I've been waiting for Dreaming Spies for a long time. It's funny because this series is so far off from what I usually read but I absolutely love it. There is just something about the relationship between Russell and Holmes that keeps me reading. My only regret is that I now have to wait endless months for the next book in the series.
Synopsis From Amazon:
After a lengthy case that had the couple traipsing all over India, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are on their way to California to deal with some family business that Russell has been neglecting for far too long. Along the way, they plan to break up the long voyage with a sojourn in southern Japan. The cruising steamer Thomas Carlyle is leaving Bombay, bound for Kobe. Though they’re not the vacationing types, Russell is looking forward to a change of focus—not to mention a chance to travel to a location Holmes has not visited before. The idea of the pair being on equal footing is enticing to a woman who often must race to catch up with her older, highly skilled husband.
Aboard the ship, intrigue stirs almost immediately. Holmes recognizes the famous clubman the Earl of Darley, whom he suspects of being an occasional blackmailer: not an unlikely career choice for a man richer in social connections than in pounds sterling. And then there’s the lithe, surprisingly fluent young Japanese woman who befriends Russell and quotes haiku. She agrees to tutor the couple in Japanese language and customs, but Russell can’t shake the feeling that Haruki Sato is not who she claims to be. Once in Japan, Russell’s suspicions are confirmed in a most surprising way. From the glorious city of Tokyo to the cavernous library at Oxford, Russell and Holmes race to solve a mystery involving international extortion, espionage, and the shocking secrets that, if revealed, could spark revolution—and topple an empire.
Holmes and Russell did not disappoint in this latest book. If you are a mystery lover, this series is consistently wonderful and you don't get that repetitive feeling that can often occur when you get the fourth or fifth book. Each installment is original and completely captivating. Dreaming Spies is no exception and I read at every chance I got until the book was finished. The relationship between Russell and her much older husband, Sherlock Holmes, is always a delight. Mary Russell is consistently taught new skills by her husband but is also a brilliant and independent woman for her time. She strives to be his mystery solving equal and sometimes even surpasses him. Sherlock treats her as a partner and never acts the overprotective husband. Each brings their own unique personality to the table and together they are truly phenomenal.
This is one of the few series where the writing is so well done and the plot so deep and intriguing, that I cannot solve the mystery myself. There are many twists and turns so that, many times, I miss clues that only the most cautious eye will find. I love this about these books. I love that I am engrossed and trying to work things out in my mind until the very end, where I am almost always impressed with how the story plays out. I find myself often having an "aha" moment along with the characters. This was definitely the case for this book.
If you are a lover of mysteries and have a soft spot for Sherlock Holmes, you might want to give these books a shot. Mary Russell is the main character but Holmes is prominent in most of the stories. However, in my opinion, you absolutely must start at the beginning where they first meet. Holmes, an aging detective losing faith in his world, and Russell, a young girl with her own issues, who stumbles upon him at just the right moment. The first book is The Beekeepers Apprentice. I go back to read the first few chapter often and It will always be one of my favorites.