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The Game (Mary Russell, #7)
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The Game (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #7)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  7,941 ratings  ·  443 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
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

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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
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
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
❂ Jennifer (reviews on BookLikes)
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:
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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
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.
"Another woman might have been cowed, but another woman was not Mary Russell"

I love this series.
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 contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±

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
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
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
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.
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
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" (, and
as "Locked Rooms" is next up for me, obviously I'm off to brush
Rebecca Cook
love this series!
Philip Jones
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
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
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
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
Laura Edwards
I'm not big on settings in India and I never really liked "Kim" by Rudyard Kipling, so I was a little apprehensive going into this book. Once off the boat and when beginning their journey into India, the book drags at times. But the action picks up once Mary arrives at the maharajah's palace. The prelude was completely unnecessary, especially when put into proper proportion in the storyline. It reminded of a TV news teaser or a misleading newspaper headline, grabbing your attention with little s ...more
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
Super Mary Sue returns!

Mary Russell becomes fluent in Hindi in three days. It would have been two days but she had to take time to become an expert fencer and mistress of disguise.

Oh, and she moves at ease throughout India with nary a bit of trouble. Modern European women in 2015 have trouble navigating that country but not Mary Sue Russell in 1924.

The plot is at once both turgid and ridiculous, centered around a rajah who is not doing what the British Empire wants him to do.

The racism in the b
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?
Mary Teresa Reno
This was the first book by Laurie King from her Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series that I listened to. I was not disappointed!!!! Such a creative concept for a series, having Sherlock Holmes married later in life, solving convoluted mysteries and murders together. I was absolutely engrossed from the start by the story line, the intricate way in which the author details her stories is incredible! As this review is for the audible edition, I have to say that the narration by Jenny Sterlin is ...more
Doug Dams
This book is another in the series of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes stories. I enjoyed the story and the cast of characters. In this story we find out that the character Kim in the Kipling book is real and worked gathering intelligence for England. He has gone missing for 3 years and other operatives have been found dead in an area of India bordering Russia. Sherlock Holmes brother, Mycroft, sends Mary and Sherlock to find Kim. Sherlock knows Kim from an adventure many years before. Going in ...more
I think Laurie King must have been channeling Ian Fleming for this one. We have a British spy (actually both Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell) being instructed by "M" on an important undercover mission to India in which they have to leave England and make their way without attracting any notice.

Like many Bond novels, we have a smart and demented bad guy who has many ways of toying with his "guests" and victims. The characters are well-drawn and King shows her talent at getting the details of tim
BJ Rose
Loved the emphasis on Rudyard Kipling's Kim, all grown up and now missing. So Mycroft sends Sherlock and Mary to India to find him. A big enjoyment is reading about their travels, and the very fortuitously discovered young man who guides them along the byways.
I picked this book up on BookBub, so it was the first of this series that I read. Book 7 probably isn't the right place to start and I had a hard time getting into the characters. However, once I did, I loved the book and decided to purchase the first ones.

In the Game, Mary & Sherlock head to British India in search of Kim, he from Rudyard Kipling's book of the same name. Kim, it turns out, was an agent for Britain and has gone missing. Their search takes them through images of India just a
I generally like the books in this series, but had a hard time getting into this one. I kept forgetting what the mission of Holmes and Russell was and felt it took a long time to get solved. The ending felt rushed.
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Game by Laurie R. King 3 9 Mar 03, 2015 10:36AM  
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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 The Bones of Paris sees Touchstone's Harris Stuyvesant and Bennett Grey find the darkness beneath the light of 1929 Paris. In the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, a brilliant teen bec
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)
The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1) A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell, #2) O Jerusalem (Mary Russell, #5) A Letter of Mary (Mary Russell, #3) The Language of Bees (Mary Russell, #9)

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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.” 9 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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