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The Moor (Mary Russell Novels) Mass Market Paperback – January 5, 1999

4.0 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews
Book 4 of 13 in the Mary Russell Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Longtime fans of Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, might think that their favorite sleuth met his fate at the hands of Dr. Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. Anyone who believes that, however, obviously hasn't read Laurie R. King's delightful series featuring Holmes and his wife(!), Mary Russell. In The Beekeeper's Apprentice, Holmes succumbs to the Oxford scholar's charms; now, in The Moor, fourth in the series, Holmes and Russell are summoned to Devonshire to solve a tin miner's mysterious death. Lonely Dartmoor provides plenty of opportunities for King to both relate the haunting legends of that part of the world and offer some amusing revisions to one of Holmes's most famous cases, The Hound of the Baskervilles. Though Holmes purists might resent the liberties taken with their hero, readers in search of a strong female protagonist, some fascinating local history, and spooky ambience will enjoy The Moor. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA?The Hound of the Baskervilles is back?or is it? Certainly Sherlock Holmes thought he had sorted the whole matter out some 30 years earlier, but now his lifelong friend, the curmudgeonly Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould, calls Holmes to Dartmoor to sort out new sightings and solve an eerie murder. The detective in turn calls for his new wife, who arrives promptly at Baring-Gould's quasi-Elizabethan house, situated on the edge of the oppressive moor. As in the previous books, King chronicles the adventures of a strong young woman who is a wonderful match and foil for a very Conan Doyle-like Sherlock and creates a wonderful sense of time and place. In this case, it is Dartmoor in 1924. The moor becomes a looming presence and as much of a character as Baring-Gould, the local farmers and peasantry, and the new owners of Baskerville Hall. Familiarity with the original tale is not necessary, but those unacquainted with it before reading this book will surely want to go back to it. King has again successfully brought the famous sleuth into the 20th century and provided him with an assistant much more his match than poor Dr. Watson. The plot is thought-provoking, the solution satisfyingly Holmesian, and the whole adventure gratifying. This is definitely a worthy continuation of a hopefully longer series. It's not only an excellent mystery, but also a fine introduction to Holmes and a more-than-adequate survey of the time.?Susan H. Woodcock, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Mary Russell Novels
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (January 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553579525
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553579529
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,411,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gothic mysteries have always been among my favorites, so seeing the title, The Moor, immediately drew my attention. Then when I saw Sherlock Holmes had been teamed with a female partner, Mary Russell, I was hooked. This is a delightful book!
Interestingly, the author provides an editor's note in which it is claimed that the manuscripts have been found and were originally written by Ms. Russell. This is an added note that lends a curious, but nonetheless minor,twist, because as with any mystery involving Holmes, you soon get so tied up into the story that it matters little who is the author.
Later in Sherlock Holmes' life, we find that he has taken not only a new partner...but she has become his wife! Mary Russell, who prefers to go by that name, is an intellectual, an Oxford student of theology, and, once in a while, partner to the famous sleuth. What is interesting is that the story is oftentimes written from the point of view of Ms. Russell This change is almost transparent, yet lends a new and highly entertaining perspective to the traditional cases where Holmes is the leader in finding clues and solving the case. For King has "humanized" Sherlock in a gentle, loving way and allows him to call upon his wife for help in a way that shows both his love and respect. A truly delightful team!
The Moor takes us to Dartmoor, where Holmes once solved the case of the Hound of the Baskervilles, at the request of the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould. Nearing his 90th year, in the early 1920's, the Reverend has summoned his godson, Sherlock, to find out what is happening on the moors. For there have been strange sightings of a coach and dog, claimed to be a woman who married a local lord who soon died.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
While "The Moor" is not up to "Beekeeper's Apprentice"'s promise, I still pity Ms. King. It's the crowning irony of her career that when an author writes a book this good, she will inevitably not please everyone. Fans of the Holmes-Russell detecting duo will cry foul over this mystery's lukewarm punch. Fans of the emotionally satisfying Holmes-Russell courtship and marriage will sift "The Moor" for bodice-ripping scenes--in vain. And fans of the Sherlock Holmes Canon will yell automatically, but we who love her books them anyway.
Still, it's one of her best, and for the same reasons all her Mary Russell books--even the weak ones--are good. Dartmoor unfolds before us as a kind of moral proving ground, a Presence. We are introduced to Sabine Baring-Gould in the winter of his prolific life, and to his house, which is another Presence--ramshackle, book-lined, with the smell of dinner wafting through to the dusty library. Ms. King knows what she likes, and delivers: innumerable fires in the grate, banked up against the storm outside, and chairs drawn up to the fire-irons, and the tea-things close to hand. She knows Holmes looks must fetching slumped in a fireside chair at 2 a.m., his fingers steepled as he ruminates a difficult case with Mary.
And she knows that what her fans really want is not merely a cold-blooded mystery nor an incongruous bodice-ripper, but for her characters to be true to the real adult people they so obviously are, and to love each other. Which they do, in spades. Holmes' unspoken devotion to Baring-Gould was nicely understated. And King's most romantic scene in the Beekeeper books occurs as Mary, in slightly over her head while sleuthing, paces the floor for Holmes' return.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book features Sherlock Holmes in his late 50s, and his godfather, Revd Sabine Baring-Gould, a real person who lived in Devonshire, England from 1834-1924. The story takes place in 1923, a few weeks before Baring-Gould's death. Mary Russell, the narrator, is married to Holmes, and they have both been summoned to Dartmoor to solve a murder mystery. The story itself is weak, and requires knowledge of 'the Hound of the Baskervilles' for a full appreciation. This is compensated for, however, by the wonderfully vivid and realistic descriptions of Dartmoor, and Lew House, where Baring-Gould lived. As someone who grew up a few miles from this spot, I can vouch for the absolute accuracy of the setting. Laurie King has also read just about all of Baring-Gould's 150 books, and quotes delightfully from many of them. The skill of the book lies in the imaginative conjunction of a fictional and a real character, and for any reader with knowledge of either man, the result is very pleasing. As a lifelong afficionado of Sabine Baring-Gould, I am most indebted to King for bringing him into greater prominence.
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Format: School & Library Binding
The fourth in Laurie King's series featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, this one returns to Dartmoor, the setting of the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel, 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'. And, like in its predecessor there are tales of a ghostly hound out on the moors, this time accompanying an equally ghostly carriage.
This series are always well worth a read. Laurie King brings carries off three significant tricks, each alone being worth the price of admission: characterisation of her leads, local and contemporary colour, and a great plot.
In terms of the first, both Holmes and Russell are depicted as somewhat prickly characters, unwilling to suffer fools gladly, and each with their own areas of interest and expertise. Russell works well by herself, but sparks of all kinds fly when her husband is around (being narrated by Russell, we never see Holmes by himself). In this book, the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould also features strongly, and occasionally view with the leads for our attention. Given he is virtually bedridden, this is no small feat.
The depiction of different kinds of characters and their environments helps bring the story to life. Between those who live on the moor and those who live in the village, lords of the manor and their servants and so forth, we have no opportunity to mistake where and when the book is set. Two scenes which didn't really advance the plot but were wonderful are Russell's meeting with the local witch (as the moor dwellers call her), Elizabeth Chase, and a scene set in the pub where the locals spend the evening singing to entertain themselves - with its attendant rivalry between those who live in the village and those who live on the moor.
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