Dreaming Spies, by Laurie King.
Dreaming Spies: A Novel of Suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, by Laurie R. King. Bantam (2015), Hardcover, 352 pages.
Another in King’s delightful mystery series about Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell set on a cruise ship in the Indian Ocean, Japan, and Oxford in the 1920s and featuring a missing book.
Laurie King excels at writing engaging books that I enjoy when I simply want to relax and be entertained. She is the author of several series that feature mystery and intrigue, and has written a few more profound books like, Folly. What I value most from her, however, are books like this one featuring the detective husband and wife team of Russell and Holmes.
If you haven’t read any of this series, perhaps you need to start with the first volume, Beekeeper’s Apprentice. It establishes the relationship between the famous detective and the awkward young linguistic scholar from Oxford as they begin their friendship around the art of beekeeping. From that point the books go on to relate the couple’s unlikely marriage and their equally unlikely adventures. The pair are truly equal, respecting each others skills and idiosyncrasies.
In Dreaming Spies, the pair travel to interesting places and get involved with truly unique individuals. They sail from India to Japan, meeting on board Haruki Sato, the daughter of a family of Japanese acrobats devoted to spying for and protecting their emperor. On their subsequent visit to Japan, they meet Haruki’s family and become more deeply involved in an effort to retrieve a lost book. Their time in Japan also allows King to provide delicious descriptions of the country and its varied population as it was in the 1920s. A year later, Haruki appears in Oxford and the need to find the book intensifies . Russell and Holmes have the rare experience of having been outsmarted by others.
While I have enjoyed all of King’s books, I found this to be among her best; smart, full of suspense, and just plain fun. I recommend it all who enjoy mysteries that are anything but typical of the genre.
I am grateful to have received an ebook version of this book to review. It will be available later this year.