Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Pirate King

THE PIRATE KING: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes
(Russell & Holmes, Book 11)
Laurie R. King
September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-55-380798-1
320 pages

Being Sherlock Holmes’ wife can be challenging. What with Sherlock’s eccentricities and brilliance, Mary Russell constantly needs to balance her own interests with his. She finds that this places her in the position of having to be involved in investigations even without her husband’s assistance.

Mary’s newest investigation is to join Fflytte Films, a silent film producing company. There are suspicions about this film crew smuggling of drugs and guns. Working as a director’s assistant should make it easy for her to combine with her massive daily duties. Since the former director’s assistant has disappeared, this is also a concern. Her job is to be a part of this group as they film in Lisbon and Morocco. What she did not plan on though was the demands of being a director’s assistant and quickly finds that she has no time for investigating. She writes to her husband back in England when she finds the opportunity or time. One of the first things that she tells him is the demands of being a mother to the crew and no time to investigate.

The story is to make a silent movie made about making Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Pirate of Penzance”. The complications come when the director, Fflytte, plans to have triplets play each of the daughters and when he manages to hire real pirates for the pirate parts. Imagine working with thirteen blond teenaged-girls and meeting their various needs in an attempt to live in temporary harmony along with real pirates playing both pirates and constables.

Although somewhat predictable, this is a fun light-hearted adventure with numerous references to “The Pirates of Penzance” in which ironically, the pirates are really Englishmen who fall for the daughters. So, this has real pirates pretending to be pirates and constables who are also showing interest in the blond beauties.

With no one being who they really are, the story has numerous twists and turns. When Holmes joins those on the ship, the story changes slightly with more planning involved since naturally, Holmes has taken the part of the Major-General. I still wonder how Holmes managed to get on the ship with the communication and transportation at the time of silent movies being not the most efficient.

If you are expecting Laurie King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. You will find this a disappointment. If you are looking for a fun, light, mystery, you will thoroughly enjoy The

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