by Laurie J. King
I hadn't read any of the Kate Martinelli books before this particular title was selected for the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group at the library. I'm not sure that I'll go ahead and read any others, either. That's not to say that The Art of Detection was unenjoyable...I did like reading it. The dual mysteries in this book -- first, the investigation into who killed a Sherlock Holmes memorabilia dealer and hid his body in a gun battery outside of San Francisco, and second, the storyline in a possible unknown Sherlock Holmes story by Arthur Conan Doyle -- were both fascinating and kept me engaged throughout the book. What I didn't care for was Kate Martinelli herself. She came off as a bit too harsh and judgemental, especially considering the fact that as a lesbian police officer, she herself has probably faced a lot of judgemental types. In the long run, I like the book -- the interweaving of the plots from the two different time periods, plus the historical footnotes about Arthur Conan Doyle's visit to the San Francisco area in the 1920s, made for an intriguing "what if" scenario. And there's a doozy of a Twilight Zone moment thrown in at the end of the book, too. Holmes purists may or may not enjoy this one, and may also find Martinelli's opinions about Sherlock Holmes fanatics a bit off-putting, but it was still an interesting read, and I do recommend it. Fans of the Martinelli series may be surprised to find that 9 years have passed since the previous Martinelli mystery, but for newcomers to the series, that's not an impediment to the story. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library
Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?
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