The Game [Laurie R King]

Start Date: 11 February 2022

Finish Date: 14 February 2022

Source: Amazon India Kindle Edition

Goodreads Summary:

It’s only the second day of 1924, but Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, find themselves embroiled in intrigue. It starts with a New Year’s visit from Holmes’s brother Mycroft, who comes bearing a strange package containing the papers of an English spy named Kimball O’Hara—the same Kimball known to the world through Kipling’s famed Kim. Inexplicably, O’Hara withdrew from the “Great Game” of espionage and now he has just as inexplicably disappeared. 

When Russell discovers Holmes’s own secret friendship with the spy, she knows the die is cast: she will accompany her husband to India to search for the missing operative. But Russell soon learns that in this faraway and exotic land, it’s often impossible to tell friend from foe—and that some games aren’t played for fun but for the highest stakes of all…life and death.

Goodreads: The Game

Notes:

  • Kim and Sherlock Holmes? Sign me up! The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes had only Hurree Babu and Sherlock Holmes.
  • Counterpoint: The Imperial Agent was a ghastly Kim pastiche that seemed to have been written in a fit of Vishnu bhakti.
  • So this switches from murder mystery back to thriller, though there are mysteries – like what is Goodheart up to, where on earth is Kim, etc. But these aren’t solved – the answers just happen to come up by coincidence.
  • One thing that did jar – Laurie King using anachronisms like Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh that didn’t exist in the 1920s.
  • What a villain, though!
  • I also enjoyed the bit where Mary Russell completely loses her cool while Holmes looks on having already warned her that India has that effect on white people.
  • Nesbit was a great character. So was Bindra. And Kim was fantastic when he showed up too.
  • This was my introduction to pig sticking.
  • After the previous book had sinister British Nazis, for a change of pace there were Bolsheviks, a Labour government that Mycroft was despairing of, and of course a mad Maharaja.
  • The title is a four in one pun, referring to:
    • The Great Game
    • Kim’s Game or the Jewel Game
    • Big Game Hunting
    • How Holmesiana writers call the process of filling in the missing details The Game
  • Well played, Laurie King
  • This may be the book that goes the hardest on disguise.

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