Setting: 1920s, C20th, India
Travel broaden, they say. My personal experience has been that, in the short term at any rate, it merely flattens, aiming its steam-roller of deadlines and details straight at one’s daily life, leaving a person flat and gasping at its passage.
Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes have returned home to Sussex in order to enjoy the new year, but soon enough they travel to London to visit Holmes’ brother, Mycroft, whose health is not the best. While there he suggests that perhaps they might look into a case for him. A possibly-missing person. In India.
Of course they head off, and the person they are looking for, none other than Kimball O’Hara, known to many from Rudyard Kipling’s Kim.
It is 1924, in England the Tory government have been replaced by Labour, and everyone is wondering about the Reds in Russia. Will they attempt to expand into the sub-continent? Or will Gandhi’s movement take over, there is little end to the political machinations and plots that threaten British rule.
I did enjoy this book, maybe not as much as I have some of the other Mary Russell books, but it is still well above average. I’m more interested in the characters than the actual mystery. And in this case there isn’t a huge amount of mystery. For most of the book Russell is off by herself, she has been invited to accompany the Goodheart family to a maharajah friend of theirs. The Goodhearts are a family Russell & Holmes met on the journey over, the daughter, Sunny is a late member of the fishing fleet, off to India to see if she can snare a husband, watched over carefully by her mother. Her older brother, Thomas, may be cause for concern, a wealthy American who declares himself a communist, has visited Russia, and now is visiting the ruler of an important borderland region of India.
If you’ve read & liked the others in this series you’ll like this. If you haven’t, well go back and start at the beginning for god’s sake!