cover image The Art of Detection

The Art of Detection

Laurie R. King, , read by Alyssa Bresnahan and Robert Ian Mackenzie. . Recorded Books, $39.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-4193-9663-2

Echoing King's narrative, Bresnahan's reading takes the leisurely route, bypassing the thrills and chills of the average mystery-thriller in favor of a more scenic tour. Her voice—soft, mellifluous, eminently reasonable—provides a pleasing carriage for a listener's journey. King's novel merges characters from her two best-known series: San Francisco detective Kate Martinelli and Sherlock Holmes's wife, Mary Russell. Martinelli is conducting an investigation of the mysterious death of an avid collector of Holmesian memorabilia. Bresnahan is assisted by Mackenzie, whose plummy Oxbridge tones in the Holmes story chillingly echo the twists and turns of Martinelli's investigation. The admixture of Bresnahan and Mackenzie makes for an occasionally surprising but mostly enjoyable combination, as if King's novel, two different books conjoined into one, was also supplied with two paired readings. It is Bresnahan, though, who is the more pleasurable to listen to, her unorthodox delivery outshining Mackenzie's Masterpiece Theatre diction. Simultaneous release with the Bantam hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 24). (Aug.)