In 1924, San Francisco is booming. The great fire and earthquake of 1906 cleared the ground for a modern city, but the closer she comes to the place she used to call home, the more troubling Mary Russell's dreams become...As Russell and her husband, the eminent Sherlock Holmes, attempt to settle their affairs in the City by the Bay, Mary's past isn't the only thing that catches up with them - a mysterious stranger is waiting for the pair, and may be the only one who holds the key to the locked rooms that have been haunting ...
In 1924, San Francisco is booming. The great fire and earthquake of 1906 cleared the ground for a modern city, but the closer she comes to the place she used to call home, the more troubling Mary Russell's dreams become...As Russell and her husband, the eminent Sherlock Holmes, attempt to settle their affairs in the City by the Bay, Mary's past isn't the only thing that catches up with them - a mysterious stranger is waiting for the pair, and may be the only one who holds the key to the locked rooms that have been haunting Mary's dreams...In "Locked Rooms", internationally best-selling author, Laurie R. King portrays the 1920s in exuberant detail and, with near-lyrical prose, presents a compelling murder mystery that will keep your imagination and attention locked in its pages until the very end.
Locked Rooms is one of a delightful series of books by Laurie R. King, and should please any Sherlock Holmes fan. Ms King has a good handle on the personality and habits of Mr. Holmes, and treats her subject with respect and class.
Holmes' continuing partnership with Mary Russell, a brilliant young woman with a talent for sleuthing, is no less than magical. The characters are complementary rather than competitive, and the storytelling is excellent.
Highly recommended to anyone who loves a good mystery!
Apr 26, 2007
A Mesmerizing Tale
Set in San Francisco in the early 1920's, Locked Rooms is a mesmerizing tale which begins as Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes leave India aboard a ship bound for California. Vivid, unsettling dreams begin to plague Russell, and Holmes believes the dreams, along with Russell's erratic behavior, are caused by repressed childhood memories . At first, Russell denies having lived in San Francisco for more than a very short time, but does confess that she has almost no conscious memory of her childhood between the ages of six and fourteen, when her parents and younger brother died in an automobile accident. Russell, thrown free of the car before it plunged off a cliff, was seriously injured both physically and emotionally. Once in San Francisco, Russell meets with the family lawyer to settle legal affairs concerning her inheritance, and to obtain the keys to the family home. To her surprise, she is told that the house has been vacant and locked since her parents' untimely deaths, her father stipulating in his will that no one be allowed entry without a member of the family present. As Russell and Holmes explore the San Francisco area, and the family home, childhood memories begin to surface, revealing a twisted tale of violence and greed. Soon, it becomes apparent that many of the family acquaintances, during that time, have since died violent deaths. After an attempt to kill Russell is thwarted, Holmes is certain that the past has become the present, and that perhaps the tragic car crash was no accident. Locked Rooms is rife with richly drawn characters: Tom Long, the adopted son of an Oriental couple who served the Russells as gardener and cook; Mrs. Adderley, an elderly neighbor who remembers the Russell family as they coped with the 1906 earthquake and fires; Aunt Dee, a friend to Mrs. Russell, and daughter Flo; Dashiell Hammett, a young writer who sometimes does investigative work for Pinkerton's to help support his wife and child; and San Francisco itself, from Chinatown to the wharf area, both in 1923 and during the 1906 earthquake that all but destroyed the city. Descriptions of the city and its people, during the earthquake and subsequent fires, are detailed and vivid, lending a wonderful, historical flavor to the book. Locked Rooms is divided into five sections, with three of these divisions told in Mary Russell's first person voice and two in third person voice, describing Holmes' investigations into Russell's past. As with all Laurie King novels, the writing is superb, and Locked Rooms is a welcome addition to this series.
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