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Justice Hall
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Mary Russell and husband Sherlock Holmes in their sixth outing. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"A spellbinding mystery...superb." --"The Washington Post" "Consistently smart and poignant...[Conan Doyle] would probably approve." --"Chicago Tribune" "Audacious...Mary Russell is never less than fascinating company." --"Los Angeles Times" "Gosford Park with an Arthur Conan Doyle twist...fascinating." --"The Orlando Sentinel"

Adult/High School-Who will be the Seventh Duke of Beauville, and heir to the breathtaking Justice Hall? Certainly not Maurice Hughenfort, the current heir, if he has his druthers. When Sherlock Holmes and his wife Mary Russell first met Marsh, they knew him as Mahmoud Hazr; he and his cousin Ali were guides and spies in Palestine in O Jerusalem (Bantam, 2000). Now they discover that he is the heir to a dukedom he finds an encumbrance to his chosen profession and also, as a result of this succession, a target for murder. His cousin Ali, now Alistair, comes to Holmes and Russell to help Marsh find the answers to several questions involving other possible heirs. Thoroughly captivated by the glories of Justice Hall and bemused by the 1920s' social whirl created by Marsh's sister and her husband, present caretakers of the Hall, Mary sets out to find some answers while Holmes goes off to London to sleuth and consult his brother Mycroft. Trench warfare and shooting parties as well as ocean voyages and Canadian flyers all fit together to help solve the puzzle, and teens will see much of another world and time while following this tricky tale of missing heirs and murder. There is less of Holmes and more of Mary in this sixth adventure, and a charming new character in Iris, Marsh's wife in a marriage of mutual convenience.-Susan H. Woodcock, Chantilly Regional Library, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Sherlock Holmes has been much used and even more often abused by the many writers who have adopted and adapted him for their own purposes. What a delight then to find an author able to make profound changes while hewing so closely to the spirit of the original. With great verve and imagination King has extended Sherlock's career, pairing him with the superb Mary Russell. In the Edgar winner's sixth novel to feature the sleuthing duo (The Beekeeper's Apprentice, etc.), Mary is a fully accepted equal to her husband and partner in detection. From the opening knock on their door by a wounded visitor to the satisfying denouement, King has again crafted a sterling story. Two characters from a previous adventure (O Jerusalem), Ali Hazr and his brother, Mahmoud, have problems that require an understanding of British aristocracy and the unraveling of the story behind a British soldier's execution. King employs the English manor house to good effect, including the changes wrought by WWI, and seamlessly incorporates as background the horrific wartime executions of numerous British soldiers for desertion or cowardice. Separately and jointly, Mary and Sherlock utilize familiar tools: research, disguises, trips to London and France and the connections and expertise of Mycroft Holmes to ferret out crimes committed and contemplated. Though some Baker Street Irregulars may humbly beg to differ, King comes close to matching the fine intelligence and wit that informed Doyle's original adventures, providing irresistible entertainment. (Mar. 26) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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