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I think my favorites of hers would be O Jerusalem and Justice Hall, though I do need to reread the two latest Russell books.
Anyhow, as much as I love historical mysteries, I had great difficulty getting into this book, so I set it down and didn't pick it up for ages. Second time around it was the same thing -- just no spark. I felt like I was a loser because so many of my friends LOVE LRK's books and rave over them and here I was bored silly by it.
So, for those who love LRK's work -- should I skip this one and try another? If so, what would you recommend?
As for which one to try? Hmm... Beekeeper's Apprentice is regarded as one of the best... the next best might be A Monstrous Regiment of Women and then, perhaps, O Jerusalem, but I liked all of the books so I'm not sure if that's very helpful :-). Locked Rooms, the newest, is a bit different and I've heard several people on the RUSS-L group on Yahoo dismiss it as unworthy of LRK, but I think it's a very good book.
The Russel series is really quite chronologically based, but I would say give The Beekeeper's Apprentice a longer shot - it starts of slowly, yes.
Also, the characters of Holmes and Russell are quite secondary to the mystery itself, which is how things ought to be.
Here's the hardback cover for LOCKED ROOMS - gorgeous, isn't it? Black, steel-blue, conveys darkness and elegance at once:
Now here's the PAPERBACK version due out on 21st August:
That shade of pea soup is one of the ugliest colours I have ever seen in my life. Take it away!!
I hope that King doesn't kill Holmes off and have a Russell-only novel; I would probably read it, but I know I wouldn't enjoy it as much. I started reading the books because they had Holmes in them. Also, a book without Holmes would be inevitably depressing; Russell trying to go on with life after the death of her husband.
As in WHUT could have possibly been in the killer's mind - and, if it was all essentially pointless, why did the book act as if some great moral point had been made?
Real disappointment. Hasn't stopped me seeking out her work, but I wish her editor had been forceful enough to challenge her: "So WHY did the bomber... Really? What conceivable purpose could that possibly...?" and so forth.