Dreaming Spies, by Laurie R. King

22318363In Dreaming Spies, Laurie R. King returns to Mary Russell’s and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, travels around the world. This time, King tells the story of Russell and Holmes’ adventure with a stolen, forged rare Japanese book; a blackmailed emperor; ninjas; and irritating English toffs.

We rejoin Russell, our narrator, in Bombay. She and Holmes have just solved a case in the Indian highlands and are taking ship for Japan, California, and, finally, back to England. As they often do, things go agley with their planes. Holmes spots a man who was suspected of, but never caught, blackmail. Russell meets a curiously fit and competent Japanese woman.

The case spins itself out slowly because the Japanese woman, Haruki Sato, is extremely reluctant to trust Russell and Holmes. When she finally agrees to tell them what’s going on, we learn that the suspected blackmailer has a document that could bring down the Japanese government. Their client turns out to be Prince Regent Hirohito. (Yes, that one.*)

The first two thirds of the book involve an attempt to recover the document. It’s clear, however, that things aren’t over when Russell and Holmes leave Japan. The last third brings the whole story to an exciting conclusion.

The challenge of long-running series is keeping them fresh, especially with mystery series. If each entry involves solving a case, without any character growth or changing the stakes, the series will lose its spark. King’s Russell and Holmes series shows no sign of losing its spark. Each entry in this series has Russell learning more about herself as she and her husband solve cases that baffle others.

I received a free copy of this ebook from Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. It will be released 17 February 2015.

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* The fact that Russell and Holmes were working for Hirohito made me twitch. Dreaming Spies has a few hints about another world war being on the horizon. I’d have been tempted to tell Hirohito to stick it, actually.

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