Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Art of Detection (Kate Martinelli, #5)” as Want to Read:
The Art of Detection (Kate Martinelli, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Art of Detection (Kate Martinelli #5)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,537 Ratings  ·  346 Reviews
In this thrilling new crime novel that ingeniously bridges Laurie R. King#8217;s Edgar and Creasey Awards#8212;winning Kate Martinelli series and her bestselling series starring Mary Russell, San Francisco homicide detective Kate Martinelli crosses paths with Sherlock Holmes#8211;in a spellbinding dual mystery that could come only from the #8220;intelligent, witty, and com ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Recorded Books (first published January 1st 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Art of Detection, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Art of Detection

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
To be honest, I read this book because of the connection to Sherlock Holmes. I do Love Laurie R. Kings books. But, I do prefer her Mary Russell series. Some day I may get to her Kate Martinelli series also.

Now it's been some years since I read this book, but I remember that I found it quite interesting. Especially the finding of a lost Sherlock Holmes manuscript that could be written by Sherlock Holmes himself.

You can without problem read this book without having read the other books in this s
Jan 10, 2009 Bob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Laurie R. King writes two mystery series. One revolves around Kate Martinelli, a lesbian inspector of police in San Francisco. (I mention her sexual orientation not because it makes any difference to me, but because the author makes such a big deal of it.)

The second requires the reader to swallow the notion that Sherlock Holmes lived on well into the twentieth century, took as an apprentice a fifteen-year-old girl, Mary Russell. Holmes eventually marries Russell who is 46 years his junior. Desp
Nov 16, 2012 Gill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: month-11, 2012
Laurie R King can pretty much do no wrong in my eyes, and this book only served to confirm that, cleverly weaving her turn of the millennium Kate Martinelli series with her early 20th century Mary Russell series. Kate is investigating a present-day homicide, but the victim was an avid scholar and collector of anything Sherlock Holmes-related. In his collection is a century-old manuscript purportedly written by Holmes himself; a manuscript that eerily echoes details of Gilbert's own murder.

This e
Once you get past the author's bigotry and racism, you have a fascinating situation that should appeal to fans of mysteries in general and Sherlock Holmes in particular. But some readers may not make it that far, seeing as how King's prejudices are put forward so forcibly in the beginning of the book, before the elements of the case have had a chance to take hold of the reader, and some may give up after they determine that the mystery which they had hoped would dominate the plot always has to t ...more
Anne Hawn Smith
I don't know how it happened, but I have read two books in a row in which the gay/lesbian secondary theme in the book has been heavy handed and off putting. I am getting very tired of it. The detective, Kate Martinelli has her perfect little lesbian family with her partner's all too perfect and wise 3 year old child. About half the book is devoted to these side issues and, predictably, all the gays are wonderful, misunderstood, and discriminated against and the rest of the characters are either ...more
Feb 23, 2012 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So this is sort of a Holmes pastiche, sort of not. And before I go any further: it's not really any good, but the pastiche elements themselves are definitely worth checking out.

It's set within King's non-Holmes series and essentially attempts to bring her Holmesian readers over with the promise of, well, basically a crossover. I've not read any of the prior material, though thankfully that didn't matter; as I understand it, there was a very long gap between this and the previous book, so we get
Joyce Lagow
In this, the fifth in the Kate Martinelli series, King connects that series, set in present-cay San Francisco, with her Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series.

Devotees of the Conan Doyle stories of Sherlock Holmes form clubs or societies, where members dress in period costumes and meet for various social occasions. Some go to extreme lengths in what becomes nearly full-time role-playing. Philip Gilbert was one such. When he is found murdered in an old gun emplacement on the Marin headlands, Martin
According to my list here I have not read a book by Laurie R. King since I started keeping track here. That is unforgivable. Not only is King one of my favorite authors, but her Kate Martinelli series is just so good. I suspect that the Mary Russell series is more beloved by most, but Martinelli's stories are just so well plotted and so riveting. They are my favorite of King's books.

The Art of Detection is no exception. I kept looking for reasons to get in my car so I would have more time with K
May 18, 2010 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No art in detection here, more like the tedium of detection. Too long and too many dead ends that could have been shortened. The short story within the story was actually more enjoyable. Plot just dragged on and on with little action and the ending was a bit of a surprise. However,by then you just wanted it to end and didn't care what happened. Won't be reading anymore of this series. The last chapter(after the case is wrapped up) about Kate getting officially married was irrelevant and not nece ...more
Curt Buchmeier
Apr 12, 2014 Curt Buchmeier rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad that's over. This was neither mystery nor crime fiction. The whodunnit was pretty much a vehicle(& a broken-down one at that)for the author's real story; the personal life & relationship of the protagonist, Kate Martinelli, a San Francisco homicide detective who happens to be a lesbian. First I've ever read of Laurie R King. Apparently, this particular book ties two of her best-selling series' together. Having read all AC Doyle's Holmes stories many times over the years, I was d ...more
Someone killed a man and put his body way up on the Marin headlands in an old gun emplacement. Said dead man was in his pajamas with clean feet. So who put him there?
As they investigate they find out he is a Sherlockian, one of the people who are invested in Sherlock Holmes; as a collector or in re-enactments, that sort of thing. He belongs to a group of these people and they seem to be his only friends although no one is really close to him.
But someone had motivation to kill him. Who was it?
Aug 06, 2012 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was pretty good, a bit better than the others. However, I wish the GoodReads scoring system was on a 1-10 basis so that I could more accurately rate it according to my taste.

I read the first three books in this series and skipped right to number 5, having jumped about twelve years in the characters' lives, during which time a lot of changes have been made - all in all, these changes were all a little "goody-two-shoes" (or is that goody-too-shoes?) for me.

Anyway, the gist of the story co
Sep 20, 2009 J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ah ha! All this time I've been feeling guilty for not being able to create my own summaries (mostly for books I read at least a year or two ago), and GoodReads provides its own summaries above! Helpful.

This was my favorite of the Kate Martinelli books, although they were all perfectly enjoyable. The internal Sherlock Holmes story made this a better read for me. I have a strange relationship with modern mystery/procedural books. Laurie King's style is one I've liked in just about everything she'
Sep 15, 2009 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I quite liked it. I haven't read the Kate Martinelli series before. I've been reading the Marry Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. A footnote in the latest Mary Russell one indicated I'd better read this first (didn't realize then it wasn't a Mary Russell) & so trotted back to the library to get it & read it today/tonight (it's 2:30 AM because I was reading in a room without a clock). I really like the Martinelli character storyline as well as the interplay of the Holmes story. I loved the ...more
Aug 18, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rebecca by:
Shelves: mystery, glbt, historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 16, 2010 Kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book after reading "the Beekeeper's Apprentice", also by Laurie King. She writes two series - one a Sherlock Holmes series and another a present day San Francisco detective series. This book is of the San Francisco ilk, but involves the murder of a man obsessed with Sherlock Holmes.

I didn't really like the book too much. Good things were that it was readable and the descriptions of San Francisco were vivid. On the bad side, despite being sherlockian, the plot left a lot to be desired
The Art of Detection is billed as the coming together of the Martinelli series with the Russell/Holmes series; Martinelli is assigned to solve the murder of a Holmes fanatic who has apparently discovered a new Holmes story, written in the first person (and for fans of the Russell series, clearly taking place around the time of Locked Rooms). This was a bit of a disappointment; the action is somewhat plodding and the characters not as fully realized as in previous books, though the exploration of ...more
Jul 07, 2015 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, 2015
I thought The Art of Detection was very patchy. The investigation of the murder of the Holmes fan is interesting, and I enjoyed that, but the insertion of the 100 page document purportedly written by Arthur Conan Doyle really seemed out of place. It wasn't necessary to include the entire document, and it didn't seem very much in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle, for all that Laurie King has clearly done her research (other readers who are fans of Sherlock Holmes may disagree, of course). The deta ...more
Although written as a bridge novel between her two detective series, this ended up as a jarring and unsatisfying read. The style of writing, the topics covered, the focus of character development, and even the very weak attempt to link the heroines through time using a Holmes manuscript (since fans of the Mary Russell series would see it written in Holmes's not Doyle's hand) all highlight that this is simply two separate stories. As a fan of the Mary Russell series, I enjoyed the short story abo ...more
Mary Taitt
I LOVED IT! It's crime/mystery novel, but it tickled me. I mean, don't get me wrong, people died, and there's some scary parts and some violence (not much), but I thought it was particularly interesting and engaging. I recommend it. I mean as a genre piece, and relatively light reading, it's great, IMHO. Probably not bucket list stuff, but still, really nice. I loved the characters, all of them, including the "bad guys." It was just so interesting to me, I think I am going to buy a copy for my ...more
I read this so I could continue the Sherlock Holmes story set in San Francisco from the previous Mary Russell novel. I'm not much for modern setting detective novels, but because it is Laurie King, it was interesting. The Sherlock Holmes sections being my favorite, not necessarily the Kate Martinelli portions. If you haven't read any of the Mary Russell novels, just forget this review and go get reading!
Alicia Utter
Rate: 6

A gay San Francisco detective is assigned a case where the victim lives as Sherlock Holmes, right down to gas lights in his home. He has come across a manuscript that may or may not be a hidden script of Doyle's and is killed for it. Who done it?

This is a series I hadn't read before. I liked the characters, but there were a lot of flashbacks to past stories that got burdensome. If I was reading the whole series, it would be annoying. The plot was pretty good, but didn't answer some questi
Jan 24, 2016 LuAnn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe not the best of this author's books to start with. After reading two police procedurals in a row, I'm tired of them. The plot of this consists mostly of interviewing and calling people, visiting possible crime scenes described in detail and reviewing evidence with some personal life stuff in between. Being a mystery, it was compelling as I read, but afterwards left me wondering why I spent the time. The premise of a Holmesian fan modeling his house and life on Holmes and an alleged Doylean ...more
Jan 30, 2015 Ali rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2015
This is probably my favorite of the Martinelli books, even though I found the prose/plot a bit hard to follow towards the end. I enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes tie-in, and the little insider sense of knowing that Sherlock Holmes is "real," given the premise of the Mary Russell series. Plus, the plot had a classic Arthur Conan Doyle feel to it (even more so than the Russell books) (view spoiler).

This probably wouldn't
Laurie R. King is, I think, better known for her Mary Russell series featuring Sherlock Holmes. Holmes appears, in a way, in this book, part of her earlier Kate Martinelli series about a San Francisco police detective. When the body of a consummate Holmes collector and re-enactor is found in a disused gun emplacement, there are many avenues for Martinelli and her partner Al to explore, including what may be a lost Holmes story. I found this book rather slow going at first but it may just have be ...more
Margaret Snow
Dec 31, 2015 Margaret Snow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am one who prefers the Kate Martinelli series, and I loved this book. The sherlockian theme was interesting, but I felt more pulled by the gay history perspective and the counterpoint of the current gay marriage movement.

I nearly cried as I realized that while Kate was standing in line at City Hall to get her marriage licence approved, I was sitting quietly listening to my partner's father was making disparaging comments about 'those people' being shown on the CNN coverage of the event.

I enj
Linda Hall
Aug 29, 2012 Linda Hall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Excellent ! I wish there were more Kate Martinelli books!
Feb 25, 2016 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, nook
So bummed this series is over!!
Joe Slavinsky
Jan 24, 2016 Joe Slavinsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've stated before, that I LOVE the diversity of Ms. King's writing. The "Kate Martinelli", and "Mary Russell" series, as well as the "Touchstone" series, might well have been written by different authors. This book plays on her obvious affection for things "Sherlockian", as one of the main plot points involves a manuscript, of dubious origin, that may, or may not have been written by Conan Doyle. Kate and her partner solve the crime, of course, but not without some emotional problems for Kate. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Laurie R. King Vi...: This topic has been closed to new comments. The Art of Detection by Laurie R. King - VBC May 2013 42 47 Jun 02, 2013 03:57PM  
Q&A with Laurie R...: The Art of Detection 3 92 Sep 13, 2012 09:49PM  
  • Deaths of Jocasta (Micky Knight, #2)
  • I'll Be Leaving You Always (Lauren Laurano, #2)
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance
  • Common Murder (Lindsay Gordon, #2)
  • Califia's Daughters
  • Stay (Aud Torvingen #2)
  • The Case of the Gypsy Good-Bye (Enola Holmes, #6)
  • Dead Midnight
  • Hancock Park (Kate Delafield, #8)
  • The Clerk's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #11)
  • The Sleeping Partner (Sarah Tolerance, #3)
Edgar-winning mystery writer Laurie R. King writes series and standalone novels. Her official forum is
THE LRK VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB here on Goodreads--please join us for book-discussing fun.

King's most recent novel, Dreaming Spies, sees Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes travel from Japan to Oxford, in a case with international players and personal meaning. The Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series foll
More about Laurie R. King...

Other Books in the Series

Kate Martinelli (5 books)
  • A Grave Talent  (Kate Martinelli, #1)
  • To Play the Fool (Kate Martinelli, #2)
  • With Child (Kate Martinelli, #3)
  • Night Work (Kate Martinelli, #4)

Share This Book

“since people who “discovered” bodies in odd places were often the people who had put them there in the first place.” 0 likes
More quotes…