cover image The Lantern’s Dance: A Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Mystery

The Lantern’s Dance: A Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Mystery

Laurie R. King. Bantam, $28.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-593-49659-6

King’s sprawling 18th investigation for the now-retired Holmes and his much younger wife, Russell (after Castle Shade), finds the duo heading to the French countryside to visit Holmes’s adult son, Damian Adler, whose mother is American contralto Irene Adler. Upon Holmes and Russell’s arrival, they discover that Damian, his fiancée, and his precocious young daughter have fled to Paris following an alarming break-in at their home. Holmes sets off to find them, leaving Russell, who has injured her ankle, to stay behind. Bored, she rummages through a recently delivered steamer trunk containing memorabilia belonging to the prolifically artistic Vernet family, including a journal in coded French, which Russell takes pains to translate into English. She deciphers a series of passages written by a girl named Lakshmi, which King alternates with Holmes and Russell’s pursuit of the home invaders. Soon, the pair is tangled up in a mystery involving kidnappers, a lost inheritance, and burning family secrets. The elaborate family lore King has constructed for Holmes impresses, and she pays longtime readers dividends with a number of satisfying disclosures about the detective’s past. Series fans are sure to be pleased. Agent: Alec Shane, Writers House. (Feb.)