So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Moor. Laurie R. King

In The Moor by Laurie R. King, her fourth pairing of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, the author has the husband and wife team return to the moors made famous in Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles. This time they are summoned by the eccentric scholar Sabine Baring-Gould to explore some mysterious occurrences which includes two deaths and the appearance of a ghostly coach which is accompanied by a hellish hound with one glowing eye.

Laurie King claims in her Editor's Preface that these stories were found in a trunk that was mysteriously left at her front door. Purportedly the notes of the real Mary Russell, this story is set in 1924. Each chapter is introduced with a quote from one of Baring-Gould's many works.

Russell has her hands full with the aging and sexist Baring-Gould who has a close relationship with Holmes. The problems of a woman in male society are well portrayed, and she eventually wins the respect of the elderly scholar. It is a long story that is rich in local characters and legends. By the time of this novel Holmes and Russell have settled into a comfortable relationship based on mutual respect and the main dynamics are between them and the people of the moor.

A well-written tale with lots of atmosphere that will appeal to the historic mystery buff.


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