SYNOPSIS: Sherlock Holmes is now retired and living in the countryside keeping bees when he unexpectedly meets Mary Russell. The two form a partnership of like minds and equal intellect in order to solve a case that has put both of their lives in danger.
I have only one complaint about this book and that is YOU DON’T HAVE TO PUT DOWN JOHN WATSON IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR OC TO SHERLOCK HOLMES! Frankly I was very insulted at the way King decided to have Mary Russell throw Watson under the bus anytime he was mentioned at all. Even though the character refers to Watson affectionately as “Uncle John”, there was no real warmth of her part toward the loveable sidekick. I thought that is was very cheap to discount the importance of John Watson to Sherlock Holmes (calling him a “doddering old fool” and frequently implying that he was a “simpleton” when we know that Watson was pretty smart, sure not as smart as Holmes, and brought out the heart and soul of the duo) in order to boost up Mary in Sherlock’s esteem. I promise the rest of this review won’t be my John Watson Defense Squad platform. The book is divided into four sections, and for the first section (which wasn’t very long) I didn’t really like Mary. I felt like she had no personality other than being “female Sherlock Holmes” and I realized that if Sherlock narrated The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes instead of Watson then I probably wouldn’t have liked his superior attitude either. I kept reading though and Mary developed a personality of her own and I started to like her as a character. The mystery was fun and challenging the way one of Conan Doyle’s would be and the style of writing was similar in tone to his (although King definitely made it her own) which I found to be a nice nod to the original author. Overall I enjoyed this mystery and can’t wait to continue in the adventures of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes.