“A departure from the more serious efforts in the series, The Pirate King is a comedy and works well. There's a whiff of nostalgia throughout, like an old movie, and that engaging voice. (I've decided, in honor of this novel about a filmic enterprise involving Holmes and Russell, that were I to make a Russell-Holmes movie, I would cast Ralph Fiennes as Holmes and Kira Knieghtly as Russell.) Fun stuff.”Mark W. Tiedemann wrote this review Tuesday, October 4, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“After all the waiting , this book was just not what I expected.
It didn't hold my attention. I missed the Russell- Holmes dialogue. I felt that the plot was weak.”
“Great fun. Safe to say King goes overboard? No matter.”Patrick O'Connor wrote this review Thursday, September 22, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I'm about 1/3 through and the intensely intriguing crimes/criminals and witty repartee between Russell and Holmes is nonexistent. I do hope it gets better.”Leon Cresswell wrote this review Wednesday, September 21, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I love Laurie R. King and so very much enjoy her Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes stories, but she seems to have run out of ideas on this one. I'm about 1/3 through and the intensely intriguing crimes/criminals and witty repartee between Russell and Holmes is nonexistent. It picked up toward the middle of the tale, but still isn't up to her usual standards. ”RA Librarian wrote this review Monday, September 26, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It is slow going. Love the series but not this one so much”Nan B wrote this review Wednesday, September 21, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An excellent addition to a great series! Everything I've come to expect from King--adventure, mystery, intelligent prose--with a generous helping of Gilbert and Sullivan thrown in!”Pat P wrote this review Tuesday, September 20, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Although not as suspenseful and compelling as some previous books in the series, King delivers an interesting setting and good characters.”CA F wrote this review Monday, September 19, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is the best Mary Russell novel that King has written in a while. It was much less dark than her books have been lately and had a lot of twists and turns to keep the reader entertained.”Julie wrote this review Sunday, September 18, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This novel had me doubled up with laughter multiple times. While most books in this series deal with darker and more serious themes, this one is downright silly at times. Mary Russell, esteemed scholar, detective and wife of the infamous Sherlock Holmes, is willing to do nearly anything to avoid her brother-in-law, including, reluctantly, joining the film crew of one of the most ridiculous productions ever. The motion picture is to be about a film crew making The Pirates of Penzance only to encounter real life pirates. So, of course, the makers of the film based on people making a film about pirates and encountering real pirates, encounter real pirates. Can't you just see the potential in such a plot?
This book featured a rich cast of unique and entertaining characters. Mr. Flytte, the director, is quirky, obsessed and very short. His second cousin, Geoffrey Hale, is the more sensible one. Then there is La Rocha, the piratical Portuguese man they hired to play the Pirate King...but is he really acting? And is he really Portuguese? Also, there is the plethora of blonde girls running around with fake constables and perhaps not so fake pirates. My favorite new character by far was Mr. Pessoa, the poet with multiple personality disorder and many names. He was actually a real poet, so I may have to go find some of his work now...
The story went along at a good pace and there was so much going on that I never knew what was going to happen next, though I did figure out the villain fairly early (or at least one of them). The clues were subtle and well-hidden throughout the plot. I loved the Byron quotes that kept cropping um, much to Russell's irritation. I do wish that Holmes had made more of an appearance in the story, but when he finally joined in the fun truly started. His disguise put his musical talents to very good use, and that is all I am going to tell you.
This book continues Ms. King's tradition of wonderful writing and complex characters and yet still manages to be completely unique. I would recommend it to lovers of mystery, light-hearted farce, pirates, film-making, poetry and...well, there is something in it for everyone. :)