Pirate King by Laurie R King

This is the promo poster, isn't it divine?

I bought this bad boy in hardcover the week it came out. I'm a library girl, so the fact that I just went and bought it without reading it is high praise, indeed. 

It is the latest installment of the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series and I enjoyed every second. King has taken a slight turn with this one - it's almost a comedy. It's certainly humorous (even when the suspense is ratcheting up, the situation is still amusing) and still a page-turner.

I suspect that King has introduced a character we'll see again - one of the actresses in the movie Russell has sought employment with gets a lot of play.

Yes, you read that right. The premise here is that an assistant to a rather popular production company has gone missing and Scotland Yard (via Holmes) would like Russell to investigate - under cover, of course. So she buy fashionable shoes and boards a steamer to suss out what's happened. And it's not quite a comedy of errors from then on out. More like...a comedy of coincidences? A comedy of ironies? At any rate - it's many chapters of suspenseful fun.

This series just keeps getting better and better - after the last pair of novels (one ending with a cliff-hanger and the next wrapping up that adventure) it was nice to read a lighter tale about my favorite sleuthing duo.

The biggest downside that I could see arrived on the very last printed page of the book - the part where it talk about the author. I'll just quote it for you: "She lives in Northern California, where she is at work on her next novel of historical suspense, Garment of Shadows, to be published by Bantam in 2013." I will be quite miffed if this bruhaha about the Mayan calendar winds up being correct and I don't get a chance to read Garment of Shadows. I'll just have to stalk King in the afterlife to find out what happens.

If you haven't read this series, do start at the beginning, with The Beekeeper's Apprentice. It helps to read in order of publication.


Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda

This was amazing. You absolutely have to read the first one first - it's referred to often in this book, part of Billi's personal growth depends on events in the first book. It's nicely done, but you may find yourself thinking "what the heck...?" if you haven't read Devil's Kiss.

Consider yourself warned.

I love this series (so glad it's a series!) Chadda makes Joss Whedon look like he's telling campfire stories to ten year olds, if that makes sense. Don't get me wrong - I drink the Joss Whedon Kool-Aide and watch anything that bears his name. But his darkest moments are nothing compared to what Sarwat Chadda throws at Billi.

To wit: Billi is the only female member of the (still active, if lacking in funds and numbers) Knights Templar. To add a twist that keeps things interesting - in Chadda's version, after the Pope turned his back on the Templars, they turned to fighting the beasts of hell: vampires, werewolves, ghosts, fallen angels, etc. Chadda's done his research - a tiny bit of googling adds credence to his plot lines and characters.

And then his methods of destruction are just this side of "never gonna happen" to keep me up at night.

So it's a great read for this time of year, but reading at Halloween might be a little cliche'd.

I fully recognize that this genre isn't for everything, but if it teenage girls fighting the supernatural is your cup of tea, you'd be remiss not to give these a shot. Trust me.

Book trailer for the first book:

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