King, Laurie R - 'O Jerusalem'
This superbly written tale by Laurie King, detailing an adventure for Sherlock Holmes and his very able young apprentice, Mary Russell, was first published in the UK in 2002. A new edition has been produced to mark its ten-year anniversary - hence a new review to go with it.
I must be one of the few remaining crime fiction fans who has never read a Sherlock Holmes mystery before, in any shape or form. Well-written and gripping, with some excellently described characters, this story was first rate and has inspired me to pick up one of the Conan Doyle originals sometime soon.
In brief, it is 1918 and Holmes and Russell have to flee from the UK after death threats are made against them. Their flight takes them to Palestine, at the suggestion of Sherlock's brother Mycroft, and straight into a spate of unsolved murders - most of which have been dismissed as unfortunate and no link has yet been made between them. Holmes gets the feeling that his services are not really appreciated by the local people but, with his usual knack of spotting what no-one else can, soon has a plan put together and the guilty party identified. They just have to find him before he kills again. Disguised as Arabs and accompanied by two local heroes, Mahmoud and Ali, who are also more than they seem, the pair end of in the heart of Jerusalem, up to their waists in the mud and dirty water of the tunnels beneath the old city. The race is on to defuse the bomb and catch their man. Can they do it in time?
This beautifully written and highly entertaining story is just the thing to start off 2013. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland