A queen, a castle, a dark and ageless threat—all await Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes in this chilling adventure.
The queen is Marie of Roumania: the doubly royal granddaughter of Victoria, Empress of the British Empire, and Alexander II, Tsar of Russia. A famous beauty who was married at seventeen into Roumania’s young dynasty, Marie had beguiled the Paris Peace Conference into returning her adopted country’s long-lost provinces, singlehandedly transforming Roumania from a backwater into a force.
The castle is Bran: a tall, quirky, ancient structure perched on high rocks overlooking the border between Roumania and its newly regained territory of Transylvania. The castle was a gift to Queen Marie, a thank-you from her people, and she loves it as she loves her own children.
The threat is . . . well, that is less clear. Shadowy figures, vague whispers, the fears of girls, dangers that may be only accidents. But this is a land of long memory and hidden corners, a land that had known Vlad the Impaler, a land from whose churchyards the shades creep.
When Queen Marie calls, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are as dubious as they are reluctant. But a young girl is involved, and a beautiful queen. Surely it won’t take long to shine light on this unlikely case of what would seem to be strigoi?
Or, as they are known in the West . . . vampires.
Set in 1925, King's thrilling 18th adventure featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes (after 2020's Riviera Gold), takes the couple to Bran Castle in Transylvania, home of Marie, Queen of Roumania, who's in need of their services. The queen, whose arrival at the castle is delayed, is worried about her 16-year-old daughter after receiving a letter warning her not to bring the girl back to the nearby village of Brasov "or she will die." While awaiting Marie, Mary and Holmes, who's masquerading as an architectural consultant for the castle's restoration, explore Brasov, which has been rife with rumors of "mysterious figures and men risen from the dead," and mingle with the members of the queen's household. The disappearance of a servant girl raises the ante. King smoothly slips in fascinating historical details about the life of Marie of Roumania, all the while keeping the plot galloping along at high speed. This is a treat for old fans and newcomers alike.
Simple and voring
I would think taking up the mantle of Holmes would require a better storyline and writer