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Locked Rooms (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #8)

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  10,349 Ratings  ·  641 Reviews
BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from Laurie R. King's The God of the Hive and Pirate King.

En route to San Francisco to settle her family’s estate, Mary Russell, in the company of husband Sherlock Holmes, falls prey to troubling dreams—and even more troubling behavior. In 1906, when Mary was six, the city was devastated by a catastrophic earthquake. For years Mary has
ebook, 279 pages
Published June 21st 2005 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2005)
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After the adventure in The Game, are Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes on a route to San Francisco to settle some legal affairs surrounding the inheritance of Mary's family's estate. But, Mary is having awful nightmares as the ship is closing in on San Francisco. Could the nightmares have something to do with the city and the horrible earthquake that devastated the city? But, as far as Mary knows her family not even there during the earthquake, or were they?

Mary has always lived with the guilt o
Sep 02, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction, kindle

This episode in the Mary Russell series finds Russell and Holmes in San Francisco, where Russell is to attend to business related to her parents' estate. As Russell gets closer to San Francisco, she becomes increasingly disturbed by nightmares which appear to be linked to childhood events. Once the pair arrive, they naturally become embroiled in a mystery, which is resolved with the assistance of a band of Irregulars, including young crime fiction writer and former Pinkerton's detective, Dashiel
Jun 22, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-mystery
I cannot say enough good things about the Mary Russell series. I am a die-hard Sherlock Holmes fan and picked up the first book with trepidation - how could anyone do justice to the great detective? - but I was amazed. King not only honors Holmes, but deepens the character. Mary is a perfect counterpoint and complement and a brilliant, strong character in her own right. The historical detail and frankly, richness, of this series is astounding. In Locked Rooms, the couple travels to San Francisco ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
I greatly enjoyed this, and decided to give this full marks. The series is basically Sherlock Holmes fanfic, with the great detective given a female romantic and professional partner. So many ways it could have gone wrong, but I never have felt King's creation Mary Russell was a Mary Sue--for all her capabilities she has had her vulnerabilities, and I think this installment is among the most personal and introspective of the books, and I loved that aspect. One thing I've enjoyed about the books ...more
Feb 17, 2009 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, own, whodunit
Russell and Holmes have just finished their last escapade in India (The Game), when Russell is called to San Francisco to deal with matters relating to the estate of her late parents. Though Russell spent her early childhood there, she has not set foot in the city since she was fourteen, when the tragic accident that took the lives of her parents and brother occurred there. She is convinced that she will be able to handle the flood of memories and emotions the city brings back, but as she nears ...more
Dec 22, 2008 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Has it really been four years since I read the last Mary Russell book? It was great being back in her company. I enjoyed the book, though there was a zip missing, probably because Mary was unearthing some seriously deep shit from her past so wasn't her usual wit-slinging self. The alternating sections between first-person-Mary-POV and third-person-Holmes-POV threw me a bit. I don't think it was necessarily the Holmes POV itself, but that it wasn't consistent. It was usually Holmes, but the narra ...more
Jun 11, 2013 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sherlock Holmes is a character that who seems to continue to fascinate. Conan Doyle’s character having taken on almost mythical proportions has been responsible for the wide ranging Holmes pastiche that has grown up since Conan Doyle finished writing his Holmes stories. There are many writers out there who have continued to write Sherlock Holmes stories. For instance, there is ‘The young Sherlock Holmes’ series for children by Andrew Lane, a book called The Last Sherlock Holmes story by well-kno ...more
Ruth Downie
Sep 29, 2009 Ruth Downie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't read a Mary Russell before and it was hard to believe this was the eighth in a series. It came across as fresh and funny, cleverly combining the 19th century feel of Holmes with 1920's San Francisco, still recovering from the great earthquake. The mixing of real and fictional characters is a delight - I loved the scene where Sherlock Holmes sits down for a discussion with Dashiel Hammett.
❂ Jennifer
I thought this one would be my least favourite, but the story took off for me about halfway through, when the POV temporarily switched to Holmes. Ultimately an interesting story beyond the mystery itself.

Full review:
This book reminded me of Elizabeth Peters' "Amelia Peabody" series. Both series are supposedly the published journals of the heroine. The concept works well - until the author needs to cover events not witnessed by her. Both authors fix the problem by "discovering" accompanying notes by one of the other characters - and in both cases, there's only one possible candidate.

The trouble is that these "notes" are written in the third person, and it's as if the author forgets who's supposed to be the w
Books 4-8 of that series where young woman meets, studies with, and eventually marries Sherlock Holmes. I'm . . . ambivalent.

Good things" Pretty writing. Good research. Not infrequent veins of emotional or intellectual or historical richness. Commercial derivative fiction that's actually interesting!

The bad: not always succeeding in that admittedly hard task of writing about historical people and their views on race and gender while neither alienating modern readers or being anachronistic. (Thes
An Odd1
Feb 24, 2012 An Odd1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
"Locked Rooms" (MR8) by Laurie King is the third of recurring nightmares provoked by Mary Russell's return to childhood home in San Francisco. Two turn out to be memories. The last is symbolic of subconscious truths she refuses to acknowledge. I do not credit nightly brain synapses synchronizing with undue significance. Despite the annoying phony prophetic start, I'm drawn in by the plot thickening, and the author's talent for engaging. Better than psyche focus is the sense of real (not dry rese ...more
Oct 22, 2014 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is the third time for this one, too. We've left India and spent some time in Japan, doing something for the emperor (although there's no record so far, unless it's in a short story somewhere) and have taken ship for San Francisco where Russell has some business to deal with. She has nightmares on the voyage and Holmes is concerned. Their time in San Francisco deals mostly with Russell's childhood and her memories of that time, memories which she is sure are accurate. As each one fal ...more
James Swenson
Mar 05, 2013 James Swenson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad I read this, I enjoyed it, and I'm moving on to the next in the series. This volume takes Mary Russell, and her famous husband, back to Russell's roots in California, to face the circumstances of her family's death. We know, by this time, that she is vulnerable from this direction. Alternating between Russell's first-person tale and a third-person narration from Holmes's point of view, we see Russell's emotional imbalance from inside and out.

I was satisfied with the ending (especially c
Philip Jones
Sep 28, 2012 Philip Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This eighth book by Ms. King in the Mary Russell series is set mostly in San Francisco. But actually, it takes place mostly in Mary Russell’s mind. It is an investigation of her past, both remembering things forgotten and detecting things unseen. The narrative is split into several separate sections; those narrated as seen by Mary and those narrated from Sherlock’s point of view. The parts shown from Sherlock’s viewpoint are among the most Sherlockian passages in the entire series, which is to s ...more
I’ve read a number of King’s books and loved them. I think she is running out of gas a bit. This is about Mary Russell, the 23 year old wife, of Sherlock Holmes. They are sailing around the world, and go to San Francisco to settle Russell’s estate. Her parents and brother were killed in a car crash when she was 7. She does a lot of description, like there are not too many ideas for the plot. A lot of it deals with the history of the San Francisco fire, earthquake, and structural inequality of th ...more
May 19, 2013 Quint rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a book somewhat different than the previous ones.This is about Mary Russell cleaning up her past or coming to grips with her past. My only issue with this book is that it starts off very slowly and there is an introduction of people and circumstances that probably weren't needed. They could of going straight to San Francisco without all of the round the world this and that. However, once they landed in San Francisco, the pace of the book picked up considerably.

One of the things about th
Jun 02, 2012 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have returned to this series, with Locked Rooms, after a long break. I'm not sure if I enjoyed Locked Rooms so much because I missed reading Laurie King or if it captured me more than the others in the series. I love that King delved deeper in to the character Mary Russell. Mary was more vulnerable, even driven to distraction by the heartbreak and questions of her past. This is a much more personal look at a crisp, normally reserved, composed, and distant (but still likable, and most admirable ...more
Feb 24, 2010 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly Belvis
Jun 21, 2010 Kelly Belvis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I began accidentally with the 8th book in this series. However, the book stands alone and was very enjoyable without having read the previous 7 installments. I saw in another review that this is a "comfort book". I agree. I always read mysteries for comfort and I often go back to Sherlock Holmes when I want to make sure that I can read a mystery without gratuitous cleavage and bodice ripping. This book includes Sherlock Holmes as a primary character and it does so in a way that did not dismantle ...more
Aug 15, 2009 Treasa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books from this series since the first three (which have been my favorites up to now). The mystery was one that I could really get emotionally involved in since it was directly tied to Mary's past and centered around an event that I had heard about many times in previous books. While I enjoy the mysteries that take Mary and Holmes to exotic places so they can help Mycroft and other important political figures, the ones like this that are on a more personal level really ...more
Ann aka Iftcan
in this, the 8th Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes novel, we discover more of Mary's back story. Including much that she herself didn't remember. This one was particularily interesting for what we find out about Mary's family. And my basic reaction to one of the revelations was, "Wow, if MARY thought that her little brother was smarter than she is, the kid would have given Einstein a run for his money if he'd lived." And, on that tantalizing note, I will just say that the story was very good, even if ...more
Oct 29, 2013 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
King's "found" further adventures of Sherlock Holmes seem to work better when, as her and in The Moor, she brings an historical person into the cast. Setting the tale in Roaring Twenties San Francisco allows King to explore new territory, as begun in the preceding The Game.

The broken narrative works, but maybe because King explained it.

Historical quibble: King posits America--or at least San Francisco--as having been swept up in war fever the summer of 1914--men taking draft physicals, making ot
Nov 28, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really great. I loved the San Francisco setting and all the references to "somewhere down the Peninsula." The shifts from Mary's series-long first-person narrative to the third person were unexpected and I didn't really like it, but it didn't detract much from the super enjoyable book.
Mar 22, 2015 Lynne-marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this, the eighth of the Mary Russell Series, King goes in for a bit more psychologizing and we delve into Russell's childhood traumas finding, bien sur, a series of good murders. Holmes has seen this coming for many years (but of course) and works alone while Russell moves in denial. The plotting is of King's best, her minor characterizations are masterly and she appears to thoroughly enjoy laying out the specifics of San Franscisco's turn-of-the century life as well as its decades later lacu ...more
Jul 08, 2016 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-historical
c2005: FWFTB: San Francisco; earthquake, memory, trauma, assassination. Having only read one of the previous books in the series, I thought I would grab the opportunity of a ‘free’ listen. Having only read one of the previous books in the series, I thought I would grab the opportunity of a ‘free’ listen.
The opening paragraphs together with the timbre of the narrators voice made me think that I was in for an uphill battle. But, fear not, I was soon hooked. The character of Sherlock Holmes stays t
J. d'Merricksson
***I purchased a copy of this book for my own enjoyment, with no expectations of a review***

‘Dreams are the answers to questions we’ve not yet learned to ask.’ ~Agt. Fox Mulder, X-Files

Locked Roomss takes Russell and Holmes to the West Coast of the US, to the City by the Bay. I live very close to San Francisco, and loved recognising places like the Cliff House and Sutro Baths. The last is just a ruin now, but for Sherlock and Mary, it would have been a thriving, vibrant place. They visited many
After their adventures in India Holmes and Russell head for home in England. Rather than take the shorter route Russell decides to head for San Francisco to handle her inheritance affairs personally. On board the ship to Japan, Russell begins to experince the same three nightmares.

After a short stop in Japan where Russell was not plagued by the nightmares, they began again on the ship. Holmes is worried that Russell has supressed the memories of the accident that killed her parents and brother,
Karan Vasdev
Aug 07, 2015 Karan Vasdev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike any other Sherlock Holmes story, Laurie King writes an exciting and detailed adventure mainly from the views of two different narrators, Sherlock Holmes himself and his wife Mary Russell. The series is basically a Sherlock Holmes fan fiction where the remarkable detective is given a female counterpart. In this book, Laurie King mainly focuses on Mary Russell’s dreams and how they lead to unravel her memory and although most of the story takes place in 1916 San Francisco, some would argue ...more
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What happened in Japan? 1 42 Mar 19, 2010 12:09PM  
  • The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline (Enola Holmes, #5)
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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

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1)
  • A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell, #2)
  • A Letter of Mary (Mary Russell, #3)
  • The Moor (Mary Russell, #4)
  • O Jerusalem (Mary Russell, #5)
  • Justice Hall (Mary Russell, #6)
  • The Game (Mary Russell, #7)
  • The Language of Bees (Mary Russell, #9)
  • The God of the Hive (Mary Russell, #10)
  • Pirate King (Mary Russell, #11)

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