Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crime Fiction Alphabet: Letter K

Kerrie over at Mysteries in Paradise sponsors The Aphabet in Crime Fiction community meme. your post MUST be related to the first letter of the book's title, the first letter of the author's first name or the first letter of the author's surname. You can write a book review or a bio of an author so long as it fits the rules somehow.

This week is all about the letter K. And I say that K is for Laurie R. King. She is best known as the author of two series of detective fiction: a series of historical mysteries which feature Mary Russell with her mentor and later partner, Sherlock Holmes, and a series featuring Kate Martinelli, a lesbian San Francisco police officer. Her first book, A Grave Talent, was awarded the 1994 Edgar for Best First Novel as well as the 1995 John Creasey Memorial Award. She has also won the 1996 Nero award for A Monstrous Regiment of Women and the 2002 Macavity award for Best Novel for Folly.

My love for King's work is focused on her Russell and Holmes series. I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes (though no true Sherlockian by any means) and have read many pastiches of the master--both good and bad. Who would have thought that anyone could find a woman who could replace The woman in Sherlock's mind. But King has done it and done it so convincingly and so well that it seems like the entire Canon could have been leading up to it. Mary Russell is a true match and equal partner in every way for Sherlock Holmes. And there is never a feeling that King has developed this character as a "Mary Sue" (most generally known in science fiction circles as a character inserted into a well-know series--for instance, Star Trek novels--purely as a way to get the author involved with her favorite characters). I have loved watching the Russell/Holmes relationship develop over the course of the series and eagerly await the time that I can fit another episode into my most urgent TBR pile.


Martha@Hey, I want to read that said...

These are new titles to me and I love the sound of the Sherlock books. I'm going to have to check them out.

Carol said...

I'm a fan of the Russell books. The portrait of Holmes is pitch perfect and Russell is the kind of female protagonist I like: strong, intellectual, and not afraid to flout convention. The new book, "Pirate King," will be out this year and I'm looking forward to it.