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After a lengthy case that had the couple traipsing all over India, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are on their way to California to deal with some family business that Russell has been neglecting for far too long. Along the way, they plan to break up the long voyage with a sojourn in southern Japan. The cruising steamer Thomas Carlyle is leaving Bombay, bound for Kobe. Though they’re not the vacationing types, Russell is looking forward to a change of focus—not to mention a chance to travel to a location Holmes has not visited before. The idea of the pair being on equal footing is enticing to a woman who often must race to catch up with her older, highly skilled husband.
Aboard the ship, intrigue stirs almost immediately. Holmes recognizes the famous clubman the Earl of Darley, whom he suspects of being an occasional blackmailer: not an unlikely career choice for a man richer in social connections than in pounds sterling. And then there’s the lithe, surprisingly fluent young Japanese woman who befriends Russell and quotes haiku. She agrees to tutor the couple in Japanese language and customs, but Russell can’t shake the feeling that Haruki Sato is not who she claims to be.
Once in Japan, Russell’s suspicions are confirmed in a most surprising way. From the glorious city of Tokyo to the cavernous library at Oxford, Russell and Holmes race to solve a mystery involving international extortion, espionage, and the shocking secrets that, if revealed, could spark revolution—and topple an empire.
Praise for the award-winning novels of Laurie R. King
“The great marvel of King’s series is that she’s managed to preserve the integrity of Holmes’s character and yet somehow conjure up a woman astute, edgy, and compelling enough to be the partner of his mind as well as his heart.”—The Washington Post Book World
“The most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.”—Lee Child
“A lively adventure in the very best of intellectual company.”—The New York Times
“Erudite, fascinating . . . by all odds the most successful re-creation of the famous inhabitant of 221B Baker Street ever attempted.”—Houston Chronicle
“Intricate clockworks, wheels within wheels.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Imaginative and subtle.”—The Seattle Times
“Impossible to put down.”—Romantic Times
“Remarkably beguiling.”—The Boston Globe
- ISBN-13: 9780345531797
- ISBN-10: 0345531795
- Publisher: Bantam Dell Pub Group
- Publish Date: February 2015
- Page Count: 331
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-12-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Snappy prose and a captivating plot distinguish King’s 14th novel featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes (after 2012’s Garment of Shadows). In April 1924, Russell hopes to enjoy an uneventful boat trip from India to Japan with Holmes, but the onboard presence of Lord Darley, whom Holmes believes to be a blackmailer’s accomplice, suggests that theirs will be a busman’s holiday. Sure enough, the couple soon learn of a missing passenger, possibly a victim of extortion, and reports of a poltergeist that made off with a tennis racquet. On arrival in Japan, they are asked to perform a delicate mission for the prince regent that is vital to the future of his country. While some may not like the idea of a married Holmes, many will find the character deepened by his partnership with the spirited and clever Russell. This book gives every indication that this series still has a long life ahead of it. Agent: Linda Allen, Linda Allen Literary Agency. (Feb.)