The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik
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December 2, 2011

Pirate King

'Holmes, I hope you know what you are doing.'
'If nothing else,' he mused, 'it will be a novel experience. I've been abducted before, but never in the context of a Gilbert and Sullivan play.'
I know some of my reading friends were eagerly awaiting this book (the eleventh in Laurie R. King's series about Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes), and then were disappointed in it. That's happened to me, so I know how it feels.

The plot is a little silly.  It's 1924, and to help Scotland Yard investigate the disappearance of a silent film director's secretary (and possible illegal arms and drugs selling), Mary Russell goes undercover on a film shoot. In the movie, a film crew filming The Pirates of Penzance encounters a band of real pirates.  Since the director, Randolph Fflytte, is famous for shooting his films with as much authenticity as possible, the cast and crew travel to Lisbon, and then Morocco, and you can probably guess what happens ...

As for me, there wasn't that kind of anticipation. I had only read the first two or three books in this series and then lost sight of it, in the crush of all the mysteries I read.  (Why, oh why?)  I listened to this one as an audiobook (a very well-narrated one) and for me, it was a lot of fun. 

I don't know ... maybe you have to still know almost all the songs in The Pirates of Penzance to really enjoy it. :)


Lisa May said...

I have the on the TBR pile, but I've put off reading it because I've heard such mixed reviews. Though I loved the earlier books in the series, I haven't enjoyed the later ones as much - but I still bought this one, because it's Laurie King.

Teresa said...

I really enjoyed this one, but I'm not surprised that it's been hit or miss with readers. Humor is so idiosyncratic, and this is almost a straight-up comedy, so it's bound to not hit everyone the same way.

And I see you're listening to Kate Atkinson. Yet another favorite crime series!

Frances said...

Must weigh in as one of the disappointed, but this may be as you suggest that it is because I had such high hopes attached to the book and such a devotion to the series. Just hoping that things return to normal for next offering.

Thank you for visiting!

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