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Dreaming Spies:

by Laurie R. King

Publishers Weekly Snappy prose and a captivating plot distinguish King's 14th novel featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes (after 2012's Garment of Shadows). In April 1924, Russell hopes to enjoy an uneventful boat trip from India to Japan with Holmes, but the onboard presence of Lord Darley, whom Holmes believes to be a blackmailer's accomplice, suggests that theirs will be a busman's holiday. Sure enough, the couple soon learn of a missing passenger, possibly a victim of extortion, and reports of a poltergeist that made off with a tennis racquet. On arrival in Japan, they are asked to perform a delicate mission for the prince regent that is vital to the future of his country. While some may not like the idea of a married Holmes, many will find the character deepened by his partnership with the spirited and clever Russell. This book gives every indication that this series still has a long life ahead of it. Agent: Linda Allen, Linda Allen Literary Agency. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus An ocean voyage to Japan lands Sherlock Holmes and his amanuensis and wife, Mary Russell (Garment of Shadows, 2012, etc.), in the middle of a tangled web of blackmail. Most of the passengers aboard the Thomas Carlyle are tedious English types, but there are some interesting exceptions: the Earl of Darley, whom Holmes has already spotted as an amateur blackmailer; his well-turned-out second wife, Lady Charlotte Bridgeford Darley; his gossipy son, Viscount Thomas Darley; Haruki Sato, an NYU-trained economist who comes from a family of acrobats; and a poltergeist intent on playing tricks with the guests' belongings. It's not long before Haruki-san and Russell have bonded over lessons in Japanese language and culture, and not long after that, the young Japanese woman persuades Holmes to follow a trail she lays in Japan. The trail, which involves a good deal of more intensive learning and a fair amount of testing for Holmes and Russell, leads to a most unusual request from the highest levels. Can they retrieve a precious volume the emperor of Japan gave King George V a year ago, a volume now offered for sale to the emperor by none other than the blackmailing Lord Darley? Holmes and Russell come close to completing their mission in Japan, but their treasure hunt won't end until they're back in Russell's beloved Oxford, along with the requisite members of the shipboard cast. Holmes is consistently upstaged by Russell, but King, whose strengths are historical evocation rather than tightly knit plotting (The Bones of Paris, 2013, etc.), manages more surprises than usual in this graceful exercise in cultural tourism-cum-intrigue. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list Mary Russell, the much younger but just as clever wife of Sherlock Holmes, once again narrates a story that keeps the reader enthralled, though not always with the mystery. That element, though boasting a world figure at its center Crown Prince Hirohito of Japan is not particularly enticing. Hirohito is being blackmailed about a book he has inadvertently gifted to the king of England, not knowing it contains a secret document. But the book is merely a Japanese MacGuffin, a useful item around which to bind meticulous accounts of the glamour and tedium of shipboard life in the 1920s, intricate descriptions of both the Japanese landscape and its social hierarchy, and homey details of the English countryside. Just as captivating as the landscape and the historical detail are King's characters, especially the mysterious female ninja, who is dedicated to protecting the Japanese royal family. As with previous books in the series, this one appears out of time sequence; it takes place before the pivotal volume, Locked Rooms (2005), in which readers learned secrets about Russell's past. This installment may well be one of Russell and Holmes' lesser adventures, but lesser is a relative term when speaking of one of the most consistently outstanding mystery series out there. Any time spent with the Russell-Holmes duo is a delight. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The Mary Russell series is a mystery-fan favorite and is especially popular in libraries.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Book list Mary Russell, the much younger but just as clever wife of Sherlock Holmes, once again narrates a story that keeps the reader enthralled, though not always with the mystery. That element, though boasting a world figure at its center Crown Prince Hirohito of Japan is not particularly enticing. Hirohito is being blackmailed about a book he has inadvertently gifted to the king of England, not knowing it contains a secret document. But the book is merely a Japanese MacGuffin, a useful item around which to bind meticulous accounts of the glamour and tedium of shipboard life in the 1920s, intricate descriptions of both the Japanese landscape and its social hierarchy, and homey details of the English countryside. Just as captivating as the landscape and the historical detail are King's characters, especially the mysterious female ninja, who is dedicated to protecting the Japanese royal family. As with previous books in the series, this one appears out of time sequence; it takes place before the pivotal volume, Locked Rooms (2005), in which readers learned secrets about Russell's past. This installment may well be one of Russell and Holmes' lesser adventures, but lesser is a relative term when speaking of one of the most consistently outstanding mystery series out there. Any time spent with the Russell-Holmes duo is a delight. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The Mary Russell series is a mystery-fan favorite and is especially popular in libraries.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal In the 13th adventure (after Garment of Shadows) featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, King explores the three weeks they spent in Japan in 1924 between cases in India (The Game) and San Francisco (Locked Rooms). On a steamer ship bound for Japan, Russell and Holmes meet Haruki Sato, a young Japanese woman who soon enlists them in helping the future emperor of Japan retrieve a valuable book. Holmes is interested in the case because he may be able to finally prove Lord Darley to be a blackmailer. Haruki tutors the detectives in the language and customs of Japan, and they're quickly put to the test as they travel across the country. The ransom exchange for the book, however, doesn't go as expected, and Russell and Holmes have to move on. The case comes back to haunt them a year later when Haruki appears in England asking for help again. VERDICT As in previous novels, King expertly explores other cultures, bringing 1920s Japan to life. The twists and turns of this mystery will keep readers satisfied with another compelling Russell and Holmes case. [See Prepub Alert, 8/11/14.] (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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