RogerBW's Blog

Pirate King, Laurie R. King 19 October 2014

Eleventh in King's series about Mary Russell, who… well, this is basically Sherlock Holmes fanfiction, but against all the odds it manages to work. Strange things have been happening around a film crew; Russell joins it to work out what's going on.

The elephant in the room: yes, Mary Russell is something of a Mary Sue, in that she's Holmes's intellectual and physical equal (and wife). I continue to be surprised that King manages to pull this off; it should be horribly self-indulgent, but instead it comes over as genuine and convincing.

Earlier novels in this series have been grimly serious and with highly complex plots, but this one is essentially farcical, and I was frankly surprised by King's light touch (especially having also read a couple of her Kate Martinelli series). It's not much of a mystery, since the solutions are obvious nearly as soon as the questions arise, but as an adventurous romp explicitly inspired by The Pirates of Penzance it doesn't do badly at all. By many people's standards the start is very slow, but King writes enjoyably and obviously wanted to squeeze in her research into certain historical characters. And there's a fine demonstration of the dramatic principle of Chekov's Piano.

You could probably read this one on its own, but it's not at all characteristic of the series, so I wouldn't recommend that you start here. Followed by Garment of Shadows.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio tech base commerce battletech beer boardgaming bookmonth chain of command children chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 existential risk falklands war fandom fantasy film firefly first world war flash point food garmin drive gazebo geodata gin gurps gurps 101 harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux mecha museum mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera perl photography podcast politics powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha quantum rail ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1