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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb addition to Laurie J. King's Sherlockian series
Laurie J. King's eleventh volume in her Mary Russell / Sherlock Holmes series is a worthy addition to the sequence. It is set a few years after the period related in "The Game", "Locked Rooms", "The Language of Bees" and "The God of the Hive", whose events described over these four books actually took place within a single year. In "Pirate King", Mary Russell is now about...
Published on 25 July 2012 by Ann Winfield

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pot-boiler disappointment
I loved the early Russell-Holmes books. The re-invention of Sherlock was clever and plausible, and the flowering of his relationship with the much younger Russell was poignant and credible. I liked them both and the way they worked together was fun. But this badly-researched (the G&S stuff is wincingly awful if you know the piece), badly-edited (Purdy guns, anyone? A...
Published 20 months ago by K. M. Brown


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb addition to Laurie J. King's Sherlockian series, 25 July 2012
By 
Ann Winfield (Llanrhystud, Ceredigion) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pirate King (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes) (Paperback)
Laurie J. King's eleventh volume in her Mary Russell / Sherlock Holmes series is a worthy addition to the sequence. It is set a few years after the period related in "The Game", "Locked Rooms", "The Language of Bees" and "The God of the Hive", whose events described over these four books actually took place within a single year. In "Pirate King", Mary Russell is now about 28, and her husband, the retired consulting detective, is clearly approaching 70 but still retains an excellent general health, both physically and mentally.

The concept of this volume, like its predecessors, departs radically both in its geographical range and in plot concepts. Mary Russell is persuaded ("invegled" may be a more apt word) by her brother-in-law Mycroft into infiltrating an English silent-film company suspected of having criminal sidelines. In an undercover role, she - assisted by Holmes, of course - joins the film crew on its latest grand project, making a film about a fictional film crew making a film version (yes, read that bit twice) of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance", without the music - this is the silent movie era, of course - but with real pirates.

The idea is of course hilarious, but as usual in this series, the excellent writing gives persuasive credance to the bizarre tale. The locations where filming takes place range from Lisbon to the Moroccan pirate stronghold of Salé, as well as a sequence set aboard ship. As usual in the series, characterisation and period detail are carefully crafted, with a careful dig at the excentricities of the early film industry - Laurie King lives not that far from Hopllywood, so is well at home parodying the foibles and vast egos of her fellow-Californians. Mary Russell's dry humour and self-deprecating style is as always in marked contrast to the film-makers, actors and extras who make up the company, not least when the whole menagerie is kidnapped and seems destined for the white slavery trade. The Gilbertian plots and lyrics are also carefully sent up; the whole works well together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars whimsical, funny and worth it!, 28 Jun. 2013
By 
bekibird (Lancashire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pirate King (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes) (Paperback)
Whatever you pay for a Laurie.R.King book in my opinion is worth it. A trusted and worn friend such as Sherlock Holmes, who often features very little in the stories, is for me a mark of excellence. King continues in the same vein but marries Holmes' experience and knowledge with a freshness, a new lease of life, in a new set of stories. To date I have only read a few of the novels on offer but I have always been impressed and this novel, although not breaking any moulds, gives sufficient twists and turns to make you read on. Mrs Holmes is feisty, fun and dowdy as well as being intelligent, intuative and creative. This story is one of exasperation as it is not only of solving a mystery, but one of gainful employment in something she would rather not be doing. Although the ending scenes feel a little rushed, all holes are covered and the reader is not left asking questions, which is a particular bug bear of mine. The allusions to Holmes' brother are well timed and a little bit sinister (which I appreciated), but King makes our protagonist stand on her own which is a real achievement, considering the device of having Sherlock Holmes as central character.
For those reader's expecting a Sherlock Holmes experience, feel free to be disappointed. It is not Arthur Conan Doyle, and the author does not expect it to be. A new slant has been taken here, one fresh and funny, that perhaps Doyle fans won't appreciate.
It's no matter to me. King does well with this novel, gives a life to a Holmes and a young Mrs Holmes, we may not expect and does very well with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pot-boiler disappointment, 10 July 2013
By 
K. M. Brown (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pirate King (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes) (Paperback)
I loved the early Russell-Holmes books. The re-invention of Sherlock was clever and plausible, and the flowering of his relationship with the much younger Russell was poignant and credible. I liked them both and the way they worked together was fun. But this badly-researched (the G&S stuff is wincingly awful if you know the piece), badly-edited (Purdy guns, anyone? A quick google would have got it right first go), full of careless Americanisms - Mary Russell has spent most of her life in England, a short stay in SF isn't going to transform her speech that radically. There is no meaningful interaction between Holmes and Russell - indeed, the great detective is a mere violin-playing cypher in this. And worst of all, the plot just doesn't hold up. It reads like a silent-film storyboard, or possibly a Carry-On film without the laughs. It's just silly and I regret having bought it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Odd, but oddly enjoyable, 13 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Pirate King (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes) (Paperback)
I came across this by accident, so I've started the series in completely the wrong place, but I'm not sure that this matters. I think I managed to get a hang of the Holmes-Mary relationship as I went along - or as much as I needed for this story. There are comments from longer-established readers of the series that the plots are running thin and I did notice this, in that I found myself occasionally wondering how and when Mary would progress in discovering the possible criminal. But to be honest, I was enjoying the chaos of the whole set-up so much that I didn't really mind - I felt as though I was being swept along on some sort of madcap ride that was totally suited to the silent movie business that was the backdrop for Pirate King, and I just sat back and enjoyed it, trusting that it would all be wound up in time for everyone to go home (which it was). I really liked Mary's voice as the narrator and I very much like Ms King's writing style. I am obviously a complete dimwit as the inaccuracies and Americanisms mentioned in other reivews mostly passed me by (in fact the only Americanims I noticed were Mary's, and as I now understand that she is, in fact, American that's not a problem). I will definitely be reading more of this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pirate king, 9 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Pirate King (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes) (Paperback)
Interesting story, the latest in the series by Laurie King, would normally hate other people writing about Sherlock Holmes,but this series is very well written. I would recommend it to any Sherlock Holmes fan.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A good miss, 18 Sept. 2014
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Mrs. Diane M. Hellyer (West Sussex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pirate King (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes) (Paperback)
Since the beginning of the year I have read eight of the Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmes books and this is the first that is disappointing! I bought 'The Beekeeper's Apprentice' by chance, detective fiction not being my interest at all, and I was consumed! The writing was good, the characterisation excellent. I ordered the next book, and the next and so on. All have been really good reads. Until The Pirate King, which is silly, dull and so disappointing I could weep! But I won't: no need for histrionics, it's a book! I recommend the series wholeheartedly, but not this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious, 12 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Pirate King (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes) (Paperback)
After enjoying many of the Mary Russell series, I was disappointed and embarrassed to read Pirate King, which seemed to be self-consciously reaching for opportunities to insert quotes from Pirates of Penzance, with an almost 'aren't I clever?" pretentiousness. The plot was plodding and heavy-handed, and I missed the delightful interaction of Holmes and Mary Russell. Laurie King, you could do better.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Far fetched, 17 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Pirate King (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes) (Paperback)
Boys pretending to be pretty girls, kidnapped by pirates? I enjoyed it and the style of writing gets you hooked but it all seemed a bit unrealistic and as its masquerading as true, I wanted to believe it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Operatic, 21 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Pirate King (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes) (Paperback)
An excellent series but with this one you get the feeling she is scratching for plots. Well written as always but doesn't take the story on very far.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Pirate King (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes) (Paperback)
Great book in a great series
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Pirate King (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes)
Pirate King (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes) by Laurie R. King (Paperback - 25 Jun. 2012)
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