Read between: 27th April- 19th May
Number of pages: 315
Publisher: Allison and Busby
This book is the fourth in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series….and I wouldn’t say it was my favourite of the four I’ve read so far. It started off very repetitive. There was a lot of Mary taking baths in the first few chapters for example.
However, it does re-visit my favourite Holmes case, the Hound of the Baskervilles. Yes, there is lots of traipsing around the moor after a ghostly hound and then retiring for the night in whatever inn they can fine- but there were also murders! That’s one way to keep my attention.
It started off reading a bit like a diary- I did this, Holmes did this, we did that, this happened etc, which meant it was very hard to get into to begin with- but it did pick up, thankfully, and then I flew through it!
The plot begins with Mary being summoned from Oxford, to Dartmoor, by her husband, Sherlock Holmes, and she is pretty much thrown into the deep end from then on. Luckily, she does manage to work in a new environment, and with help from Reverend Baring-Gould’s books, she learns about Dartmoor along the way. Whether these facts are real or fictitious there was a part of me that learnt along with her, especially as Dartmoor will have changed since the time period of the novel.
When the Holmes’ put the clues together to solve the crime I admit I was surprised. I only thought it was one culprit, turns out I was wrong, and there were two, one who had been so civil and welcoming throughout the book I didn’t expect such a change in character.
Just goes to show not everyone is as they seem.
There were flaws, yes, I found Mary to be rather annoying in some places, even some of those Mary Sue qualities I thought had vanished popped up again. She’s a smart character so I think the author may have been trying to get her character to do too much.
Just because I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would doesn’t mean I won’t continue with the rest of the series. I do love a good pastiche!
I wish it had been better.
Thanks for reading!