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 5 people found this review helpful.

The Kate Martinelli police procedurals are some of the best mysteries written

The body of Phillip Gilbert wearing his pajamas is found in a deserted gun emplacement in the Marin headlands. San Francisco Police Inspectors Kate Martinelli and Al Hawkin catch the case and one of the first things they do is go to the victim¿s house to see if he was ...
The body of Phillip Gilbert wearing his pajamas is found in a deserted gun emplacement in the Marin headlands. San Francisco Police Inspectors Kate Martinelli and Al Hawkin catch the case and one of the first things they do is go to the victim¿s house to see if he was killed there. When they enter Gilbert¿s home, they are transported to another world, a perfect replica of Sherlock Holmes¿ abode.---------------- Phillip is a Sherlockian fan and along with nine other obsessive people with a Holmes fixation formed the Strand Diners who meet once a month for dinner and discussion about their detective. Kate and Al also learn that Phillip possessed a manuscript allegedly scribed by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle involving male prostitutes and transvestites. The protagonist of the story was murdered and placed in the same position as Phillip¿s body was. That means Gilbert showed the manuscript to someone, but who of the nine is the one and ergo the likely killer?------------------- The Kate Martinelli police procedurals are some of the best mysteries written because they are intellectual puzzlers clever wrapped around exciting whodunits. There are so many red herrings and unexpected shocking twists and turns that readers will have no time to catch their breath. Kate is a well rounded character who fans care about because they see her as a cop, a spouse and a mother.------------ Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 9, 2008

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2013

    Not King's best, but still engaging

    As a huge Laurie R. King fan, I enjoyed this book, though it wasn't as good as her others, probably because it didn't flow as smoothly. I normally give King's novels a 4.5-5 rating. I'd give this 3.5-4.

    IF you've read other books in the Karte Martinelli series, you will probably enjoy this one. If you haven't, I would recommend starting with the first book in the series, "A Grave Talent."

    IF you are a Sherlock Holmes purist, you might not like this, because King introduces a previously unknown manuscript that may or may not expand on the Holmes legend. Otherwise, she does stick to the "facts" in Holmes matters. If you read Sherlock Holmes stories, but aren't a purist, you might find this intriguing.

    IF you don't like reading about LGBT characters and lifestyles, you won't like this.

    IF you're looking for a "cozy," don't pick this.

    King's books are intelligent, creative, well researched, well written, with good character depth. There is minimal sex, swearing, or gore.

    Her character development in this book is weak, relying more on readers' knowledge of the characters from previous books in the series. The plot involves a completely separate mystery within the primary mystery. The mysteries are intriguing and the detective work realistic. The passages about the second mystery are long, which is why the book doesn't flow as smoothly as most King novels.
    JB

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Good combo of today and Doyle and favorite Sherlock

    If you are not into a story in a story and Holmes this is not for you. I do not usually read her series. If I do its from library. This is a keeper to re read. Page counter Sparta

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    One of my favorite authors

    interesting twist on Sherlock Holmes legends. Well written as are all of her books..

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  • Posted May 4, 2009

    Very Engrossing Read

    Good Laurie King book..Not as good as some of the other Kate Martinelli books but very good.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 21, 2013

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    Posted July 5, 2011

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    Posted September 25, 2011

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    Posted April 11, 2014

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    Posted May 26, 2010

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