulnerabilities, and I think this installment is among the most personal and introspective of the books, and I loved that aspect. One thing I've enjoyed about the books so far, and this is the eighth of them, is that King keeps changing things up so they're fresh. Even the narrative technique is different in this one, consisting not only of Russell's first person narrative, but third person from other perspectives.

And, as usual--and it's infectious--you can tell King has a blast with these, this one perhaps more than usual. The Moor has the Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles for its basis. The Game was set in India under the British Raj and was a homage to Kipling's Kim. This one takes place in 1924 San Francisco. King is a California native and resident and she even slips an ancestor who survived the famous 1906 quake into the narrative as a character. She writes San Francisco with evident affection, and even included Dashiell Hammett, the one time Pinkerton Agent and mystery writer, as a character. There's even a playful reference to Conan Doyle, Holmes' creator... er, I mean biographer. This novel isn't quite the favorite some of the other Russell novels have been--The Beekeeper's Apprentice, A Letter of Mary and Justice Hall--but boy was this a pleasure. It was a treat in particular to get more of Holmes from his own perspective. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Dec 25, 2013 |
This is my favorite of Laurie R. King's Sherlock Holmes stories. We find out so much about Mary Russell's past, and what a surprise it is. ( )
  rtevels | Sep 23, 2013 |
Another in the Mary Russel/ Sherlock Holmes mystery series.
I wasn’t that enamored with the last one, but this one was
fantastic. First, it is set in San Francisco and I always
enjoy reading about The City in books. Second, the book
delves into Mary Russell’s past and resolves some issues
that make her character less prickly. In most of these
books, Holmes comes across as not really caring about
his wife and this book starts out that way as well, but the
reader finds, as the book continues, how he really feels
about her. The earthquake and fire are mentioned, as are
various figures in San Francisco history, which all come
together to make a good story. This is definitely a book I
would read again. ( )
1 vote jlapac | Aug 14, 2013 |
I always enjoy the Mary Russell books. This had a good mystery and it was actually nice to see Mary as a bit more human and less perfect. I also liked seeing the POV of Holmes, revealing his affection for her. ( )
  infjsarah | Aug 11, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Laurie R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sterlin, JennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the '06 survivors, especially
Robert John Dickson and Florence Frances Adderley,
"Dick" and "Flossie-"
my grandparents.
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The dreams began when we left Bombay.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553583417, Mass Market Paperback)

Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes are back in Laurie R. King’s highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling mystery series. And this time the first couple of detection pair up to unlock the buried memory of a shocking crime with the power to kill again–lost somewhere in Russell’s own past.

After departing Bombay by ship, Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes are en route to the bustling modern city of San Francisco. There, Mary will settle some legal affairs surrounding the inheritance of her family’s old estate. But the closer they get to port, the more Mary finds herself prey to troubling dreams and irrational behavior–a point not lost on Holmes, much to Russell’s annoyance.

In 1906, when Mary was six, San Francisco was devastated by an earthquake and a raging fire that reduced the city to rubble. For years, Mary has denied any memory of the catastrophe that for days turned the fabled streets into hell on earth. But Holmes suspects that some hidden trauma connected with the “unforgettable” catastrophe may be the real culprit responsible for Mary’s memory lapse. And no sooner do they begin to familiarize themselves with the particulars of the Russell estate than it becomes apparent that whatever unpleasantness Mary has forgotten, it hasn’t forgotten her. Why does her father’s will forbid access to the house except in the presence of immediate family? Why did someone break in, then take nothing of any value? And why is Russell herself targeted for assassination?

The more questions they ask of Mary’s past, the more people from that past turn out to have died violent, unexplained deaths. Now, with the aid of a hard-boiled young detective and crime writer named Hammett, Russell and Holmes find themselves embroiled in a mystery that leads them through the winding streets of Chinatown to the unspoken secrets of a parent’s marriage and the tragic car “accident” that a fourteen-year-old Mary alone survived–an accident that may not have been an accident at all. What Russell is about to discover is that even a forgotten past never dies…and it can kill again.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:50 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Returning to her former home of San Francisco in 1924, Mary Russell and her husband, eminent detective Sherlock Holmes, are confronted by dark secrets of the past that continue to haunt Mary's dreams.

(summary from another edition)

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