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O Jerusalem (Mary Russell Novels) [Mass Market Paperback]

Laurie R. King
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 2000 Mary Russell Novels
With her bestselling mystery series featuring Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell, Laurie R. King has created "lively adventure in the very best of intellectual company," according to The New York Times Book Review. Now the author of The Beekeeper's Apprentice and The Moor--the first writer since Patricia Cornwell to win both the American Edgar and British Creasey Awards for a debut novel (A Grave Talent)--unfolds a hitherto unknown chapter in the history of Russell's apprenticeship to the great detective.

At the close of the year 1918, forced to flee England's green and pleasant land, Russell and Holmes enter British-occupied Palestine under the auspices of Holmes' enigmatic brother, Mycroft.

"Gentlemen, we are at your service." Thus Holmes greets the two travel-grimed Arab figures who receive them in the orange groves fringing the Holy Land. Whatever role could the volatile Ali and the taciturn Mahmoud play in Mycroft's design for this land the British so recently wrested from the Turks? After passing a series of tests, Holmes and Russell learn their guides are engaged in a mission for His Majesty's Government, and disguise themselves as Bedouins--Russell as the beardless youth "Amir"--to join them in a stealthy reconnaissance through the dusty countryside.

A recent rash of murders seems unrelated to the growing tensions between Jew, Moslem, and Christian, yet Holmes is adamant that he must reconstruct the most recent one in the desert gully where it occurred. His singular findings will lead him and Russell through labyrinthine bazaars, verminous inns, cliff-hung monasteries--and into mortal danger. When her mentor's inquiries jeopardize his life, Russell fearlessly wields a pistol and even assays the arts of seduction to save him. Bruised and bloodied, the pair ascend to the jewellike city of Jerusalem, where they will at last meet their adversary, whose lust for savagery and power could reduce the city's most ancient and sacred place to rubble and ignite this tinderbox of a land....

Classically Holmesian yet enchantingly fresh, sinuously plotted, with colorful characters and a dazzling historic ambience, O Jerusalem sweeps readers ever onward in the thrill of the chase.


From the Hardcover edition.


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books; Reissue edition (July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553581058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553581058
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 9.1 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 594,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

‘Crime fiction’s most unlikely but utterly credible romance… Laurie King is the most interesting writer to emerge on the American crime fiction front in recent years’ Val McDermid (of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice)

‘King’s novel is civilized, ingenious and engrossing’
Literary Review (of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice)

‘A novel which challenges the cliches of history’
Independent (of A Monstrous Regiment of Women)

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

''Tingling, adventurous entry in King's wonderfully imagined Sherlock Holmes series''
'Literary Review'

Forced to flee England at the close of 1918, Sherlock Holmes and his nineteen-year-old apprentice Mary Russell enter Palestine under the auspices of Holmes' enigmatic brother, Mycroft. Their mission: to solve a series of murders, seemingly unrelated to the growing tensions among Jew, Moslem and Christian, that threaten the fragile peace.

Their pursuit of the killer leads them from desert gully to cliff-hung monasteries, through labyrinthine bazaars, verminous hovels – and into mortal danger. Finally, in the jewel-like city of Jerusalem, they will meet their adversary, a ruthless criminal whose lust for power could reduce the city's most ancient and sacred place to rubble and ignite this tinderbox of a land…

''Mary Russell combines the quirky intellect of her mentor with a modern modus operandi…a heroine to contend with''
'Time Out'

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second only to The Beekeeper's Apprentice 16 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I've always wanted to know what exactly happened during the visit to Jerusalem, which was summarized so briefly in "The Beekeeper's Apprentice." This book is definitely a worthy addition to Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series. The relationship between Russell and Holmes is delicious in that most of the sexual tension is not spelled out, but just hinted at. I particularly enjoyed the secondary characters of Ali and Mahmoud, and I'm glad that they will appear in the next Russell book, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A real disappointment. 12 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I cannot recommend O JERUSALEM! to anyone who has actually read Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. Laurie King is using this character to attract readers to her increasingly feeble series of Mary Russell books. Detection takes a back seat to travel writing, Biblical history and endless descriptions of meals. (Mary Russell spends more time describing meals than her relationship with the other characters in this book. A more appropriate title to this book might be "Let's Do Lunch in Jerusalem.") After a while King settles down and has a fairly good description of a trip through a cave, but there is no real suspense. Dramatic events occur fleetingly, since King's heart isn't in it. Once again the villain makes a late, cursory, appearance. Worst of all, Holmes does very little detection. He takes a back seat to his uninteresting protege. O JERUSALEM makes so many references to other books in King's Mary Russell series that it is essential to read/purchase two others to understand what is going on here (sort of a literary Care Bears Collection.) There is no wit in this book. King's idea of a joke is to have Holmes masquerading as a "Colonel William Gillette." If you find this amusing, you might enjoy the rest of this. I didn't, and didn't. King also has a strange compulsion to humiliate and marginalize Holmes; this has been the case for some time, but the instance is particularly offensive here. It is as if, at the end of this century, the man of genius is suspect and the 'brain' who considers the rest of his body 'a mere appendix' has to be physically and graphically humiliated to bring him down to 'our' level. Sad, very sad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes place years before the last book 15 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
In late 1918, Mycroft Holmes offers his younger brother Sherlock and the famed detective's associate, Mary Russell an opportunity to flee London. To do so they must choose one of five British government operations that Mycroft secretly sponsors. Needing to temporarily leave England, they choose the Palestine scenario where they are to investigate a series of murders that have left the Jews and Muslims ready to fight one another.
They quickly make contact with two Arabs, Mahmoud and Ali, who take Sherlock and Mary into the desert. As they investigate the killings, more murders occur, leaving the fate of British rule in the area tottering. Soon Sherlock and Mary conclude that a traitor exists, one whose desire for power includes the use of murder.
The latest Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes tale is a terrific entry to a great series that adds to the legend of the great detective. The story line is filled with action, an incredible feel for the time and place, and a warm salute to the lead characters. Fans of Holmes will know something's a foot as O JERUSALEM is a winner.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Crushingly dull 22 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I believe that some of King's pastiches have been well written additions to the world of Sherlock Holmes. This book, however, is not one of them. Other reviewers have noted the thinness of the "mystery" here and the fact that the purpose of the book seems to be to demonstrate how much King knows about the Holy Land in the early part of this century. There is nothing wrong with writing historical fiction, clearly, but to marginalize a great literary creation like Holmes while doing so is unfortunate. If she wishes to write stories like this it would be better to leave Holmes out of them, though I'm sure they wouldn't sell as well were they not Holmes-related. That aside, this book is absolutely unengaging as a mystery or as a pastiche. It probably will appeal to the Harlequin romance set, but Holmes is ill-used here. I'd give it 0 stars if Amazon allowed it. Just an awful book, and doubly disappointing considering that she has done some interesting work in the past.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This was probably my favourite of the Laurie King novels, aside from The Beekeeper's Apprentice. The "travelogue" aspects of the novel noted by another reviewer were there, but I didn't find them tedious at all. They were very interesting and added realism to the story. I've found myself poring over WWI and Jerusalem books, trying to learn more about the events and the ancient city. King's scholarship is a wonderful bonus in the novel, I think, helping to educate me in the most pleasant way. The Holmes/Russell relationship is beautifully developed, too, though I know that Holmes purists find that relationship too difficult to fathom. I'm not a Holmes purist, but rather a lover of Holmes stories, so that anything good that happens to him pleases me. Russell is good for him and he for her, as this novel so delightfully proves.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Light but good read
Published 1 month ago by Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh Jerusalem, Oh well done!
A well written story that stays true to the ethos of Sherlock Holmes, with the added interest of a female 'apprentice'. Read more
Published on 18 Mar 2011 by Minimam
4.0 out of 5 stars A great adventure, with an authentic Holmes!
Although the fifth of the Mary Russell books - this one fits into the gap in The Beekeepers Apprentice - when Holmes and Russel leave Englad for Palestine - to give their enemy the... Read more
Published on 30 July 2007 by A. Hope
4.0 out of 5 stars Better the second time around
I must admit that the first time I read this book I was a bit disapointed, the high standard of 'The Beekeepers Apprentice' is very difficult to maintain. Read more
Published on 14 Aug 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Period Right, Adventure Right, Amusement Factor Right:
The sense of Period cannot be faulted. The adventure draws one on from page to page. The underlying sex is enchanting. The characters are extremely likeable. A super book.
Published on 2 Jan 2002 by enidsueharvey@lineone.net
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the others
This book was disappointing. If I were not a fan of the series, I probably would have put it down. Holmes and Russell are engaging as always but the mystery is weak and at times... Read more
Published on 1 Sep 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars More?
I was bored, looking for some summer reading, and I am GLAD I found O Jerusalem. Made me go back and buy the first four books in the series. I'm thrilled to have discovered King. Read more
Published on 30 Aug 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Great entry in the series!
Excellent work by King. Her Sherlock Holmes is right on target, and Russell is having a time of it trying to keep up with him throughout their various adventures in the novel. Read more
Published on 27 Aug 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
In order to fully appreciate this book, you should read The Beekeeper's Apprentice first. By the time you finish that one, guaranteed, you will want to read O Jerusalem. Read more
Published on 26 Aug 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow start, but perseverence is rewarded
For the first one-third of the book, I was tempted several times to put it aside and not finish it. After that, things picked up and it held my interest. Read more
Published on 18 Aug 1999
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