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.
I’ve had this book on my shelves for years now. It was on sale for half-price when I bought it; that’s the only reason I own it in hardback. I much prefer paperbacks, more practical. Since I bought the book it has been made into a film and become even more famous. To be honest the film looked god-awful, so I didn’t bother to watch it. But I always knew I’d eventually read the book, and when better than on a lazy Sunday when I should have been cleaning the apartment?
I’m sure everyone knows the story. A newly married couple decide to get a dog, and so buy a labrador puppy, who grows up into the world’s worst dog. Only of course he isn’t the world’s worst, he simply has some bad habits. Very bad habits that include his destruction of numerous items. But at heart Marley is a sweet good-natured dog whose labrador-ish optimism teachers his owners all about life and, eventually, loss.
We’ve been on a bit of an “animal-human relationship” kick at work lately. I chose this one at random one afternoon. It is the second book that the author Jon Katz wrote about his life after meeting Devon/Orson, the border collie. he has many others detailing his life with other dogs. But Orson was his “once in a lifetime” dog. The one that changes your life.
I do love these books.
This the sixth in the series returns our heroes to their present after the flashback that was O Jerusalem. That sentence doesn’t really make much sense, but figure it out, think of it as a challenge :) Holmes & Russell have just returned from The Moor and are settling back in at home when their comes a disturbance at their door. Ali Hazr has shown up, with a head wound and wanting their assistance. He needs their help with Mahmoud, his “brother”. Of course Holmes had already pointed out that neither of the two arabs they were travelling with were actually from that region, but it is, nevertheless, a surprise to learn where they come from and just what an aristocratic name both bear.
This is one I picked up because I’d seen positive mentions on a few blogs, I think Nymeth’s post was the one that prompted the purchase. So it came with a little bit of hype. That being said, I don’t really read reviews before I read a book, just skim the opening paragraph for a sense of what the reviewer thought of the book, so I wasn’t all hyped out. And Blankets did live up to those positive reviews.
I first heard about this book on Metafilter when Susan Klebold, mother of one of the killers, had an article in O Magazine. Before that I had never been interested in the shooting. Not beyond the evils of rubber-necking at some one else’s tragedy. But the discussion there seemed to suggest that this was a well-thought out and reasoned look at the community surrounding the school, as well as the killers themselves. And the author, Cullen, believed that the popular myths about the shootings shouldn’t stand unchallenged.
I’m continuing to work my way through the Mary Russell novels; I slowed down a bit for two reasons. One, I don’t want to overload on the ‘verse. Two, the library ran out of the series. Well, it skipped the next so I took my time with O Jerusalem while I boughtJustice Hall for my own shelves. I will at some point go order all this series, I really do think that they are books you can very easily reread and enjoy time and again.
Mary Eleanor Bowes was born in 1749. Her father was extremely wealthy and, unusually for the time, had her well educated. A most eligible young woman, not least because she was the richest heiress in C18th Britain. Her first wedding was nothing unusual for the time. Pretty loveless and to an older man it wasn’t a romantic love match. Her second, to a dashing young soldier, was. Mary Eleanor probably hadn’t intended to marry Andrew Robinson Stoney, but upon hearing that he had fought a duel for her honour and was laying on his deathbed wishing for nothing but her hand in marriage… well, who could resist that romance!
The plot of Living with the dead revolves around the character of Robyn; recently widowed she has moved to LA and taken a job in PR with Portia Kane, a Paris Hilton-type celebrity. Or wannabe celebrity. But when Portia is murdered Robyn finds herself the main suspect and in her confusion makes a break for it. She is helped out by her best friend, Hope Adams, and her boyfriend, Karl Marstsen.
It has been ages since I’ve read any of Armstrong’s books. I think I sorta faded away from them with Broken. But that was way back in 2006, she’s had four more books in the series out since then, as well as some YA books in the ‘verse, not to mention the ooodles of short stories. And while these books are pretty far removed from the cannon there is something so enjoyable about them.
Author: Mary Russell
If you’ve read my reviews of the other books in this series you’ll already know that I really love them. If you haven’t here’s a quick recap; Sherlock Holmes, a real historical figure retired to Sussex in order to tend to his bees. While there he met Mary Russell; a somewhat moody, if quite brilliant, teenager and took her under his wing. She became his apprentice and later his wife. Errr, spoiler alert! In this, the fourth in the series, Sherlock sends Russell a telegram summoning her to Dartmoor and the moor that was the setting for The Hound of the Baskervilles. There are reports of another ghostly beast roaming the countryside and an old friend of Holmes would like him to investigate. Especially when a man is found dead on the moor.