Book Review of “Dreaming Spies”


“Dreaming Spies” was published in 2015 and was written by Laura R. King ( Ms. King has published 25 mystery novels, 13 in the “Mary Russell” series of which this is the latest.

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through I would categorize this novel as ‘PG’ as there are minor instances of Violence and Mature Situations. This Mystery novel is set on a steamer from India to Japan, as well as in England in the early 1920s. The main characters are Sherlock Holmes, Mary Russell and Haruki Sato.

Holmes and much younger (24) wife Russell are bound from India to Japan on a steamer after finishing a case. Aboard the steamer they encounter a man, Earl Darly, Holmes knows to be involved in blackmail back in England. They begin an investigation of the man and his family to uncover who his current target is.

Russell makes friends with a young Japanese woman, Sato. Sato teaches Holmes and Russell much about Japan. They soon discover that there is much more to Sato. She comes, in fact, from a long line of Japan’s elite Ninja. Nor is Sato’s presence on the ship an accident. Once in Japan, Holmes and Russell are engaged to recover a book. The object of Darly’s current blackmail scheme.

This mystery leads Holmes and Russell from steamer, across Japan and finally to Oxford in England. The story winds through the culture of Japan and some history of Oxford. Holmes and Russell use all of their skills to investigate and pursue the book in question. The plot leads through many twists and turns, keeping the reader from guessing too much. There is obviously a lot of history I missed in the series when I jumped in and started with #14, but the book stands well by itself. The story reminded me a lot of those of Holmes written by Sir Author Conan Doyl. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (

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