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Author: Laurie R King
Genre: Crime, Mystery & Thriller
Rights: UK & Comm Ex. Can
Pub. Date: 27th June 2012
Part of the series:
The Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes Series
The latest adventure for the intrepid Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes takes readers into the frenetic world of silent films, where the pirates are real and the shooting isn’t all done with cameras.
In England’s young silent-film industry, the megalomaniacal Randolph Fflytte is king. Nevertheless, Mary Russell is dispatched to investigate the criminal activities that surround Fflytte’s popular movie studio. So Russell is traveling undercover to Portugal, along with the film crew that is gearing up to shoot a cinematic extravaganza, Pirate King. But as movie make-believe becomes true terror, Russell and Holmes themselves may experience a final fadeout.
'An entertaining, lively escapade in which the character of Mary really comes alive...and perhaps one of the fascinating aspects of this book is the way it brings alive the problems facing the early film industry, and how they solved them! 4 stars'CADS (Crime and Detective Stories)
'A strong entry in this classic series...I'm a big fan of Gilbert & Sullivan with chapter headings coming from the lyrics of "Pirates of Penzance"...The workings of the cast and crew were very well done, with very sly wit.'Deadly Pleasures
'Laurie R. King takes a light-hearted break from the more recently dark adventures of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes...Paying humorous homage to Gilbert and Sullivan, King delivers an uplifting tale in which Russell finds herself helping to recruit a band of actors to play pirates, in a film about a film about the Pirates of Penzance...[a] jolly roger of a tale.'It's a Crime! (Or a Mystery...)
'Brilliant and beautifully complex, the chronicles of Mary Russell Holmes are told in the voice of their subject, the much younger, highly educated, half-American Jewish wife of Sherlock Holmes. This one's tangled web includes some very high comedy from Gilbert and Sullivan, pirates, and early moviemaking, Russell finds herself, possibly at the behest of Mycroft Holmes, working for Fflyte Films and on a Mediterranean voyage (in a brigantine!). Her assignment: shepherding a bevy of blonde actresses, their mothers, young British constables, and a handful of men whose dark eyes and darker scars may reflect an unsavory history. Mr. Fflyte, we learn, is making a film about the making a film version of The Pirates of Penzance and wants real pirates, a real ship, and real locales. King rings merry changes on identity, filmmaking, metafiction, and the tendency of each and all to underestimate blondes. Her descriptions of locale are voluptuous, and her continued delineation of the relationship of Russell and Holmes exquisitely portrays the eroticism of intellectual give-and-take. Quotations from Gilbert and Sullivan and the language of sailing ships (take that, Patrick O'Brian!) add to the general, luscious hilarity.'Booklist (Starred review)