Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book Review: Dreaming Spies, by Laurie R. King

Dreaming Spies, Laurie R. King book cover
Dreaming Spies gives the reader a little taste of a classic Sherlock Holmes story.

This is the first Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes book that I've read. I think this is the 12th book in this series. Once I got through the first 1/3 of the book, I really enjoyed it.

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are married and in this series they solve crimes or mysteries. It's the 1920s and they are on a cruise ship going to Japan for a vacation. Well, that's not going to happen.  They meet a Japanese woman on the ship who agrees to teach some of the passengers about the culture and language of Japan. This woman turns out to be much more than she seems. There's a missing book and a British Earl who is a blackmailer, and Holmes knows it. As in most stories about Sherlock Holmes, the details of the case don't matter, it's all in the solving.

Dreaming Spies takes a long time to get going. The first third of the book is all introduction of character and setting. I really had to convince myself to continue reading, but I had heard so many people rave about these books. Dreaming Spies did eventually pull me in, and I ended up very glad I decided to finish it.

The actual case is interesting, but I was expecting more "Holmes" kinds of deciphering clues and solving puzzles. Most of the investigation and solution involved physically breaking in to places and some clever costumes and personifications. There was no, "I know he was recently divorced because of the lighter skin where his ring used to be" kinds of observations that I expect from Sherlock Holmes.

I did enjoy their unique way of traveling through Japan. They end up having to prove their worthiness to actually help solve this mystery and that was the most compelling part of the story.  I always find the Japanese culture to be fascinating and this added to my knowledge.

I would consider reading more books in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series. I will also recommend these books to my mystery lovers. I think those teens would find these characters and stories very interesting.

Published by Bantam, February 17, 2015
eARC obtained from NetGalley
352 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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