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Monday, August 04, 2008


King, Laurie R. Touchstone.

6 words: Different from King's usual, but good.

This novel is quite different from her Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. It is weightier in both content and style, but I liked it. Set in England shortly before the General Strike of 1926, the plot involves an American Bureau of Investigation agent Harris Stuyvesant who, working on his own, is in pursuit of a terrorist bomber who has struck several times in the U.S. and then retreated to England.

Harris is turned away from most avenues of aid until he meets the unpleasant Alduous Carstairs. Carstairs suggests using Bennet Grey, an unusual casualty of WWI, as a method of getting close to the man Harris suspects of the bombings. In spite of his instinctive dislike of Carstairs, Harris agrees to meet and work with Bennet Grey.

Politics, love, and suspense mix well in this novel. The beginning of the book is a little slow, but the characters have depth-- and for me, the strength of the characters overcame any other problems (length) the novel might have.

Fiction. Historical, Suspense, Mystery. 2008. 548 pages.


  1. I couldn't finish this one. It was really slow, and after a while, the idea of a Touchstone felt really improbable.

  2. I've only read one Laurie King book and I can't even remember what I thought of it. Hmm. I'll have to look through my files to see.

  3. Orpheus - It was slow, but that didn't bother me. I agree that the touchstone idea was improbable, well, more than improbable. I did like it , though.

    bookfool - Her Mary Russell series is light and fun. Very quick reading. This one, as Orpheus points out, is not quick reading.

  4. I've read the Mary Russell books and loved them!...(actually I still have to get the last 2)

    I read this book and I was surprised that I liked it as much as I did! She really does let you get to know her characters, which is what I like.. I will reread this book one day, I did like it that much.

  5. I've only read one of her books before (not the Mary Russell series) and just haven't gone back for more. I wonder if this will be a new series? Anyway, sounds very good so I'll have to keep it on my radar!

  6. Thanks so much for the review. I've been eyeing this book, wondering if I'd like it, and I think I would from your description. It is long, though. :<) I am a huge fan of the Mary Russell books.

  7. DesLily - I like the Mary Russell ones, too. Didn't care for the Kate Martinelli series as much.

    I'm glad to hear that you liked Touchstone, too!

    Iliana - The Russell/Sherlock Holmes series appeals to me because I love Holmes and enjoy hearing more about his adventures, especially as a married man.

    I don't know if Touchstone will begin a new series, but I like Agent Stuyvesant and would enjoy hearing more about him.

    Nan - Keep in mind that this one is much slower than the Mary Russell books; try a library copy, then, if you don't like it, you are not out anything. :) That's what I did.