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The Moor

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In the eerie wasteland of Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes summons his devoted wife and partner, Mary Russell, from her studies at Oxford to aid the investigation of a death and some disturbing phenomena of a decidedly supernatural origin. Through the mists of the moor there have been sightings of a spectral coach made of bones carrying a woman long-ago accused of murdering her h In the eerie wasteland of Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes summons his devoted wife and partner, Mary Russell, from her studies at Oxford to aid the investigation of a death and some disturbing phenomena of a decidedly supernatural origin. Through the mists of the moor there have been sightings of a spectral coach made of bones carrying a woman long-ago accused of murdering her husband--and of a hound with a single glowing eye. Returning to the scene of one of his most celebrated cases, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Holmes and Russell investigate a mystery darker and more unforgiving than the moors themselves.


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In the eerie wasteland of Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes summons his devoted wife and partner, Mary Russell, from her studies at Oxford to aid the investigation of a death and some disturbing phenomena of a decidedly supernatural origin. Through the mists of the moor there have been sightings of a spectral coach made of bones carrying a woman long-ago accused of murdering her h In the eerie wasteland of Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes summons his devoted wife and partner, Mary Russell, from her studies at Oxford to aid the investigation of a death and some disturbing phenomena of a decidedly supernatural origin. Through the mists of the moor there have been sightings of a spectral coach made of bones carrying a woman long-ago accused of murdering her husband--and of a hound with a single glowing eye. Returning to the scene of one of his most celebrated cases, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Holmes and Russell investigate a mystery darker and more unforgiving than the moors themselves.

30 review for The Moor

  1. 5 out of 5

    LauraRW

    I read reviews warning the reader to skip over this one in the series, but that advice goes against my nature as a reader. I wish I had been able to listen. Meanwhile, the book is summed up as follows. (Here be spoilers) Holmes--"Russell, come to rainy, foggy Devonshire." Mary---"No." (Changes mind) Mary tramps through mud, gets wet, dirty, hungry cold. Takes bath. The Reverend Baring-Gould, "I won't be around much, but I am old, my house is queer, and I don't think much of you, only Holmes." Mary, "Li I read reviews warning the reader to skip over this one in the series, but that advice goes against my nature as a reader. I wish I had been able to listen. Meanwhile, the book is summed up as follows. (Here be spoilers) Holmes--"Russell, come to rainy, foggy Devonshire." Mary---"No." (Changes mind) Mary tramps through mud, gets wet, dirty, hungry cold. Takes bath. The Reverend Baring-Gould, "I won't be around much, but I am old, my house is queer, and I don't think much of you, only Holmes." Mary, "Likewise, I'm sure." Mary tramps through mud, gets wet, dirty, hungry cold. Takes bath. Repeat. Mary and Holmes learn nothing, but remain in Devonshire. Holmes, "I know I sent for you in a great hurry, but now I'm going to London. Will you tramp through the mud some more, learning nothing?" Mary, "Certainly not!" Holmes, "Russell, I'll be back in 50 pages or so." Mary, "That usually means a hundred at least. Holmes, that's 1/3 the book!" Holmes, "Can't be helped. This series is about you." Mary, "Tramping endlessly through the mud and taking baths is not improving my character." Holmes, "Sorry. Must be off." Mary tramps through mud, gets wet, dirty, hungry cold. Takes bath. Repeat. Holmes, "I'm back from London. Learned nothing there, really. You?" Mary, "No! Oh for heaven's sake Holmes, haven't you learned yet that we only solve mysteries together?" And they wrap it up. Just skip this one. "O Jerusalem" is far better, and does make up for many of the sins of this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Grace Tjan

    Dear Miss Russell/ Mrs. Holmes, Having perused the earlier installments of your chronicles with a good degree of enjoyment, I regret to say that I am somewhat disappointed in this one. The mystery’s premise is valid, if rather simple, but the execution is sorely lacking. I find it to be utterly uninvolving and rather incoherent. Where’s the suspense? And all this traipsing across the moors, abundantly padded with repetitive descriptions of mundane activities such as meals and hot baths, is extrem Dear Miss Russell/ Mrs. Holmes, Having perused the earlier installments of your chronicles with a good degree of enjoyment, I regret to say that I am somewhat disappointed in this one. The mystery’s premise is valid, if rather simple, but the execution is sorely lacking. I find it to be utterly uninvolving and rather incoherent. Where’s the suspense? And all this traipsing across the moors, abundantly padded with repetitive descriptions of mundane activities such as meals and hot baths, is extremely tedious. Where’s the fun? The use of Rev. Baring-Gould is a clever nod to Sherlockian lore, but here he merely comes across as an old bore who spouts irrelevant trivia. Your Mr. Holmes often disparages Mr. Conan Doyle for excessively romanticizing accounts of his cases, but I think you could learn a thing or two from him about creating genuinely suspenseful, compelling narratives. I sincerely hope that the next installment of your reminiscences will be much improved. Yours Sincerely, A Reader

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    I was leary of reading this 4th installment of the Mary Russell (Holmes) series. Leary because I love the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories featuring Sherlock Holmes (most especially The Hound of the Baskervilles). It's always a crap shoot when a new author decides to play off well known characters and create a new set of stories (I can't fully describe how most of the Jane Austen knock-offs horrify and disgust me). But I should have given Laurie King more credit, because The Moor not only held it's I was leary of reading this 4th installment of the Mary Russell (Holmes) series. Leary because I love the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories featuring Sherlock Holmes (most especially The Hound of the Baskervilles). It's always a crap shoot when a new author decides to play off well known characters and create a new set of stories (I can't fully describe how most of the Jane Austen knock-offs horrify and disgust me). But I should have given Laurie King more credit, because The Moor not only held it's own, but surpassed my expectations 3-fold. King has created an interesting character in Mary Russell, wife of fictional sleuth extraordinaire Sherlock Holmes. This installment takes the pair to the lonely, eerie and starkly beautiful locale of Dartmoor, back to the scene of Holmes' most famous case of all: The Hound of the Baskervilles. King's rich and detailed descriptions of the moor and it's people is very reminescent of the type you'd find by author Mary Stewart. You can actually "feel" the pull of the moor - the sights, the smells, the otherworldly quality it must possess. Rarely have I been so transported and captivated by a mystery as I was with this one, and but for a bad head cold, I would have devoured this in record time instead of the 5 days it took me to finish. I especially loved all the references to The Hound of the Baskervilles, which ended up playing a part (once again) in the solving of the case. I don't hesitate to recommend The Moor to fans of the Holmes canon. King plays homage to the great detective while still creating a fresh, new perspective for him (and his wife). I've got to go catch up on #1-3 in the series now that I know what King is capable of. Well done.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    This was a very good adventure with Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes and they've gone back to the Dartmoor and the Baskervilles. I guess I knew "whodunnit" but it was the how and why that was the real enjoyment in this novel. After all, the journey is the real point. Poor Mary, though, thrown from horses, spending your nights on the moor in the rain and wind, losing her spectacles... This was a very good adventure with Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes and they've gone back to the Dartmoor and the Baskervilles. I guess I knew "whodunnit" but it was the how and why that was the real enjoyment in this novel. After all, the journey is the real point. Poor Mary, though, thrown from horses, spending your nights on the moor in the rain and wind, losing her spectacles...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emelia

    I have to say I really enjoyed The Moor. I loved everything about it. I picked it up at a book sale, on a whim, and glad I did. Sherlock Holmes...married?? That was the first thing that grabbed my attention. The second was the fact the book was written from a female point of view. A female sleuth who rivals the great Holmes himself ! Holmes and Russell return to Dartmoor to help an old friend of Holmes, the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould, with the mysterious sighting of what appears to be the retur I have to say I really enjoyed The Moor. I loved everything about it. I picked it up at a book sale, on a whim, and glad I did. Sherlock Holmes...married?? That was the first thing that grabbed my attention. The second was the fact the book was written from a female point of view. A female sleuth who rivals the great Holmes himself ! Holmes and Russell return to Dartmoor to help an old friend of Holmes, the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould, with the mysterious sighting of what appears to be the return of the hounds of the Baskerville's . Only this time it isn't just a hound that has been spotted. It seems the hound accompanies a phantom coach containing the ghost of a long dead noblewoman. Needless to say dead bodies start to turn up and a mystery ensues that has even the great Holmes baffled. The characters in King's book are well written. I picked this book apart, researching Baring-Gould and his writings, the presence of military on Dartmoor, the old myths and legends of Dartmoor, it's music and it's people, along with the gold "rush" of Dartmoor, and found King to be historically accurate. Another point in favor of this book. I found this book, dare I say, better than Conan Doyle's stories of Sherlock Holmes. King has a way of painting a picture of The Moors and it's people that captivates the reader; taking them on a journey across the moonlit mists of one of the most mysterious places in England. Again the historical side of this book is what I liked best. I discovered things about Dartmoor I never knew, things that made me delve deeper into The Moor's during the 1900's. So if you are a history buff, and love a good old fashion mystery, I strongly suggest reading King's book. If I could give it more stars I would do so gladly, it was just that good. Please be sure to check out the writings mentioned in this book by Baring-Gould. They in themselves are most excellent reads !

  6. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    This could have done with a lot less slogging through the wet moors to question the populace, and fewer tedious details about the life and writings of Holmes' & Russell's host. It could also have done with less indulgence in nostalgia for the Hound of the Baskervilles. Although some of that was to be expected, more current-day spectral activity rather than just being told about rumors would have added a needed layer of suspense and Gothic creepiness. As it was, I mainly got the discomfort of the This could have done with a lot less slogging through the wet moors to question the populace, and fewer tedious details about the life and writings of Holmes' & Russell's host. It could also have done with less indulgence in nostalgia for the Hound of the Baskervilles. Although some of that was to be expected, more current-day spectral activity rather than just being told about rumors would have added a needed layer of suspense and Gothic creepiness. As it was, I mainly got the discomfort of the cold and wet moor drilled very successfully into my head. It did get more interesting in the last 1/4 though, enough to rescue the book from a 2 star rating.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mike Finn

    In this, the fourth book about Mary Russell and her relationship with Sherlock Holmes, the main character is neither Mary nor Sherlock but the louring presence of Dartmoor, which clings to this novel like fog on wool. Lauries R, King's prose is vivid and memorable helping me to experience the desolation of Dartmoor in winter. This is how she describes a trudge across the moor by Mary and Holmes: "A meandering ridge on an approaching hill resembling the work of some huge prehistoric mole, became, o In this, the fourth book about Mary Russell and her relationship with Sherlock Holmes, the main character is neither Mary nor Sherlock but the louring presence of Dartmoor, which clings to this novel like fog on wool. Lauries R, King's prose is vivid and memorable helping me to experience the desolation of Dartmoor in winter. This is how she describes a trudge across the moor by Mary and Holmes: "A meandering ridge on an approaching hill resembling the work of some huge prehistoric mole, became, on closer examination, an ancient stone wall nearly subsumed by the slow encroachment of the turf. A distance sweep of russet across a hillside, a scurf of firs and dying bracken and fern was cut by the dark of another ancient wall drawn along its side. It was I supposed, picturesque enough, given the limited pallet of drab colours, but as a piece of impressionist art it served to evoke only the disagreeable feelings of restlessness, melancholia and a faint thread of menace." As the trudge across the damp turf continues we see its impact on the spirit: "By midday, I was as grey and silent as anything else in that bleak place; edgy, with an unidentifiable sense of waiting and aching for a spot of colour." But the novel is not all atmosphere. There is a strong and ingenious plot, stronger, I think than that of "The Hound Of The Baskervilles", that provides an opportunity to explore every aspect of life on the moor, including a wonderful scene in which the men of the moor sing in harmony for Mary in the local inn. The plot also takes us back to Baskerville Hall, this time in the hands of an American, and shows us how times move on, even if the moor remains the same. I enjoyed seeing Mary and Holmes working together, each understanding what the other would do and moving wordlessly to make it happen. Mary is no Watson, following where Holmes leads, she is an equal partner, trusted and depended upon. There are two places where we get an insight into how this partnership works In her first walk across the moor, Mary tells us that the atmosphere was so spooky that: "I might very well have heard the soft pad of the Baskerville hound behind me and felt its warm breath on the back of my neck. However, with Holmes beside me as a talisman, the spooks kept their distance and what might have been a place of animosity and danger was rendered merely desolate to the point of being grim." "Talisman". What a wonderful word to describe one's partner, summoning up trust and safety and power. We get to see how Holmes views Mary, his advice to a young man looking for a woman is: "You look around for a woman with brains and spirit. You'll never be bored." Reading this book is like settling into a favourite armchair next to a fire: comforting and deeply relaxing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (he/him/his)

    With this reread, I enjoyed it much more. Definitely a solid 4/5 for me! Original review 3.5 I didn't mean to take so long reading this. Honest, I didn't. I just couldn't get into the story no matter how hard I tried, not until over halfway through. With any other novel, I would have put it down and started a new one, however I love Mary Russell and Ms King's characterization of Holmes, so I stuck with it instead. Happily, I wasn't disappointed. The Hound of the Baskervilles is my absolute favorite S With this reread, I enjoyed it much more. Definitely a solid 4/5 for me! Original review 3.5 I didn't mean to take so long reading this. Honest, I didn't. I just couldn't get into the story no matter how hard I tried, not until over halfway through. With any other novel, I would have put it down and started a new one, however I love Mary Russell and Ms King's characterization of Holmes, so I stuck with it instead. Happily, I wasn't disappointed. The Hound of the Baskervilles is my absolute favorite Sherlock Holmes story. I loved the retelling of it from BBC's Sherlock, and I love ACD's book. Really, it's the best for me. (At least, from the ones I've read thus far.) So, I really was looking forward to this one. Sure, it's set decades after the infamous case. Sure, it has almost a completely new cast of characters. Sure, it's likely going to be pretty different with the case. That didn't really deter me. It was just that this was so slow and I felt that Mary's character was off. She just wasn't her usual self. I get it in the opening why it was, but she just wasn't fiery about certain things. I'm used to her being all modern, but she just fell back into the old ways in this book. She was the wife and that was about it. She took Watson's place really well in this book, without much ingenuity or characteristic Holmesian way. I was just bored of her complaining and wandering around the moor. Not a bad book, just not my favorite in the series. An average way to start the year.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christopher J.

    This was by far the worst book of the Marry Russel series. King started off with such a great idea, discovering the reasons behind several legitimate sightings of a spectral coach carrying a cursed woman and her devilish dog on a dark moor. However the execution was tedious. King simply has a difficult time staying on topic with this book. She wrote so much on the geography of the land that the actual mystery itself seemed only to be a side plot in her summation of the landscape. There was very This was by far the worst book of the Marry Russel series. King started off with such a great idea, discovering the reasons behind several legitimate sightings of a spectral coach carrying a cursed woman and her devilish dog on a dark moor. However the execution was tedious. King simply has a difficult time staying on topic with this book. She wrote so much on the geography of the land that the actual mystery itself seemed only to be a side plot in her summation of the landscape. There was very little suspense. In fact there was no suspense at all. The whole book consisted of Mary Russel wandering around the moor, talking to ignorant residents and taking hot baths. In fact, had she mentioned taking a hot bath one more time, I might have puked. This book came as a shocking disappointment considering that the rest of the books in the series were so enjoyable. This book was not only boring but also confusing. She included far too many geographical references which were not even pertinent to the acutal mystery. Simply do not waste your time with this story, if it can even rightfully be called a story.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Reading this, the fourth episode in King's Mary Russell series, was made more enjoyable by immediately preceding it with a re-read of The Hound of the Baskervilles. The plot and characters of arguably the greatest of Sherlock Holmes stories was thus firmly in my head, ready to inform my reading of King's offering. A very good offering it is. King does a superb job of evoking the most important "character" in the novel - and in The Hound of the Baskervilles for that matter - that is, Dartmoor its Reading this, the fourth episode in King's Mary Russell series, was made more enjoyable by immediately preceding it with a re-read of The Hound of the Baskervilles. The plot and characters of arguably the greatest of Sherlock Holmes stories was thus firmly in my head, ready to inform my reading of King's offering. A very good offering it is. King does a superb job of evoking the most important "character" in the novel - and in The Hound of the Baskervilles for that matter - that is, Dartmoor itself: dark, lonely, mysterious, beautiful and threatening. Russell and Holmes are, as ever, on form. The supporting cast are equally well-drawn. The mystery ties neatly into the events of The Hound of the Baskervilles and is satisfying, if not particularly enthralling. This novel does have its weaknesses. The weaving into the narrative of the life and works of Sabine Baring-Gould, while well done, was a touch excessive for my taste. I learned more about a man I'd never heard of before than I really wanted to know. And what I learned did not make me want to go out and learn even more. There was also a bit too much running around on Dartmoor done by Russell (and by Holmes, for that matter), to no great effect. The moor excursions provide plenty of local colour, but most of their travels on it only marginally advance the plot. Still, I enjoyed this novel despite its weaknesses. King is an intelligent writer. She respects the Sherlock Holmes canon. Her version of Holmes is recognisable and Mary Russell is an interesting creation. Plus, between them Doyle and King have made me really want to visit Dartmoor. Preferably by daylight, in fine weather. And not on horseback. Overall, I thought that this installment was marginally less sucessful than number 3, but still most enjoyable. Possibly closer to 3-1/2 stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I'm finding that as I get further into this series, I'm not enjoying the books as much. I think it's because there's less material about the relationship between the two main characters, Sherlock Holmes and his now-wife Mary Russell, and their personalities. I really enjoyed the first two books that followed their courtship while they were engaged in solving mysteries.The mystery in this book is not meaty enough to carry the novel on its own. I think more time was spent describing Dartmoor than I'm finding that as I get further into this series, I'm not enjoying the books as much. I think it's because there's less material about the relationship between the two main characters, Sherlock Holmes and his now-wife Mary Russell, and their personalities. I really enjoyed the first two books that followed their courtship while they were engaged in solving mysteries.The mystery in this book is not meaty enough to carry the novel on its own. I think more time was spent describing Dartmoor than in presenting the reader with an interesting puzzle to solve, and I became somewhat bored.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    If you haven't read Laurie R King before, don't start with this novel. It is not as well paced, not as interesting, nor as well plotted as her others in the BRILLIANT Mary Russel/Holmes series. Let me be frank... I ADORE her books. Adore this series: am reading them and gushing over how breathtaking her grasp of theological and philosophical concepts, calling friends to tell them they MUST read these books, explaining to people how Ms. King's series has renewed my faith in the genre of Mystery a If you haven't read Laurie R King before, don't start with this novel. It is not as well paced, not as interesting, nor as well plotted as her others in the BRILLIANT Mary Russel/Holmes series. Let me be frank... I ADORE her books. Adore this series: am reading them and gushing over how breathtaking her grasp of theological and philosophical concepts, calling friends to tell them they MUST read these books, explaining to people how Ms. King's series has renewed my faith in the genre of Mystery as Not being just "popcorn" books (mildly tasty, filling, but no substence). This particular book, however, I not only figured out within a chapter or two, but the continual droning on and on about the moor-- while vaguely interesting to begin with-- became as monotonous as walking continually around in it must have been to the characters. Maybe that was the point (Man, the moor is big and flat and rocky and boooring. Yawn....) or maybe it was an homage to Baskerville and we were supposed to love it only for that. Whatever the reason, this book didn't work for me like the others did. HOWEVER.... I pressed onward, and began O Jerusalem. TALK ABOUT REDEMPTION!!!! Beautiful, descriptive, breathtaking, filled with action and intrigue, markedly hard to figure out and deliciously filling out the characters' lives, as well as foreshadowing the next book.... well, it was everything that The Moor was NOT. SO.... I know, you're probably in love with this series the same way I am. I know, you're probably trying to read the series in order, because they are so lovely that way. I know, you're probably starting this book and thinking- but Heather _said_ this series was great, why am I only liking this book, not adOring it. Press forward. It's not a waste of reading, it's just not revelatory like the previous books in the series. Read it, finish it, pick up O Jerusalem, and get back into the adventure. That said, there are some interesting characters and scenes in Moor. Baring-gould is an interesting character, and reading the inital description of the moor itself will make you want to travel there. I loved the singing scene nearing the end, but I have a passion for singing and folksong in particular. So finish it for the good bits, of which it has lees than King's usual, but still more than general Mysteries, and then move onto her other magnificent books..... (O Jerusalem is worth it, I promise)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I ran out of books on my vacation and someone lent me this to read. I was definitely into the book. I thought the play on the well known Holmes and his relationship with his wife was intriguing. Mary Russell is a strong female character but at times seemed to fall into the submissive role. This made her more believable to me as a human. The disappointment in this book was the ending. It seemed as if there was a huge climatic build up but that was not to be. Instead there was a confusing and jumb I ran out of books on my vacation and someone lent me this to read. I was definitely into the book. I thought the play on the well known Holmes and his relationship with his wife was intriguing. Mary Russell is a strong female character but at times seemed to fall into the submissive role. This made her more believable to me as a human. The disappointment in this book was the ending. It seemed as if there was a huge climatic build up but that was not to be. Instead there was a confusing and jumbled spill out of the villains. I'm still not sure if one of them was caught. And what became of the engaged woman? I definitely felt and feel that this could have been handled with as much attention to detail as the rest of the novel.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Three stars is a combo of me not being in the mood and forcing it, and the book being not as good as I wanted it to be. Full review later. (five months later) No, I'm not even going to make excuses for this. It was very dull! The setting was dull. The mystery was dull. The interactions between Holmes and Mary were dull. Holmes was dull! And the resolution of the mystery did nothing for me. Returning to the setting of the best Holmes novel (but not the best Holmes story) could have been interesting Three stars is a combo of me not being in the mood and forcing it, and the book being not as good as I wanted it to be. Full review later. (five months later) No, I'm not even going to make excuses for this. It was very dull! The setting was dull. The mystery was dull. The interactions between Holmes and Mary were dull. Holmes was dull! And the resolution of the mystery did nothing for me. Returning to the setting of the best Holmes novel (but not the best Holmes story) could have been interesting, but it didn't work out. I'm probably not going to continue the series for a while, maybe a couple of years. Want to give myself a break, and there are so many other books I really want to read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    Mary Russell is summoned by Sherlock Holmes to Dartmoor to help investigate a mysterious death that is said to be heralded by a phantom coach carrying long-dead noblewoman over the moors. Around the dead body was it oversized paw prints… This book is especially interesting since it brings Sherlock Holmes back to Dartmoor, the place where The Hound of the Baskervilles cases took place. It’s quite a dark and chilly tale, and the dark and deadly moor adds a special atmosphere to the tale. Like the p Mary Russell is summoned by Sherlock Holmes to Dartmoor to help investigate a mysterious death that is said to be heralded by a phantom coach carrying long-dead noblewoman over the moors. Around the dead body was it oversized paw prints… This book is especially interesting since it brings Sherlock Holmes back to Dartmoor, the place where The Hound of the Baskervilles cases took place. It’s quite a dark and chilly tale, and the dark and deadly moor adds a special atmosphere to the tale. Like the previous books a 5-star book!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes return to the scene of The Hound of the Baskervilles. There’s a mystery, and it is, of course, solved, but the main fascination for this reader was the atmospheric Dartmoor setting combined with a portrayal of the real life character, Sabine Baring-Gould (reverend, folklore collector, antiquary, writer) and the evolution of Mary’s relationship with him and the moor.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    I would have loved to have reread The Hound of the Baskervilles before this, but I was in a hurry to get to the ARC of Pirate King that was waiting. Next time – because these are definitely books I will reread now and then as time goes by. It's great fun to watch the investigation into new reports of spectral happenings on the Moor, punctuated by Holmes's disgust with the common man's susceptibility and Russell's very private never-spoken niggling question as to whether in such a weird (in the I would have loved to have reread The Hound of the Baskervilles before this, but I was in a hurry to get to the ARC of Pirate King that was waiting. Next time – because these are definitely books I will reread now and then as time goes by. It's great fun to watch the investigation into new reports of spectral happenings on the Moor, punctuated by Holmes's disgust with the common man's susceptibility and Russell's very private never-spoken niggling question as to whether in such a weird (in the classical sense) place as this the supernatural might not be real. But best of all is the emotion in the story: another glimpse of Holmes the human being, the fierce friend. The Moor is a prime example of why this series isn't mere fan-fiction, why it rises above the level of most pastiche. I'll probably grow repetitious with these reviews, but so be it: Laurie R. King's Sherlock Holmes is beautifully true to Doyle's, having realistically aged since the last of the original stories, and having found a new lease on life. LRK knows the world she's writing in, both the real world of the 1920's and the earlier London and its environs of the original stories and books – knows it well enough that she can move so confidently from, as here, London to Yorkshire that the reader never questions a detail. Generally the books in the Holmes and Russell series pay only passing homage to the original works; obviously The Moor is a law unto itself. In more ways than one. And honestly, who could resist doing honor to The Hound? It's such a beautiful opportunity to both tie the progenitor and the offspring together and to create the distance this Holmes desires between the things that man Doyle wrote about him and what an intelligent and loving wife would set down. And it also ties together the fictional hero and the man who wrote his "biography", Sabine Baring Gould, in a lovely manner. Yes, I'm the one who constantly complains, bitterly, about the use of real people as characters in fiction (as well as the use of other people's characters). But there is a world of difference between the Jane Austen, Lady Detective books (not to mention Jane Austen, Vampire or whatever) and this sort of treatment. This was … wish fulfillment, in a way. Like the Doctor Who episode Vincent and the Doctor – which was something of a valentine to the artist, not so much never-was-or-could-be as an I-wish-this-could-have-been (and I really do) - it's a lovely thing to imagine that this great aficionado of Holmes, Sabine Baring-Gould, was in fact the detective's old and valued friend. I think he would have loved it. As with the setting and Holmes himself, it is obvious that LRK knows what she is talking about inside and out, and has the utmost respect for both the fictional and the actual. It's what makes the series not only tolerable but wonderful.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    (See my review for book 3, A Letter of Mary....the thoughts below pick up where it leaves off) ...Along the same lines, one thing that surprises me in this book is that Russell complains that the Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould's treatment of theology is haphazard--yet doesn't seem to realize that he's not merely evaluating theology, he's doing it. (Which means that as a scholar herself she needs to be evaluating what he's doing on its own terms.) Again--deliberate on King's part, or a flaw in her abili (See my review for book 3, A Letter of Mary....the thoughts below pick up where it leaves off) ...Along the same lines, one thing that surprises me in this book is that Russell complains that the Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould's treatment of theology is haphazard--yet doesn't seem to realize that he's not merely evaluating theology, he's doing it. (Which means that as a scholar herself she needs to be evaluating what he's doing on its own terms.) Again--deliberate on King's part, or a flaw in her ability to portray this particular character? (On a similar note, because the pet peeve fits well here: Russell at one point complains that Sunday is the day that the Christians "mistakenly call the Sabbath." However...it is the Christian Sabbath. And there are a number of distinctly Christian reasons why it is so. Therefore, for Christians to call it their Sabbath is not a mistake. Russell could get away with this remark if she were merely Jewish, but she's a scholar of theology who appears to focus a great deal on Christian history and interpretation at Oxford. Was she simply being irritable, or surprisingly unthoughtful?) Yes, I nitpick because I love this series and read it over and over. Even the books I like less, I still enjoy. So I can complain if I like. But here's a neat little ironic historical tie-in and one of the reasons I love and enjoy Laurie R. King's work so much. (I like layers. Complex ones.) Why write Sherlock Holmes into the life of the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould? According to the Wikipedia entry on Sabine Baring Gould, one of Baring-Gould's grandsons, William Stuart Baring Gould, was "a noted Sherlock Holmes scholar who wrote a fictional biography of the great detective—in which, to make up for the lack of information about Holmes's early life, he based his account on the childhood of Sabine Baring-Gould." Laurie R. King, in turn, cheekily writes a fictional biography of S. Baring-Gould in which the great detective not only appears, but is supplied with a childhood--at least in part--in the revelation that the Reverend Baring-Gould is Sherlock Holmes' godfather. And thus the line between fiction and reality doubles over and blurs still more... As Russell observes in her preface to The Beekeeper's Apprentice, "I do not remember when I first realised that the flesh-and-blood Sherlock Holmes I knew so well was to the rest of the world merely a figment of an out-of-work medical doctor's powerful imagination. What I do remember is how the realisation took my breath away, and how for several days my own self-awareness became slightly detached, tenuous, as if I too were in the process of transmuting into fiction, by contagion with Holmes." Irony upon delicious irony.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sue Smith

    An excellent read! Love this series and the indomitable couple of Sherlock Holmes and his lovely, astute and resourceful wife Mary Russell. Such a duo they make – matched in wit and deductive reasoning that one really can’t be seen without the other, although I do think that Mary can do quite well all on her own if it really came down to it. She certainly brings up her game on this tricky case where they return to the scene of one of Sherlock Holmes more notorious crime scenes – the Moor and the An excellent read! Love this series and the indomitable couple of Sherlock Holmes and his lovely, astute and resourceful wife Mary Russell. Such a duo they make – matched in wit and deductive reasoning that one really can’t be seen without the other, although I do think that Mary can do quite well all on her own if it really came down to it. She certainly brings up her game on this tricky case where they return to the scene of one of Sherlock Holmes more notorious crime scenes – the Moor and the case of the hound of the Baskervilles. It’s a romping good story that takes you across the Moor and into some memorable spots along the way, along with meeting some memorable local characters, including the new Lord of Baskerville. Brought back by a long time friend of Sherlock Homes, the Reverend Baring-Gould to investigate not so much of a case but rather a sense of something not-quite-right in the Moor: mysterious sightings of a legendary ghostly coach and the ever-present spectre of the hound of the Baskerville. However it doesn’t take too long before bodies appear turning things into a case in earnest with more at stake than can be imagined. Thoroughly enjoyed the story and how it unfolds. Can’t wait to carry on with the series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    HBalikov

    Greatly entertaining as King has Holmes (and Russell) revist Dartmoor, the site of the earlier Conan Doyle story, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" Greatly entertaining as King has Holmes (and Russell) revist Dartmoor, the site of the earlier Conan Doyle story, "The Hound of the Baskervilles"

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    A solid mystery and fun to revisited the Moors from "The Hound of the Baskervilles" in the original Holmes story. The Moors are just as creepy as ever and I like the way they wove the original mystery into the current one. A solid mystery and fun to revisited the Moors from "The Hound of the Baskervilles" in the original Holmes story. The Moors are just as creepy as ever and I like the way they wove the original mystery into the current one.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Raye Harris

    So enjoyable!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series Book #4 Autum 1923 Dartmoor, the sight of Sherlock Holmes famous case The Hound of the Baskervilles. Another hound has been sighted along with a "ghostly coach" and a dead body. Holmes and Mary have been called in to quietly investigate. I was excited to read this one; broody, dark moor, and ghostly sightings. Perfect gothic atmosphere. Except that it soon became not so enthralling to me, just depressing. It rained, they were wet and cold constantly, even as Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series Book #4 Autum 1923 Dartmoor, the sight of Sherlock Holmes famous case The Hound of the Baskervilles. Another hound has been sighted along with a "ghostly coach" and a dead body. Holmes and Mary have been called in to quietly investigate. I was excited to read this one; broody, dark moor, and ghostly sightings. Perfect gothic atmosphere. Except that it soon became not so enthralling to me, just depressing. It rained, they were wet and cold constantly, even as a reader I got tired of it. And the ceaseless walking, walking, and more walking across the moor with nothing happening! It took to page 151 until things started to move when another body is found. It moves pretty quickly after that and I started to enjoy it. In this series the books are not driven by the mystery, the mysteries are woven around a political, philosophical, or feminist theme. This time it was wound around a real historical figure, Revernd Sabin Baring-Gould. I am afraid that I did not find him or his life compelling enough to carry his part of the story. This resulted in a lot of boredom on my part through a good chunk of the story. Well, nothing is 100%, and I love this series and will read the rest! 3 stars.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

    One of the best in the Russell/Holmes series in my opinion. For first time readers I always suggest reading this on a day when its raining or during a thunderstorm. Then you really feel like your in the Dartmoor setting.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rich

    Mary Russell joins her husband Sherlock Holmes to investigate more strange sightings on the Dartmoor moors. Number Four in the series. Firstly, there is not much of a mystery. I'd worked it out long before the dynamic duo did. There is little in the way of atmosphere or suspense. In fact, the author seems to go out of her way to make this as unlike 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' as she can. Indeed, if readers are expecting a sequel, they will be disappointed. Secondly, Mary Russell. Her sneering a Mary Russell joins her husband Sherlock Holmes to investigate more strange sightings on the Dartmoor moors. Number Four in the series. Firstly, there is not much of a mystery. I'd worked it out long before the dynamic duo did. There is little in the way of atmosphere or suspense. In fact, the author seems to go out of her way to make this as unlike 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' as she can. Indeed, if readers are expecting a sequel, they will be disappointed. Secondly, Mary Russell. Her sneering attitude towards others, her glee in describing other people's faults, her jealousy of any kind of relationship her husband has with other people, the complete lack of any self-analysis is extremely waring. I also found grating the way it is pointed out to the reader that Mary and Sherlock Holmes have sex. Who cares? It seems Mary does care, a great deal. Thirdly, this book moves very, very slowly. Very little happens for much of its 200 plus pages, but in a funny kind of way, I enjoyed it. This promises much, but delivers little, beyond trying to work how much of this character driven, or just author fantasy. The three stars may seem too much but two stars was not quite enough.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Teri-K

    I loved Hound of the B. when I was young; it was my favorite Holmes book, so I'd been looking forward to this volume since I started the series. In the end I enjoyed this one so much that I tried limiting how much I read each day to make it last longer, but failed miserably, finishing it off in three days. The Moor won't appeal to those who need a tight plot, lots of action and all the usual mystery suspects. But honestly, if that's what you're looking for how did you get this far in the series? I loved Hound of the B. when I was young; it was my favorite Holmes book, so I'd been looking forward to this volume since I started the series. In the end I enjoyed this one so much that I tried limiting how much I read each day to make it last longer, but failed miserably, finishing it off in three days. The Moor won't appeal to those who need a tight plot, lots of action and all the usual mystery suspects. But honestly, if that's what you're looking for how did you get this far in the series? Instead it appeals to those who love interesting settings that become part of the story, eccentric characters, and Mary Russell. King's writing is a pleasure to read. "The rest of that trek across Dartmoor was uneventful, other than finding me wet, cold, hungry, and plagued with a headache. I also discovered what a kistvaen is by the simple process of falling into one..." The Moor was exactly what I hoped it would be and I enjoyed it very much. Recommended to those who can enjoy books as much for the setting and mood as the plot. NB - The audiobooks are wonderful, too. :)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kribu

    Perhaps a little weaker in imagination and general themes than the previous three books, but it held a certain charm for me - including those interminable ramblings across the moor. I could have wished for a little more Holmes, once again, because I do like the moments of him and Russell working together, as partners, very much indeed (and I cherish the rare moments in which we are assured that as much as he can sometimes try her patience, their bond is as strong as ever and the affection still Perhaps a little weaker in imagination and general themes than the previous three books, but it held a certain charm for me - including those interminable ramblings across the moor. I could have wished for a little more Holmes, once again, because I do like the moments of him and Russell working together, as partners, very much indeed (and I cherish the rare moments in which we are assured that as much as he can sometimes try her patience, their bond is as strong as ever and the affection still mutual, still there), but the book worked well for me as it was and the plot kept me intrigued (I must be the only person in existence who has no familiarity with The Hound of the Baskervilles other than the title!).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    Wow, I really enjoyed this book. Read it in about five hours at a straight run with only a short pause for lunch. Mary remains a self-assured and interesting heroine/narrator, her relationship with husband Sherlock continues to amuse and entertain, and the historical figure of Sabine Baring-Gould was a great supporting character, fully fleshed out and three dimensional. King also does a great job making allusions to Conan Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles without relying too heavily on the story Wow, I really enjoyed this book. Read it in about five hours at a straight run with only a short pause for lunch. Mary remains a self-assured and interesting heroine/narrator, her relationship with husband Sherlock continues to amuse and entertain, and the historical figure of Sabine Baring-Gould was a great supporting character, fully fleshed out and three dimensional. King also does a great job making allusions to Conan Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles without relying too heavily on the story. As always, the conclusion to the case wasn't too obvious, and the finale was satisfyingly exciting. Highly recommended!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Not the best of the bunch, it was just ok. I see now some even say to skip this one. Mary is summoned by Sherlock to the moor at Dartmoor, the location of The Hound of the Baskervilles. She doesn't want to go, reluctantly stays, and proceeds to walk the moor, get muddy and wet, has some tea, and takes a bath... repeatedly. Meh. The mystery seemed sound, but went nowhere, and finished with a thrown together, partial resolution. Not the best of the bunch, it was just ok. I see now some even say to skip this one. Mary is summoned by Sherlock to the moor at Dartmoor, the location of The Hound of the Baskervilles. She doesn't want to go, reluctantly stays, and proceeds to walk the moor, get muddy and wet, has some tea, and takes a bath... repeatedly. Meh. The mystery seemed sound, but went nowhere, and finished with a thrown together, partial resolution.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Feisty Harriet

    2.5 stars....this is, according to Ye Olde Goodreads.com, the worst of the Mary Russell series, and I....don't disagree. I'm going to give this series one more shot with Book #5, but I think the first one (Beekeeper's Apprentice) is delightful and brilliant and the storyline and badass lady detective narrative has declined significantly since then. 2.5 stars....this is, according to Ye Olde Goodreads.com, the worst of the Mary Russell series, and I....don't disagree. I'm going to give this series one more shot with Book #5, but I think the first one (Beekeeper's Apprentice) is delightful and brilliant and the storyline and badass lady detective narrative has declined significantly since then.

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