Customer Reviews for

The Art of Detection (Kate Martinelli Series #5)

Average Rating 3.5
( 29 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A Winner!

Fans of Laurie R King should cheer for this long-awaited Kate Martinelli book. Once again, King has captured the reality of police investigation: sometimes drudgery, sometimes frustrating but always necessary. In this book (set in modern San Francisco) King has seamless...
Fans of Laurie R King should cheer for this long-awaited Kate Martinelli book. Once again, King has captured the reality of police investigation: sometimes drudgery, sometimes frustrating but always necessary. In this book (set in modern San Francisco) King has seamlessly woven threads from her marvelous Mary Russell series into the Martinelli mystery. The murder of dedicated Sherlockian Philip Gilbert has Kate (and partner Al Hawkin) investigating not only all over San Francisco proper, but in the Marin headlands as well. In the course of the investigation an old manuscript surfaces: collector Gilbert thought it an original Conan Doyle story of Holmes in San Francisco. The release of this manuscript could turn the literary world on it¿s ear if authentic. Is it motive enough for murder? The motive question gets answered handily, The authenticity one does not. Fortunately, no fan of the Russell series needs it to be. One page into the manuscript tells us all we need to know about its origins. King has again presented us with honest, human three-dimensional characters with real lives, real concerns and real joys. Run, don¿t walk, to the bookstore for this one!

posted by Anonymous on May 31, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Don't read this book unless you like Sherlock Holmes

In order to enjoy this (last?) Kate Martinelli novel, you have to be a fan of Sherlock Holmes or at least familiar with the Holmes mysteries. I am neither, and did not enjoy this novel at all. It's ironic because in my reviews of her other books I complained that she en...
In order to enjoy this (last?) Kate Martinelli novel, you have to be a fan of Sherlock Holmes or at least familiar with the Holmes mysteries. I am neither, and did not enjoy this novel at all. It's ironic because in my reviews of her other books I complained that she ended the novels too abruptly and didn't provide more comprehensive conclusions. This novel has a very gradual, long ending that wraps everything up very neatly which is funny because I wanted this book to end more quickly! I just couldn't get into this book. It moved way too slowly until I didn't care who "did it" and almost skipped to the end so I could be done with it. The author is obviously a huge fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Her interest in Sherlock Holmes was a detriment to the book because the solving of the crime took a backseat to an exploration of the Sherlock Holmes world ("Sherlockians"). The mysterious novella that may have been written by Doyle did play a part in solving the mystery, but did she have to literally include the text of this novella within the pages of her novel? I skipped those chapters because I didn't think reading it would be important, and it isn't (so skip it if you want to). Once fully revealed, the plot itself (the reason for the murder) was boringly mundane and disappointing. And the very end just didn't work for me either.(SPOILER--this has nothing to do with the mystery of the novel but with the lives of Lee and Kate, but maybe you'll want to be surprised. But if you watch the news, and know anything about San Francisco, you won't be surprised. I sure wasn't). During the novel (or the series of novels) there are no mentions (or rarely) of gay rights or that sort of thing. Lee and Kate are a couple and consider themselves married, and I accept that and don't think anything else about it. So at the end of this novel when they go to city hall to be legally married, it was kind of anti-climatic and weird. I felt that way for many reasons, one of which is I don't feel particularly close to the main characters and while I want good things to happen to them, I won't miss them now that I am done with the series (and I didn't like any of the books enough to want to read them again), another reason I felt this way is because the book was published in 2006 and the legalization of marriage (and undoing of that by CA voters) is kinda old news and maybe not as surprising or shocking as it would have been when the book was written. I just didn't find Lee and Kate's legal marriage all that interesting. If the author had written one of the characters to be more active in gay rights or had brought up the idea that Lee's hospital/physical therapy bills would have been covered under Kate's insurance if they were able to legally wed, then I would have been more involved/interested in the news of their wedding. Because I (as an engaged heterosexual) think everyone should be able to get married and receive the legal benefits of marriage. So, if the marriage thing had been presented better (more build up?) I would have been very excited for them. King (for me) didn't do a good job of combining her characters' lives and the mysteries. I really cared more about the mysteries. One thing I did like is how much San Francisco is present in the novel (and all of them). I have never been there and appreciate the author making the city another character in the novel.

posted by KrisPA on July 17, 2009

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