The Moor

The Moor

Book - 2007
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In the eerie wasteland of Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes summons his devoted wife and partner, Mary Russell, from her studies at Oxford to aid the investigation of a death and some disturbing phenomena of a decidedly supernatural origin. Through the mists of the moor there have been sightings of a spectral coach made of bones carrying a woman long-ago accused of murdering her husband--and of a hound with a single glowing eye. Returning to the scene of one of his most celebrated cases, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Holmes and Russell investigate a mystery darker and more unforgiving than the moors themselves, in Laurie R. King's The Moor .
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, [2007], c1998
ISBN: 9780312427399
Characteristics: xviii, 287 p :,ill., maps. --


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Apr 09, 2019

This one seems to get a bipolar response-love or dislike! I'm on the like very much side. It makes me want to visit this part of the world-though dark and gloomy it holds such mystery. So perfect for a Holmes tale. One of my favorite parts was the portion of the tale containing Tiggy the misplaced edgehog (hedgehog). Will certainly continue to read this series of tales.

Feb 13, 2019

Enjoyed reading the book but not somebody’s chicken scratches IN INK! Why do people have to mess up a book and spoil it for others? Please don’t do this again.

Dec 27, 2018

This is my favourite in the series so far- not only do we return to the scene of Holmes' most famous case, but Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould is not only a character, he is the reason Sherlock and Mary are there, and King writes Baring-Gould into the original Baskerville case. I'm sure much of this is because Baring-Gould's real life grandson is a known as Holmes authority and wove his grandfather's legacy into Holmes fictional biography. I also loved that the Moor itself was a character, or almost a character. Mary spends a good deal of time reading Baring-Gould's books about the Moor and its inhabitants. This book is rich in Dartmoor lore, legend, and folk. And it is a smashing good mystery! Have some thickly tannic Yorkshire Gold tea with cream and sugar while you read about Mary and Holmes out trudging around the Moor in rain and fog and mud for the perfect enjoyment of this book! Even if, like me, you are listening on audiobook and drinking tea out of your 21st century travel mug while you speed down an asphalt highway at 70 miles per hour! You won't notice the miles or the minutes going by.
PS- the comment below that Baring-Gould was protestant and therefore would not refer to the Madonna as "mother of God" misses the difference between the Anglican church and other protestant churches. Baring-Gould most certainly did refer to Mary as "mother of God". The later Protestant reformation was about whether Priests or God had authority over sin. The early split between Rome and the Anglican church was about who would have authority over the King- God or the Priests. The Anglican church has more in common with Rome than Luther.

Nov 14, 2018

I've read this Holmes and Russell book before, but as often happens, I enjoyed it more the second time. The tone is gloomy in the extreme, the pair get muddy virtually every day, and Mary at least longs for both their Sussex home and Oxford, from which Holmes orders her to drop her books and join him forthwith. His old friend Rev. Baring-Gould, too frail to travel the moor, knows of a murder, and wants Holmes' help in solving it. Holmes, of course, wants his new wife's help. She's more help than Holmes' misogynist godfather expects, and the two of them discover who committed land fraud, selling Baskerville Hall, in the family of that name for multiple generations. Much more humor than I noticed the first time around.

May 13, 2017

This is a copy of my May 13, 2017 Goodreads review (Joan, from Stratford ON):

This book has quite a few critics, but it's actually one of my favourite books ever. True, this is in no way Laurie R. King's most captivating plot. The plot is really quite sleepy by comparison to some others. However, to me this book is a beautiful gem. The descriptions are thoughtful and rich. She paints the atmosphere of the moor and the surrounding area in a way that's not quite Tolkienesque, but elegant and intricate enough to remind me of Tolkien at times; she captures the local speech and music and social quirks masterfully -- she has an excellent eye and an superb ear.

Last but not least, the Russell-Holmes relationship is, as ever, wonderful to read. There's humour and maturity here -- two deeply connected people who respect one another profoundly and also give one another room to breathe.

I will read this book again someday -- it feels like a friend.

One minor critique that has nothing to do with the story itself -- Note to author: Sabine Baring-Gould was an Anglican, i.e. he was Protestant. No Protestant would refer to the Virgin Mary as "the mother of God."

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(May 2019) P.S. To BookEMonster: I stand corrected about Baring-Gould; from what I can see in his writings, he has much to say against Protestants, and against Luther and Calvin. From his wording, he seems to regard the Roman Catholic church as the one true church. I don't know if this perspective still exists today in some Anglican churches. I do know that the Anglican church today is not a homogeneous thing. The Anglican churches I attended for several years in Canada were quite similar to Catholic churches in certain respects, but they would never have used this terminology. The evangelical Anglican churches in England whose sermons I watch are even more different from what you describe; it's unimaginable that they would use this term. However, I was hasty in assuming the same would be true of every Anglican in the early 20th century setting of this book we both like so much. Thanks for your P.S.

PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 15, 2017

Fourth in the Mary Russell series, The Moor is a return to the scene of The Hounds of the Baskerville where Holmes and Russell must solve another unusual crime with the perpetrators using the old case to cover new misdeeds.

King has a great ear for the local accent and readers get to see Holmes in discomfort to return to the scene of one of his most famous cases. With more room than a short story, King's description of Dartmoor is detailed and emotive. Historical figure Sabine Baring-Gould is one of King's signature moves of adding real touches that ground the story. While the case wasn't as much fun as the original, the growth of Russell and Holmes' relationship and the evocative writings about the moors saves The Moor.

Oct 07, 2016

This 4th book in the series continues the somewhat odd relationship between the young would-be theologian Mary Russell and Holmes the aging detective. It's a spin-off on the original "Hound of the Baskervilles" story but it captures little of the atmosphere of that story, set on and near the harsh landscape of Dartmoor. King also introduces a real person into this story, the eccentric Reverend Sabin Baring-Gould. While that perhaps adds authenticity, Gould remains essentially just a part of the landscape, contributing nothing of substance to the tale. Missing also is most of the clever, deductive reasoning that characterized Conan Doyle's version of Holmes.
For me, Mary Russell was most interesting in the first book and is becoming less so now.

Aug 31, 2016

I didn't enjoy this Mary Russell novel as much as the previous three books. I don't think the author should have tried to go back to territory already covered in the original stories. I felt like the atmosphere of the moor was more depressing than intriguing and the mystery is "find out why things seem strange around here" rather than something more concrete... plus it doesn't take too long to figure out that the mysterious sightings are most likely to draw attention away from a criminal enterprise. I felt like the book spent way too much time on the historical character Sabine Baring-Gould (without ever really explaining the friendship between Holmes and him), and not nearly enough time with Mary and Holmes together. I love this series, but I especially like the chemistry and partnership of Mary and Holmes.

Dec 20, 2014

Another competent entry in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, and quite possibly the best up to this time. This one has the moody atmospherics of the Dartmoor landscape, home of the Baskervilles, with intriguing references to folklore and local culture, and wonderful dialect. Mary is refreshing, fearless, and just testy enough to be human.

Oct 21, 2014

Surprisingly, this turned out to be one of my absolute favourites in the Mary Russell series. I was captivated, and the Moor felt all too real; I left as if I could reach out and touch the scenery. A five out of five for me!

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