Pirate King by Laurie R. King

By Laurie R. King
Bantam, $25.00

Publisher's synopsis: In this latest adventure featuring the intrepid Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, New York Timesbestselling author Laurie R. King takes readers into the frenetic world of silent films—where the pirates are real and the shooting isn’t all done with cameras.

In England’s young silent-film industry, the megalomaniacal Randolph Fflytte is king. Nevertheless, at the request of Scotland Yard, Mary Russell is dispatched to investigate rumors of criminal activities that swirl around Fflytte’s popular movie studio. So Russell is traveling undercover to Portugal, along with the film crew that is gearing up to shoot a cinematic extravaganza, Pirate King. Based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, the project will either set the standard for moviemaking for a generation . . . or sink a boatload of careers.

Nothing seems amiss until the enormous company starts rehearsals in Lisbon, where the thirteen blond-haired, blue-eyed actresses whom Mary is bemusedly chaperoning meet the swarm of real buccaneers Fflytte has recruited to provide authenticity. But when the crew embarks for Morocco and the actual filming, Russell feels a building storm of trouble: a derelict boat, a film crew with secrets, ominous currents between the pirates, decks awash with budding romance—and now the pirates are ignoring Fflytte and answering only to their dangerous outlaw leader. Plus, there’s a spy on board. Where can Sherlock Holmes be? As movie make-believe becomes true terror, Russell and Holmes themselves may experience a final fadeout.

My thoughts on Laurie R. King's newest novel and the eleventh in her Mary Russell series, Pirate King.  Golly where to start? This is the tough part as I was so disappointed in this one. I have been a fan of King's for years now and have always enjoyed the smart chatter and fun means-to-an-end that King made excellent use of with her wild plots uniting equally absurd and brilliant Sherlock Holmes with her Mary Russell. I looked at Mary and Holmes as an earlier version of Nick and Nora Charles. Watching the two of them conjecture and work together as a real pair was just always just plain fun. They had ridiculous disguises and almost "steam punk" like contraptions and inventions to help them out.

I missed that team. Mary and Holmes. Where did they go? Is King taking the series in a new direction? I hope not.  I love old silent films and grew up listening to "The Pirates of Penzance" so I really looked forward to Pirate King. 

I hate seeing Mary sleuthing around on her own, it seemed so empty.

I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

I'm giving Pirate King 2 stars and I'm hoping this isn't a trend.

The e-galley was provided to my by the publisher at my request in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

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