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I quite liked it I haven t read the Kate Martinelli series before I ve been reading the Marry Russell Sherlock Holmes series A footnote in the latest Mary Russell one indicated I d better read this first didn t realize then it wasn t a Mary Russell so trotted back to the library to get it read it today tonight it s 2 30 AM because I was reading in a room without a clock I really like the Martinelli character storyline as well as the interplay of the Holmes story I loved the end, so wonderfully poignant happy that moment in time at least those marriages remain legal hopefully the rest of the state will get the chance again Now I have to go track down the rest of the Kate Martinelli books, after I read The Language of Bees. Once you get past the author s bigotry and racism, you have a fascinating situation that should appeal to fans of mysteries in general and Sherlock Holmes in particular But some readers may not make it that far, seeing as how King s prejudices are put forward so forcibly in the beginning of the book, before the elements of the case have had a chance to take hold of the reader, and some may give up after they determine that the mystery which they had hoped would dominate the plot always has to take a back seat to King s and her character s view of the world As to the situation, what could be appealing to a fan than an obsessive Holmes follower, a detailed recreation of 221B Baker Street in present day San Francisco, a mysterious murder in a spooky locale, and hints of a long lost Sherlock Holmes manuscript Unfortunately, what should be the strongest elements of the story are used as mere set dressing, and the pacing of the story varies from painfully slow to abruptly staccato It does not help that the brakes are applied to the main story for the purpose of inserting a poorly written Sherlock Holmes pastiche that exists solely to further a social agenda into the middle third of the book the pastiche is ostensibly the motivator of the plot and the murder since it purports to be an authentic manuscript written by Conan Doyle, but its importance is lost on the reader since it s obvious from a textual analysis that it could never have been written by Holmes creator, who was schooled in proper English grammar, something that should have been obvious to any of the Sherlock Holmes experts who populated the character list The book fails to satisfy the two fan bases it should have appealed to most police procedural and Sherlock Holmes and that leaves the much smaller cult of personality crowd, either those who follow Laurie King s writings or those who follow the character Kate Martinelli because she s such a good role model As far as King s other work, I m familiar with her Sherlock Holmes novels, which began with The Bee Keeper s Apprentice, but it was not a series I followed beyond the first couple of books because she took the Great Detective hostage for her ideologies As for the Martinelli character, this is the first story I ve read attracted solely by the Holmes aspect , but I was put off by a detective who did very little detecting, who saw police work as a distraction from her personal life, who treated everyone else with disdain, who was preoccupied with the sexual and physical attraction of witnesses, and who waded into the world of Sherlock Holmes armed with nothing than misconceptions and misunderstandings about the character and his devotees If you are a fan of either King or Martinelli, you might like this book, or at least judge it okay if you just can t get enough of anything related to Sherlock Holmes, but readers looking for substance and mystery might want to give it a pass. So this is sort of a Holmes pastiche, sort of not And before I go any further it s not really any good, but the pastiche elements themselves are definitely worth checking out.It s set within King s non Holmes series and essentially attempts to bring her Holmesian readers over with the promise of, well, basically a crossover I ve not read any of the prior material, though thankfully that didn t matter as I understand it, there was a very long gap between this and the previous book, so we get a decent quantity of exposition.The main plot revolves around a supposedly new Holmes manuscript written by Doyle It s ridiculous It makes no sense At all I don t understand how the hell we re supposed to buy that anyone would ever, ever believe the manuscript was from Doyle, especially since all the characters in the novel are enthusiastic Holmesians For a start, it revolves around queer issues Then there s the fact that it s written from Holmes perspective, and not in the way Doyle attempted to write such a thing But the interesting part then lies in the fact that we re given this manuscript to read.Because guys It s a Holmes pastiche that deals with queer issues Trans issues, in fact Er, which the modern day characters refer to as gay , which seems rather weird And terrible What does it say when the early 1900 s style material seems almost progressive than the 2000 s style material in that regard I don t know, let s ask Moffat And it s got a good Holmes voice, and it s interesting, and it s really fucking obviously supposed to take place within the Mary Russell canon, which is interesting given the sheer level of Holmes might be less than 100% straight stuff I picked up in it HM.But then we have the rest of the novel And it s all terrible cliches, and bland characters, and haha Holmesians are weeeeird dullness Boring writing, too About the only saving grace is the modern day Holmes parallel, who I d have liked to see of, but unfortunately he s dead so there you go.Oh, and it has really trite pseudo progressive stuff shoved in.So I wouldn t recommend this unless you re a Mary Russell fan who wants to see Holmes be kind of queer In other words, unless you re basically me. It was fun to watch how King combined her fondness for Sherlock Holmes with her modern detective series. Laurie R King writes two mystery series One revolves around Kate Martinelli, a lesbian inspector of police in San Francisco I mention her sexual orientation not because it makes any difference to me, but because the author makes such a big deal of it The second requires the reader to swallow the notion that Sherlock Holmes lived on well into the twentieth century, took as an apprentice a fifteen year old girl, Mary Russell Holmes eventually marries Russell who is 46 years his junior Despite the absurdity of the premise, there are some attractive features of the novels, mostly to do with the idea of Holmes approaching old age Russell, who tells the stories in the first person, is discomfitingly priggish and writes in a style that was already old fashioned when she was born in 1900 The Art of Detection cross pollinates these two lines It is technically a Kate Martinelli mystery, but the crucial plot point is a 115 page previously unknown Holmes story Yes, the story is printed in full and makes up about a third of the novel.The police procedural stuff, what there is of it, is really pretty good, what there is of it Just when it is getting interesting, Martinelli intuits the answer This is a shortcoming of King s Mary Russell novels, too The detection in those novels relies too little on deduction and too much on intuition There is also a completely implausible and unnecessary shoot out at the end. I don t know how it happened, but I have read two books in a row in which the gay lesbian secondary theme in the book has been heavy handed and off putting I am getting very tired of it The detective, Kate Martinelli has her perfect little lesbian family with her partner s all too perfect and wise 3 year old child About half the book is devoted to these side issues and, predictably, all the gays are wonderful, misunderstood, and discriminated against and the rest of the characters are either wildly supportive of their lifestyle or complete jerks There is preaching, dogmatism and intolerance on the alternative lifestyle proponents that is every bit as nauseating as the morality plays of the past Kate has an attitude that is every bit as prejudiced, bigoted and sanctimonious as the people she demeans Please, authors, give it a rest This has nothing to do with a fairly decent mystery so why include it The setting involves a group of people who are Sherlock Holmes aficionados and the murder of one of their members When his body is found in a gun emplacement on the Marin headlands Kate and her partner, Al Hawkins, believe the murder has been committed elsewhere and the body has been staged They trace the murder victim to his home which is awesome as well as eerie On the bottom two floors, the house is a replica of a San Francisco home at the time of Sherlock Holmes even down to the gas lights and heat On the third floor, where Philip Gilbert mainly lives, he has a computer, security system with a nanny camera and even an elevator, but the rest of the house allows him to immerse himself in the life and times of Sherlock Holmes.The crux of the story involves a newly found manuscript supposedly written by Arthur Conan Doyle while he was visiting San Francisco and it involves a complicated murder which was similar to the staging of Philip Gilbert s murder The detective work is quite good and the solution is interesting and plausible The addition of all the Sherlock Holmes information makes the book work slogging through despite all the gay lesbian posturing. In this, the fifth in the Kate Martinelli series, King connects that series, set in present cay San Francisco, with her Mary Russell Sherlock Holmes series Devotees of the Conan Doyle stories of Sherlock Holmes form clubs or societies, where members dress in period costumes and meet for various social occasions Some go to extreme lengths in what becomes nearly full time role playing Philip Gilbert was one such When he is found murdered in an old gun emplacement on the Marin headlands, Martinelli and her partner Al Hawkins follow a set of puzzling clues that include the possibility of an unpublished, original story by Conan Doyle.While there is a great deal of involvement and information about modern Sherlockians, there is no need to read the original Sherlock Holmes stories, as all the involvement is peripheral to the stories themselves But it is a fascinating look into the world of those devotees who throw themselves with amazing enthusiasm into the Victorian world of Holmes It enhances the police procedural part of the story.In addition, there is a subplot involving the death of a young gay soldier in the post World War I area in that same area, that lends spice and interest to the main plot.Those are, in my opinion, the good parts of the book However, I have never really taken to the Mattinelli series because to me Martinelli and her partner lee have never come across as a real lesbian couple while I think that King is very sympathetic to her characters, she is not empathetic they are too politically correct, too stiff, too perfect.In this book, they are now the perfect lesbian family, since Lee has had a daughter who is now 3 years old The child is so perfect as to be nauseating And a number of stock lesbian characters show up as well the minister who is a political activist, the radical I have known people like that rather well, and none of them are as politically correct as these are to me, they come across as stereotypes, not as real people.And the end of the book wraps up teh modern and 1920s eras into a nice, sentimental package My problem is that I am anything but a sentimentalist, and i do not think that King handled this part of the story well at all.When Martinelli does her police work, she s good But her private life smacks of good intentions rather than reality. According to my list here I have not read a book by Laurie R King since I started keeping track here That is unforgivable Not only is King one of my favorite authors, but her Kate Martinelli series is just so good I suspect that the Mary Russell series is beloved by most, but Martinelli s stories are just so well plotted and so riveting They are my favorite of King s books.The Art of Detection is no exception I kept looking for reasons to get in my car so I would have time with Kate and her case King did not exactly tie her two series tightly together, but there is no way this book would have come about without the Mary Russell novels.Martinelli, her work partner and her life partner, Lee, seem very real to me I live in the stories while I listen to them Listening to the books are part of the experience of this series for me Alyssa Bresnahan is the voice of either King or Martinelli or maybe both in my mind Because this series is so real to me, I have to admit I cried through the last chapter of this book The emotions the characters were experiencing were mine I was so happy Now I have to right the terrible wrongs I have done and read listen to Laurie R King. Laurie R King can pretty much do no wrong in my eyes, and this book only served to confirm that, cleverly weaving her turn of the millennium Kate Martinelli series with her early 20th century Mary Russell series Kate is investigating a present day homicide, but the victim was an avid scholar and collector of anything Sherlock Holmes related In his collection is a century old manuscript purportedly written by Holmes himself a manuscript that eerily echoes details of Gilbert s own murder.This embedded short story by Holmes takes place during the period of Mary s sojourn in San Francisco which is covered in Locked Rooms one of my favourite Russell stories Here again King manages to conjure Sherlock s voice at least as represented in the Russell series I ve never read any Conan Doyle so convincingly.I loved this story within the story who couldn t love singer Billy Birdsong and the echoes from LGBT history through to the modern day. `DOWNLOAD PDF ⇔ The Art of Detection ⇞ In This Thrilling New Crime Novel That Ingeniously Bridges Laurie R King S Edgar And Creasey Awards Winning Kate Martinelli Series And Her Bestselling Series Starring Mary Russell, San Francisco Homicide Detective Kate Martinelli Crosses Paths With Sherlock Holmes In A Spellbinding Dual Mystery That Could Come Only From The Intelligent, Witty, And Complex Mind Of New York Times Bestselling Author Laurie R King Kate Martinelli Has Seen Her Share Of Peculiar Things As A San Francisco Cop, But Never Anything Quite Like This An Ornate Victorian Sitting Room Straight Out Of A Sherlock Holmes Story Complete With Violin, Tobacco Filled Persian Slipper, And Gunshots In The Wallpaper That Spell Out The Initials Of The Late Queen Philip Gilbert Was A True Holmes Fanatic, From His Antiquated Decor To His Vintage Wardrobe And No Mere Fan Of Fiction S Great Detective, But A Leading Expert With A Collection Of Priceless Memorabilia A Collection Some Would Kill For And Perhaps Someone Did In His Collection Is A Century Old Manuscript Purportedly Written By Holmes Himself A Manuscript That Eerily Echoes Details Of Gilbert S Own Murder Now, With The Help Of Her Partner, Al Hawkin, Kate Must Follow The Convoluted Trail Of A Killer One Who May Have Trained At The Feet Of The Greatest Mind Of All Times