Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pirate King by Laurie R. King

I've been a fan of the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series ever since I stumbled across the first one, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, in the shelves of my local library.  And when I gave the audio books a try a few books ago in the series, I enjoyed Jenny Sterlin's narration so much that I have been exclusively listening to them ever since.

The premise of this eleventh book in the series is that Mary finds herself under cover with a film crew, who are filming a pirate movie on location in Portugal and Morocco. She must babysit a bevy of young actresses, all the while trying to find out what is really going on behind the scenes at the film company.I started this one with high expectations, but I have to say, I barely made it through. The tension was nonexistent, and the story meandered all over the place. Holmes wasn't present for much of the book, and there was such a large cast of characters it was nearly impossible to begin to care what happened to any of them. If I weren't such a fan of the series, I probably would have given up.

I'm not sure what happened here. Mary was rather whiny and feeling sorry for herself through most of the book, and the other characters were not very likable. Once Holmes became involved it was easier going, but I really missed the character-revealing interactions and conversations that are typical of the other books in this series. Don't get me wrong - it did have its moments, I'm glad I read it, and I certainly intend to continue with the series. This one just wasn't my favorite.

Books in the Mary Russell series:
1. The Beekeeper's Apprentice
2. A Monstrous Regiment of Women
3. A Letter of Mary
4. The Moor
5. O Jerusalem
6. Justice Hall
7. The Game
8. Locked Rooms
9. The Language of Bees

10. The God of the Hive  
11. Pirate King
12. Garment of Shadows

Pirate King (#11 in the Mary Russell series) by Laurie R. King; narrated by Jenny Sterlin (Random House, 2011)


  1. AnonymousMay 01, 2013

    "What happened here," according to King herself on her blog, is that The Language of Bees and The God of the Hive together were such massive emotional downers that she felt she would crash and burn if she tried anything else in that direction at that point. So Pirate King is intentionally a light romp, comic relief after two very dark books.

    1. Curmdugn - That is interesting! This one certainly isn't as dark, and it does have some funny moments. I did find it to lack the direction and tight, compelling plot I've come to expect, so I think that is what derailed me. I do love Mary and Holmes, though, and I'm looking forward to reading the next book.

  2. I stopped the Mary Russell books at book 10..but really liked those that I read

    1. Are you going to keep going? I know I am - this wasn't my favorite, but I do like to spend time with Russell and Holmes!


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