The first pick for my library book club came in with a whimper. Overall, we (self included) didn’t really like this book. This was an interesting endeavor because King takes Sherlock’s Holmes out of retirement, and back into the fray, with the addition of the plucky Mary Russell, a whip smart teenager who befriends Holmes and keeps him on his toes. In addition to Holmes there is the familiar cast of characters: Mrs. Hudson, Watson, and Mycroft. Watson is more secondary as Russell serves to fill his place as the right hand of Holmes.
I think what King did is extraordinary. She captures the tone and pacing of Doyle perfectly, as confirmed by those in book club that have read a lot of the original work. Personally, I’m a Holmes fan. Though I haven’t read a lot of the original material, I’m familiar with many iterations: Star Trek Next Generations Moriarity episodes, Robert Downey Jr as Holmes, and Cumberbatch as Holmes. That was part of the issue for me because all of these versions of Holmes were warring in my brain. In addition, what works in short serials, like Doyle originally intended, draaaaaags in a full length novel. It took a long time to get anywhere.
I liked the female protagonist and that there wasn’t really a romantic angel to the relationship between Mary (15) and Sherlock (50s). BECAUSE EWWWWW. But others in the book club thought they sensed some overtones. Eww. And then, the piece de resistance, is that someone who has read more in the series said that they may end up together and THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS. And why I will never read any more in this series.
If you want to read something that puts new life into an old classic, I would suggest taking “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” a spin and leaving this one on the shelf.