3.5 stars – This re-read reminded me why I so loved this series when I was a teenager. I started reading Mary Russell’s story in highschool, and devoured the new books when they came out. Somewhere around the 6th or 7th book I lost interest, and I’ve ended up several books behind.
I found that in this series, the romantic tension between Russell and Holmes was most enjoyable in the first and second books, before they get married. (And in Oh Jerusalem, which is set between the first and second books).
This is the eighth book in the series, and I really enjoyed it. We get a lot of Mary’s history, and most of the book involves her coming to terms with the accident that resulted in the deaths of her parents and little brother. She’s been shelving those memories, and certain others, to the back of her subconscious for the past ten years, but events in this book conspire to make her face them, and come to some startling realizations surrounding her past.
The camaraderie between Holmes and Russell is great, and I did enjoy that part of the book was told from the third-person so we could get Holmes’s perspective, and watch both of them make their discoveries independently. Adding Dashiell Hammett to the mix of characters was a neat touch as well.
Overall the mystery wasn’t all that hard to solve, but I had read this before (I’m almost certain) so much of the story kind of echoed in my mind as I read. I found the pacing to be just right; it didn’t slow down too much that I wanted to put the book down too often.
I’m looking forward to catching up with the rest of this series soon!