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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Locked rooms of the mind
The Mary Russell series has been extremely enjoyable, although for me this novel and "The Moor" stand out. Throughout the series we have learned about Mary's past and the tragedy that overcame her family, sending her to Sussex where she met Sherlock Holmes.

"Locked Rooms" uses the loss of her family as a central theme and following a series of nightmares...
Published on 20 Jun 2009 by LML

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Holmes but not as I knew him...
The title might make one think of the locked room mysteries of the Golden Age detective. Sherlock Holmes was no stranger to solving the apparently inexplicable. The setting is the 1920s - so this is the time period when these sorts of stories were at their height.

But that's a long way from what we get. King's story places Holmes in San Francisco and into...
Published on 30 Mar 2011 by wolf


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Locked rooms of the mind, 20 Jun 2009
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The Mary Russell series has been extremely enjoyable, although for me this novel and "The Moor" stand out. Throughout the series we have learned about Mary's past and the tragedy that overcame her family, sending her to Sussex where she met Sherlock Holmes.

"Locked Rooms" uses the loss of her family as a central theme and following a series of nightmares during the voyage to San Francisco (where Mary must deal with business matters) Mary is compelled to revisit the terrible events that lead to the death of her parents and brother.

The story is well structured and is an excellent mystery with an ending that doesn't disappoint. It uses the San Francisco earthquake and fire as a background for earlier events; the effect of the 1st World War on the younger generation is also shown in the brittleness of some of the new friends that Mary makes during the course of the story.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a well written, thoughtful mystery. Laurie R. King has great skill in developing character and in creating a psychological aspect to her stories that give them depth. This, along with the rest of the series, is highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best Russell yet?, 16 Oct 2006
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Liz at Greenside (near Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
I've enjoyed all the Mary Russell books; but this one had something special. It played on all the things we know about Russell so far, and expanded them to something quite surprising. There's no trickery, no contrivance of the characters to get them to behave the way they do; and contrary to a previous reviewer, I think this is the best one in terms of character development, and the development of the Holmes/Russell relationship, yet. This series just seems to be getting better and better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Holmes but not as I knew him..., 30 Mar 2011
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wolf (East Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
The title might make one think of the locked room mysteries of the Golden Age detective. Sherlock Holmes was no stranger to solving the apparently inexplicable. The setting is the 1920s - so this is the time period when these sorts of stories were at their height.

But that's a long way from what we get. King's story places Holmes in San Francisco and into the path of Dashiell Hammett, still earning his keep as a detective, who was to give us a very different sort of detective fiction. And the influence of that - more modern - style of detective writing hangs over the tale.

King's Holmes is not Conan Doyle's - a point she seems anxious to make herself, describing him, and presumably his stories, through the voice of Holmes, as ridiculous. Of course, Holmes always gave short shrift to the literary efforts of Watson in describing his exploits, but one can't help feeling this is part of a deliberate effort to distance this Holmes from Doyle's.

This Holmes shares many similarities with the original, but he does not have extraordinary deductive powers of Conan Doyle's version. The mystery here is spread over hundreds of pages - yet, one might think - the old Holmes could have wrapped it up in a short story.

This was my first taste of King's continuation of the Sherlock Holmes stories - it possibly wasn't the ideal place to jump in. There are eight books worth of adventures to get this point and doubtless the series has been extremely rewarding for those who've followed it.

For those that haven't this book still is not without its pleasures. San Francisco makes for a great backdrop for the story: a new town, still finding its feet (as opposed to the grime of London) the famous vibrant Chinatown and the horror of the 1906 earthquake and fire. The writing is easy and a pleasure to read. And the chance to spend time with a much loved character - even if somewhat changed - is, for me, a comfort and enough to put a smile on my face.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Can do better, 2 Feb 2006
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D. Whitaker (Bury St Edmunds, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is the weakest of the Mary Russell series. The central idea of the novel is interesting but the writing appears to be rushed and is not up to Laurie King's usual standard. In the prologue to one of the earlier books in the series the author writes something to the effect that some writers have put Sherlock Holmes in unlikely situations and made him say unlikely things - sadly there is an element of this running through 'Locked Rooms'. This is especially the case when Holmes is talking about America and some of the dialogue does not ring true to character.

If you have enjoyed other books in the series it is worth reading 'Locked Rooms' as long as you don't expect too much in the way of character development or page turning excitement found in the rest of the series.

If you haven't read any of the Mary Russell books, then start with 'The Beekeepers Apprentice' - the first and best in the series with a cracking storyline, a book that i have re-read a number of times and still enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Russell, 24 Feb 2014
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and Sherlock, this is one of my very favourites of this series. In fact i can re read this many times
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5.0 out of 5 stars I hust had to keep on reading ..., 1 Feb 2012
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I'm a great fan of these Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell books but hadn't caught up with "Locked Rooms". It's a fascinating read because it not only shines light on Mary's past but also paints a vivid picture of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

It's exciting, too, with the killer stalking a Russell whose emotional involvement in the case causes her to become vulnerable and uncertain, with Holmes having to act to be more protective of her than was ever the case in their life together to date.

A thoroughly, exciting and thoughtful read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mary's history, 7 Nov 2010
By the end of the novel we know more of Mary's history before she met Holmes. The novel takes place in the 20s in San Francisco.It is gripping and exciting but personally I am unsure about the Mary/Holmes concept expanding this far. I prefer the earlier books.
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Locked Rooms (Mary Russell Mystery)
Locked Rooms (Mary Russell Mystery) by Laurie R. King (Paperback - 21 Aug 2006)
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