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Summary and book reviews of The Art of Detection by Laurie King

The Art of Detection

A Novel of Suspense

by Laurie R. King

The Art of Detection by Laurie R. King X
The Art of Detection by Laurie R. King
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  • First Published:
    May 2006, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2007, 496 pages

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Book Summary

Kate Martinelli is investigating the death of Philip Gilbert, an avid Holmes collector who even transformed his home into a copy of 221B Baker Street, when she discovers what could be the motive: a previously unpublished story from Arthur Conan Doyle that could be worth millions

In this thrilling new crime novel that ingeniously bridges Laurie R. King’s Edgar and Creasey Awards—winning Kate Martinelli series and her bestselling series starring Mary Russell, San Francisco homicide detective Kate Martinelli crosses paths with Sherlock Holmes – in a spellbinding dual mystery that could come only from the “intelligent, witty, and complex” mind of New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King….

Kate Martinelli has seen her share of peculiar things as a San Francisco cop, but never anything quite like this: an ornate Victorian sitting room straight out of a Sherlock Holmes story – complete with violin, tobacco-filled Persian slipper, and gunshots in the wallpaper that spell out the initials of the late queen.

Philip Gilbert was a true Holmes fanatic, from his antiquated décor to his vintage wardrobe. And no mere fan of fiction’s great detective, but a leading expert with a collection of priceless memorabilia – a collection some would kill for.

And perhaps someone did: In his collection is a century-old manuscript purportedly written by Holmes himself – a manuscript that eerily echoes details of Gilbert’s own murder.

Now, with the help of her partner, Al Hawkin, Kate must follow the convoluted trail of a killer – one who may have trained at the feet of the greatest mind of all times.

ONE

Earlier that morning, the call had come while Inspector Kate Martinelli of the San Francisco Police Department was in the middle of a highly volatile negotiation.

"I’ll hurt myself," the person on the other side of the room threatened.

"Now, that’s no good." Kate’s response employed the voice of patient reason that she had clung to for the last few minutes, as she desperately wished that the official negotiator would return and take command.

"Yes it is good." Her opponent saw with crystal clarity that self-destruction was a powerful weapon against Kate.

"Now, think about it, sweetie. If you hurt yourself, it’s going to hurt."

The mop of curly yellow hair went still as the green eyes narrowed in thought, and Kate’s soul contracted with the weird mixture of stifled laughter and heart-wrenching submission that had welled up inside ten thousand times over the past three years and ten ...

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Reviews

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So far, Martinelli has encountered a female Rembrandt, a modern-day Holy Fool, two difficult teenagers and a manifestation of the goddess Kali. Now she takes on the mystery of a dead Holmes fanatic in this very satisfying 5th in the series, which has the added advantage of showcasing King's encyclopedic knowledge of all things Holmes...continued

Full Review (277 words).

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Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A fine, perceptive storyteller, King is particularly adroit at capturing the milieus in which her characters reside.

Kirkus Reviews
King's imagination is as generous as ever, and her use of the Sherlockian canon to ventilate contemporary issues is clever and impassioned.

Library Journal
King knows both Holmes and the Bay Area, and this book is a delightful mix of the two.

Reader Reviews

Velma

A Touch of Holmes
A very entertaining read. Well written as usual for Ms.King. I love the novel in the novel idea. Ends with a twist.

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Beyond the Book

Laurie King was born in northern California, the third generation in her family native to the San Francisco area. According to her bio she "spent her childhood reading her way through libraries like a termite through balsa, and her middle years raising children, traveling the world, and studying theology, earning a BA degree in comparative religion and an MA in Old Testament Theology. She now lives a genteel life of crime, back again in northern California."

She published her first book, A Kate Martinelli mystery, in 1993; the following year she came ...

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