Friday, March 16, 2012

O Jerusalem

Book Review

O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King

This is the fifth book written in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie R. King.

Note that does not mean that the contents are designed to come chronologically after the events of book four.


But maybe that's why you need to read it, if you are at all intrigued by this series.

O Jerusalem

As the fifth book of the Mary Russell series, one might expect to find the next chronological mystery to be solved.

Not so.

This book jumps back in time to a previously introduced trip to Jerusalem. When that trip was mentioned, very little information was given, except that Mary and Sherlock were escaping England to get away from a dangerous situation. We never really knew what they did in Jerusalem, just that they were there for several weeks before returning to England.

Well now, with this book, we know what that trip was all about. And it turned out to be its very own mystery that Mary and Sherlock solve. Disguises and traipsing all over the countryside and dirt and languages and mannerisms are all here.

There was a bit more traipsing than I needed to read, but it certainly set the proper stage for those weeks. The environment, the adjustments, the accommodations (or lack thereof) are all part of the story.

I found that I had to remind myself several different times that this story takes us back to the time before Mary and Sherlock were married or in any personal relationship other than partners in solving mysteries. At first, I didn't understand why she was objecting to sleeping in the same tent with Sherlock.

This was an interesting detour, away from England. I liked the descriptions of the different mannerisms, things we often take for granted, like shrugs.

I only wish I had read this in the proper chronological order of fictional events. Reading in the order of writing isn't as useful as one might imagine. Having to remember the relationship status at the time of the given events pulled me out of the story more than I would have liked. Chronological stories are usually best.

This is an interesting read and shouldn't be left out of the series if you are already in it.  Give it a go!

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