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Dreaming Spies

(Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #13)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  7,141 ratings  ·  1,019 reviews
Leaving Imperial India in 1924, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes board the steamer Thomas Carlyle, bound for a holiday in Japan. But in short order, pleasure gives way to intrigue.

First, a woman disappears from her cabin. Then Holmes spots a suspected blackmailer, a man richer in social connections than pounds sterling. And what to make of the surprisingly lithe, haiku-quo
Kindle Edition, 370 pages
Published February 17th 2015 by Bantam
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CJ You can read it on its own, but it will reference other stories, and you won't get the richer background of seeing how the two protagonists have…moreYou can read it on its own, but it will reference other stories, and you won't get the richer background of seeing how the two protagonists have arrived at their unusual, but satisfying place in their relationship. I highly recommend "Beekeeper's Apprentice" and the two books that come right afterwards so you can see Mary Russell as a teen stuck in a less than ideal family situation when she very first meets Holmes. It's an excellent series all the way through and the very first ones are worth your time!! The order for the first few is "Beekeeper's Apprentice", "A Monstrous Regiment of Women", "A Letter of Mary, and "The Moor". Enjoy!!!(less)
Sidney Lock Its only opened to US residents so if you do not see it like me, we are not able to enter the competition
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4.06  · 
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 ·  7,141 ratings  ·  1,019 reviews

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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
The story in Dreaming Spies begins with Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell arriving home after all the adventures in Morocco (Pirate King and Garments of Shadows) and finding a rock in their garden. This rock is just the beginning, or in a way the continuation of an old case that started around a year ago in Japan after Holmes and Russells adventure in India in The Game

We start off the story in Sussex and Oxford with the arrival of a rock and an old “friend” of Holmes and Russell. After that, w
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, vbc, arc, mystery
Four words for you: Mary Russell meets ninjas. Enough said!

But seriously, for all those LRK/Russell fans who've maybe been a little disappointed by the last few books, Dreaming Spies is like a throwback to our favorites in the series.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
A real return to form for me from the two previous in the series, The Pirate King (for me, the weakest in the series), and Garment of Shadows (OK).

My ARC courtesy of Bantam/Net Galley - much thanks!

For a further review: .
Years ago I came upon a mystery series by Laurie R. King featuring Sherlock Holmes and a young girl who was his neighbor in Sussex, where Holmes was keeping bees. This first book entitled The Beekeeper's Apprentice was one of those books that it seems I'd been waiting my whole life to read. I fell head over heels in love with King's Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell. Following them through their adventures, including being married, has been one of my greatest reading pleasures. Each book in the s ...more
Moonlight Reader
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ms. King seems to have recovered the mojo that she misplaced during the writing of The Pirate King. This isn't my favorite of the series - Justice Hall and Locked Rooms remain the top of the heap for me - however, this was an entertaining outing. I really enjoyed Part I, the shipboard section, and Part III, the Oxford section. The part set in Japan wasn't quite as enjoyable to me, although Russell and Holmes fighting the ninja was fairly awesome.

Thumbs up.
May 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ivonne Rovira
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So often, when an author steps in to continue a longtime series, readers despair over how false the voice of the new author sounds. That has never been a problem with Laurie R. King, who writes pitch-perfect, her continuation of the Sherlock Holmes series being simply indistinguishable from the tone and style of the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Dreaming Spires is just as wonderful as the rest of the oeuvre.

In her latest novel, King deploys Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes to Japan in order to r
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before Dreaming Spies I had only read the first book of the Russell/Holmes stories, and while I normally don’t read series books out of sequence I was thoroughly captivated by this well developed and deeply involving travelogue adventure set mainly on a cruising steamer ship and in Japan. Consulting detective Sherlock Holmes and his much younger wife Mary Russell--a serious but intrepid bluestocking--are a surprising but well matched couple. Since both are reflexively inquisitive, highly intelli ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
King has created an enduring series based on the legendary Sherlock Holmes of Arthur Conan Doyle. Mary Russell, who begins as Holmes’ assistant and later becomes his wife, shares each adventure and in most cases is the narrator. She is a brilliant Oxford University graduate whose knowledge of that city and of ancient studies has a special role in many of their adventures.

Dreaming Spies is one of the later books in the series. Yet, unlike most of those works that proceed in a linear time-frame, D
This was the first book in the Mary Russell series for me. I had heard positive things about it and so I decided to give it a try. Starting a series with one of the later volumes often isn't easy and I have to admit I was a bit confused after the first few pages. But that soon passed and I starting enjoying this novel immensely.
The first thing I have to mention is the language. I really loved it and was so glad to finally read a crime novel written in beautiful words. I clearly wasn't expecting
Stephanie Osborne
It pains me to write this because I've been anxiously awaiting Dreaming Spies for two years, but this was not my favorite Laurie R King book. While, as always, her descriptions can carry me to another time and place in magnificent ways, I found the plot to be particularly slow and straight forward. What I love about the Mary Russell books is the sense of adventure and holding my breath as I tear through the pages because I can't figure out what's happening next or how it will resolve. The first ...more
Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
When feeling overwhelmed by the circumstances of my life, I turn to reading mysteries. Perhaps I feel that the predictable structure of the mystery will translate into more order and resolution to my own life. Years ago I thoroughly fell in love with King's gem of a book The Beekeeper's Apprentice.
Over the years I have several others and relished the adventures of Holmes and his new partner in crime the feisty, independent Mary Russell. I particularly enjoyed this adventure for its setting inJa
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, arc
Dreaming Spies is the 13th Mary Russell book by Laurie R. King. It’s a frame narrative, where the beginning and end of the novel act as a bookends to a flashback story.

Mary Russell returns home one evening to find Sato, an old friend from Japan, bleeding in her kitchen. As Sato describes the circumstances that brought her to England, Mary discovers that the blackmail case she worked on with Holmes in Japan may not be entirely closed. Now, they must work to unravel what happened in Japan before
This was my first book by Laurie R. King. I had heard of her and knew she was a best selling author, so I was rather excited when I discovered I had been approved to review this title. I started reading it today. That's where my excitement ended. I seriously felt I was on that ship with Mary and Holmes for twenty something days. And the trek through Japan, I was ready to commit hari kari. I guess I enjoy more of a fast paced read and this one did not cut it for me.

I liked the writing style and
I’m not a fan of Mary Russell as a person. She is snobbish, judgmental, and even a bit classist. She’s an interesting character, however, a well-rendered product of her times. She addresses her husband Sherlock Holmes by his last name, very properly; despite being a bit antisocial, she knows how to behave in society and what to make of its members. Her voice sounds authentic and unaffected. The book was a pleasure to read – at the technical level.

Now, Japan.

When I read historical fiction set in
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King in the thirteenth installment in the Mary Russell series, featuring Sherlock Holmes and his wife, Mary Russell as they solve mysteries in Holmes' latter years. I have been a big fan of this series from way back and the earlier novels, Beekeeper's Apprentice and others, are some of the best in Sherlock Holmes novels I have ever read outside of the Conan Doyle canon. More so, perhaps, because in these novels, Holmes is a supporting player and it is Russell who is t ...more
I went into the reading of this novel expecting something similar to the Sherlock Holmes that we have all grown to love, though I understood that he would now have a partner whom I expected would serve as a sort of female Watson. This is not that story.

My expectations were inappropriate mostly due to the fact that I have not read the first 12 books in this series. While I like to attend to novels in their proper order, a dozen prequels was too much, even for me. As a stand alone story, I was abl
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
If you are a fan of the Mary Russell series and enjoy reading about cruising and Japan in the 1920s – at a very leisurely pace – then this is the book for you.
This was my first book by Laurie R. King and sad to say, it will be my last. I was excited by the premise and pictured myself immersed in a thought provoking Sherlock Holmes suspenseful mystery – not to be. Reading more like a travelogue and FULL of detail that lent so very little to the wafer thin plot as it stood, I could not wait for t
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Reading Reality

The title of this book is a pun, based on poet Matthew Arnold’s description of Oxford as the “city of dreaming spires”. It is fitting that this title derive from poetry, as many of the chapter headings are snippets of haiku, and the repeated theft of a book by Matsuo Bashō, one of the early masters of the haiku form of poetry.

There are also plenty of points in the story where it seems that some, or all, of the spies are, in fact dreaming. Or at least daydre
Book Review & Giveaway: I am a long-time fan of bestselling author Laurie R. King and have read every novel she’s written. When I learn she has a new novel of any kind coming out, I get really excited. Her fun historical Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series, however, is quite special for a number of reasons. I jumped up and down when I saw that Dreaming Spies was being published because not only is it part of that series but it features a culture that has long fascinated me. Since I know ...more
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I thought I'd given up on this series early last year because I didn't like the last instalment I read, Pirate King, which I reviewed here. But I wanted something easy to read, so I picked up the audiobook on an impulse and was pleasantly suprised. It's partly set in Oxford, which is a plus, and some of the action takes place in 1920s Japan, also a plus. In terms of minuses, there was the odd info dump and it took a while for things to happen, but I was still happily occupied for a few hours whi
M Christopher
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another delightful Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell novel by Laurie King, this one has a bifurcated timeline, allowing the wily Ms. King to drop some delicious hints about adventures not yet written. Smart marketing. Well played, madam...

As to "Dreaming Spies" itself, the book finds Holmes and Russell on a slow boat from India to Japan, becoming entangled in a web including a missing person, a poltergeist, a blackmailer, and a "person of the highest rank." There might even be ninjas involved...

Amy Lilly
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How did Laurie R. King successfully make her Russell and Holmes series more exciting? Ninjas, of course! This latest entry in the series pits the duo against a deadly blackmailer whose scheme could bring down the Japanese empire.

While Russell and Holmes are on a ship returning from India, Russell meets a young Japanese woman who claims to come from a family of acrobats, but Mary has her doubts. She and Holmes soon learn that this young woman is a female ninja and she needs their help to protect
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this new Russell & Holmes adventure, it was closer to the style of the earlier books than last few have been, and for me that is a good thing.

Mysterious shipboard passengers, blackmail, cross-country travels and cultural experiences in Japan, royal secrets, English country house, Oxford, - it's all there. Including a lot of Haiku and possibly even a ninja.

I would have enjoyed even more with a few solo scenes with Holmes, as there were plenty with Mary, but that is maybe nit
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of the Mary Russell and Sherlock Homes books that I've read and I found it to be very pleasant and entertaining. The author manages to be very descriptive without overdoing it and has created a very intricate plot. I enjoyed both the mystery, with all its twists and turns, and the look at historical elements of Japanese culture.

I'll have to go back and read numbers 1 through 12 now!

Note: Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book.
Sheila Beaumont
I loved this 13th installment in the Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes series. With a riveting, suspenseful plot, well-portrayed, lively characters, plenty of action, fine writing, vivid portrayals of Japan and Oxford, humor, and ninjas, how could I not? This is one of the best books in a totally delightful series. This novel can be enjoyed on its own, but if you're a Russell-Holmes neophyte I'd recommend starting out with the first one, The Beekeeper's Apprentice.
Russell and Holmes' latest adventure covers the interim time frame between two other cases from their past and has continuation into their present. This was an intriguing story that has the duo aboard a cruise ship leaving India and journeying to parts east into the Orient where they leave the ship to explore Japan and track down a possible blackmailer. As is par for the course, some things are just as they seem while others are quite the surprising twist. The author did a fabulous job of unsett ...more
Very enjoyable to read after the previous two books that I didn't enjoy so much. I love books where Mary and Holmes are together for the story and it was interesting to learn more about Japan.
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining mystery with a Japanese twist this time.
Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard
Review originally published at The Bookwyrm's Hoard.

Laurie King’s mystery series featuring Mary Russell and her partner and husband Sherlock Holmes has long been one of my favorites, so I always look forward to a new one with great anticipation. Dreaming Spies was nearly everything I hoped for. While not quite as strong as The Language of Bees and God of the Hive, it still has what I look for in a Russell/Holmes novel: an intellectually challenging puzzle, well-limned characters, and above all
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Dec 03, 2015 05:15PM  
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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 2018 novel, Island of the Mad, sees Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes travel from London's Bedlam to the glitter of Venice's Lido,where Young Things and the friends of Cole Porter pass Mussolini's Blackshi

Other books in the series

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #1)
  • A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #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)
  • Locked Rooms (Mary Russell, #8)
  • The Language of Bees (Mary Russell, #9)
  • The God of the Hive (Mary Russell, #10)
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