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The Game (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #7)

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4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,485 Ratings  ·  514 Reviews
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Laurie R. King's The God of the Hive.

It’s only the second day of 1924, but Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, find themselves embroiled in intrigue. It starts with a New Year’s visit from Holmes’s brother Mycroft, who comes bearing a strange package containing the papers of an English spy named Kimball O’Hara—the sam
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Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Magdalena
$1.99 on Amazon today!

1924. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes gets a New Year’s visit from Mycroft Holmes with a strange package from an English spy called Kimball O’Hara, more known as the Kim Kipling wrote about. He has withdrawn from the “Great Game” of espionage and disappeared. So Russell and Homes travels to India to search for the missing Kim.

I like this book very much, a missing spy, India and Mary Russell that has to disguise herself to save Sherlock Holmes. It's a wonderful entertainin
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Kim
May 27, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is the seventh novel in King’s Mary Russell series and one of my favourites so far. In this instalment, Sherlock Holmes and his wife and partner Mary Russell travel to India to look for Kimball O’Hara – the hero of Rudyard Kipling’s Kim. There is concern from on high that Kim, who has been missing for some three years, has either been captured or has turned traitor in the Great Game.

The conceit of the narrative is disarming. When Mary Russell, who only knows of Kim from reading Kipling, as
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Lisa (Harmonybites)
This is the seventh book in the Mary Russell series, which involve partnering Sherlock Holmes, professionally and romantically, with an unlikely female counterpart: and I love them--ever since I discovered one of the middle books in the series, A Letter of Mary. Well, this particular book is a twofer. As King states in her Author's Thanks, "The Game may be read as a humble and profoundly felt homage to Rudyard Kipling's Kim, one of the great novels of the English language. If you, the reader, do ...more
Madhulika Liddle
Jul 15, 2015 Madhulika Liddle rated it did not like it
It is 1924, and in England, Mycroft Holmes summons his brother Sherlock and Sherlock's wife, Mary Russell, to a meeting. Mycroft has a request on behalf of the government: go to India to find Kimball O'Hara, the Kim of Rudyard Kipling's book. No, not a fictional character, but a flesh-and-blood man who was part of British Intelligence in India for many years, and has been missing for three years. With a Bolshevik Russia making restless noises to the north and Indian hill rajas ever susceptible t ...more
Kribu
I'm trying so hard to pace myself with these books, because I just don't want to risk getting tired before getting done, or exhausting the series too quickly, but, well, best laid plans and all that.

Anyway, this was another very enjoyable read. It did take me a bit to get into the right mindset this time - I'm not really sure why - and certain things, while absolutely understandable and reasonable in context of time period, class, necessity and so on and so forth do require a conscious decision
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❂ Jennifer
Dec 15, 2014 ❂ Jennifer rated it really liked it
An excellent, brilliantly written adventure story that starts off slow and picks up speed as it goes, but Big Trigger warning: animal cruelty/harm is a big part of this story. Had I known, I would have passed this book completely. If that doesn't bother you, there's not much else not to like about this book.

Full review: http://jenn.booklikes.com/post/106426...
Angela
Dec 22, 2008 Angela rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Benjamin Thomas
This seventh book of the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series ranks as my second favorite so far (after the first of the series,The Beekeeper's Apprentice). This time around sees the couple off to British India in 1924 in search of the missing Kimball O’Hara. This is a very intriguing concept since Kimball O’Hara is better known to us as the fictional character “Kim” from Rudyard Kipling’s masterwork. To combine such prominent fictional British characters as Sherlock Holmes and Kim is ingenious a ...more
Jo
Dec 07, 2015 Jo rated it really liked it
Funnily enough, last time I read a Mary Russell book set outside of England, I remarked that I preferred those that were set in England – I may have to eat my words. This is a rollicking caper set primarily in India that becomes more like a modern day thriller than a novel that contains Sherlock Holmes- yet this didn’t detract from my enjoyment.

The search for a missing spy is the tenuous starting point but the journey by boat to India, the learning of magician’s skills, the new friends and the
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Sue
Jul 05, 2008 Sue rated it really liked it
How audacious of Laurie R. King - to reason that if Sherlock Holmes was actually a real person, then why couldn't Kim (of Kipling's book) also be a real person! Hence, the "Game" of this title refers to the "Great Game" of Victorian times. This book was a lot of fun.
Jessica
Jun 11, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Another woman might have been cowed, but another woman was not Mary Russell"

I love this series.
Tracey
Again, a brilliant idea, beautifully executed. To repeat myself yet again, I am generally disapproving when a writer plucks up another writer's characters and makes use of them. But that's largely because it's usually done so horribly badly, and is so rarely done with any respect for the original author, the characters, or the reader. Laurie R. King can do whatever she wants, take whatever characters or historical figures she likes, and bring them into her books in whatever manner she likes, bec ...more
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
2.5

I was recently talking about this series with a friend of mine, and I told her how I have a sort of love/hate relationship with this series. Or, at least, love/ambivalence. Because I really like the idea of the stories, and I love the characters and their interactions... but they actual plots/mysteries have often been the weaker aspects of the books. I can deal with so-so plots, though, as long as I'm loving the characters.

Of course, after saying that, I was reading this book and couldn't hel
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Ann aka Iftcan
This 7th book in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series is excellent. In this one, Mary and Holmes are headed to an India that is heading for independence from England as a favour to Mycroft. The are in search of Kim O'Hara (yes, THAT Kim, the one that Kipling wrote about) who has gone mysteriously missing and is feared dead. This book is a stronger story than previous ones, and includes the usual historical characters interacting with our heroine and her spouse. As well as other "fictional" ch ...more
Helen
Nov 13, 2011 Helen rated it it was amazing
I think this is the third time I've read this. This story takes Holmes and Russell to the hill country of India where Kim (yes, Kipling's Kim!) O'Hara has disappeared and Mycroft wants to be sure he hasn't changed sides because Soviet Russia is looking to come into India through the northern passes and Kim would be ideally positioned to provide all sorts of information to them. The story takes the reader through a number of exotic locations and activities, including magic shows, secret tunnels, ...more
Gerry
Oct 28, 2011 Gerry rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointing considering that it was billed as 'A spellbinding mystery featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes'.

There are some good descriptive passages of the sub-continent and some exciting action on pig-sticking hunts but the storyline overall is weak.

What exactly is 'The Game'? A game of what? Find the missing boy? Hide and seek? Spies in the Hindu Kush? Whatever it is, it is not terribly clear even though, to repeat myself, there are some individual exciting passages. But somehow i
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Rebecca
May 11, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it
It's been an embarrassingly long time since I've sat down and read an actual hardback novel-- and this one was just delicious. King can WRITE! And her authorly fun is palpable on every page. I love Mary Russell-- King's original character was my first introduction into all things holmesian-- and her cleverness, wit, bravery-- they redeem the sometimes mechanical or stodgy misogynistic Holmes you see in so many depictions.
Really lovely.
Jim
May 19, 2010 Jim rated it it was amazing
Excellent! A good mixture of mystery, adventure, and history all rolled into a yarn that's hard to put down.

But, as usual in her books, Ms King challenges me to go off and expand my horizons. For "The Game" of course I had to go read Kipling's "Kim". (Can't imagine why I'd never read it before, and I really wish I had!)

With Justice Hall I learned about the "Shot at Dawn Memorial" (http://www.flickr.com/search/?ss=2&am...), and
as "Locked Rooms" is next up for me, obviously I'm off to brush
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Rebecca Cook
Apr 13, 2015 Rebecca Cook rated it it was amazing
love this series!
Rachel
Jan 26, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it
Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes are asked by his ailing brother Mycroft to travel to india to track down the missing Kimball O'Hara. It turns out Kim isn't just a character from a Kipling novel. he's a real person who has been working as a spy for Britain in the Great Game.While traveling to India by steamer Mary and Holmes com in contact with the Goodheart family whose son may also be a Russian spy. Upon their arrival in India Nesbit, the local government official asks Holmes to tr ...more
Mark Robertson
Oct 14, 2015 Mark Robertson rated it really liked it
This seventh in the Mary Russell series is a gem set in India, where the Game of the title refers to the 19th and early 20th century rivalry between Britain and Russia for influence in Central Asia. Tensions have heated up after the Bolsheviks took power and Mycroft sends Holmes and Russell on a mission that requires the investigative couple to draw on their skills at disguise, deception and diplomacy.

In Laurie King's world not only Arthur Conan Doyle characters are reborn but apparently at lea
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Philip Jones
Jan 11, 2015 Philip Jones rated it it was amazing
This is the seventh book by Ms. King in the Mary Russell series. It is every bit as sumptuous as its cover. It contains her usual cast of eccentrics placed in lovingly constructed scenery with a complex plot and brisk direction. It is a thoroughly enjoyable adventure story with a good deal of the fascination of its inspiration, Rudyard Kipling's "Kim".

Each of the books in this series has its own flavor. For example, "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" is the most “Sherlockian”, with all the traditiona
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Patricia
Jul 31, 2014 Patricia rated it it was amazing
A fabulous epic journey, not only in physical terms, but for Russell, in emotional terms (which is true of most of the novels in this series. Having Holmes drop in as a fully developed character, the author almost certainly has to put most of her drive into other characters).
Mary Russell is now married to her mentor and friend, Sherlock Homes. They have traveled to India, at the behest of Mycroft Homes, to try to discover what has become of one of the British Empire's best spies...Kim, as in Th
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Andrew
Mar 15, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
the second of these Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes books I have read following a recent read of pirate king which I picked up at a discount publishing outlet..anyhow this time around I found this at a charity shop and decided to give it the benefit of the doubt as I quite enjoyed pirate king despite the fact I understand from other reviewers that that book seems to be the weakest in the series thus far.
this one is certainly a more fullsome read and makes far more use of Holmes..from my limited
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Jack
Apr 14, 2014 Jack rated it liked it
Laurie King is a very good writer. Many of the passages were fantastic and the story was interesting. I read it as part of a class on Detective fiction, due to its connection with Sherlock Holmes. Perhaps I should say alleged connection. Holmes rarely does anything of note in the book. He's a background character for the most part, and hardly anything he does could be described as Holmesian. I haven't read the other Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes books, but this one could have been just as effecti ...more
Melina
Apr 21, 2016 Melina rated it it was ok
I only ever read the first book in this series, but I really enjoyed it. So I was SHOCKED to pick this up and discover that Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes got married. In Book 1, she was 15 and he was an elderly retired gentleman. This book makes it clear that he is at least in his sixties while she is a mere 24. Ok, so I'm a bit hung up on the age difference, which isn't fair. However, since it REPEATEDLY discusses her position as his student, her need to obey him and essentially her subservi ...more
Judy
Oct 14, 2015 Judy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Renita D'Silva
Recommended to Judy by: M.Rl Graham
Just loved this story set in India. Such colour and history - some tense and thrilling moments entwined with humour and wit. Mary's disguises continue to amaze and amuse, especially when she's required to portray her "twin brother". Surprises and treachery at every bend in the road and an exhilarating journey. Hurray - another great Holmes and Russell adventure.
Maureen
Jun 11, 2008 Maureen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: holmes, mystery
Sherlock Holmes' secret friendship with Kimball O'Hara, the flesh and blood spy upon whom the character Kim of Rudyard Kipling fame is based, forms the backbone of this book. The Great Game for Kim is a life of espionage, into which Russell and Holmes are drawn. One of the most action-packed books of the series, this book succeeds on every front.
Gail
Early in 1924, Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, are enjoying a quiet evening. They are surprised by a visit from Mycroft Holmes, a spymaster who humbly calls himself an accountant. Sherlock Holmes older brother brings with him a package containing an amulet belonging to a missing agent of the government, Kimball O'Hara, the same youth described by Rudyard Kipling in the novel Kim. It seems that O'Hara has disappeared and this is the first indication that he still lives in three yea ...more
Nicole
Mar 28, 2008 Nicole rated it liked it
I admit to some trepidation with this one since Kipling is one of my favorite authors from childhood, both for books and poetry. King handles her story very well. Once more she displays her talent for period portrayal. I shouldn't have been surprised since King dared to take up Doyle's creation why wouldn't she dare Kipling's?
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Game by Laurie R. King 3 11 Mar 03, 2015 10:36AM  
  • The Ape Who Guards the Balance (Amelia Peabody, #10)
  • The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Short Stories
  • Another Scandal in Bohemia (Irene Adler, #4)
  • The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan (Enola Holmes, #4)
  • Petty Treason (Sarah Tolerance, #2)
  • Jane and the Man of the Cloth (Jane Austen Mysteries, #2)
  • Busman's Honeymoon (Lord Peter Wimsey, #13)
  • An Incomplete Revenge (Maisie Dobbs, #5)
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance
  • The Night Calls
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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
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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)
  • Locked Rooms (Mary Russell, #8)
  • The Language of Bees (Mary Russell, #9)
  • The God of the Hive (Mary Russell, #10)
  • Pirate King (Mary Russell, #11)

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“But a topee is not a turban, and I had been my teacher's pupil before I became my husband's wife, learning to my bones that half a disguise is none at all...The moment my short-cropped, pomade-sleek, unquestionably masculine hair passed beneath his nose was the closest thing I've ever seen Holmes to fainting dead away.” 8 likes
“Stop it!'
He relented, so far as he could, stepping forward to take my head into his hands. 'Russell, once, only once, I was taken and suffered for it. Please, my dear wife, believe me, this is not the same situation...'...I turned back to Holmes and hissed, 'If you're wrong, I shall be extremely angry with you.' Then O kissed him hard on the lips, more threat than affection, and let him step back into his cell...'However, Russ? I think that, all in all, given the choice, I prefer you with the hair and without the moustache.”
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