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Posts Tagged ‘Jenny Sterlin’

Pirate King  ♥ ♥
Read by Jenny Sterlin

11:12

In England’s young silent-film industry, the megalomaniacal Randolph Fflytte is king. Nevertheless, at the request of Scotland Yard, Mary Russell is dispatched to investigate rumors of criminal activities that swirl around Fflytte’s popular movie studio. So Russell is traveling undercover to Portugal, along with the film crew that is gearing up to shoot a cinematic extravaganza, Pirate King. Based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, the project will either set the standard for moviemaking for a generation – or sink a boatload of careers.  Nothing seems amiss until the enormous company starts rehearsals in Lisbon, where the 13 blond-haired, blue-eyed actresses whom Mary is bemusedly chaperoning meet the swarm of real buccaneers Fflytte has recruited to provide authenticity. But when the crew embarks for Morocco and the actual filming, Russell feels a building storm of trouble: a derelict boat, a film crew with secrets, ominous currents between the pirates, decks awash with budding romance—and now the pirates are ignoring Fflytte and answering only to their dangerous outlaw leader. Plus, there’s a spy on board.

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God of the Hive ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Jenny Sterlin

10 Discs

Maintaining tenuous contact only by means of coded messages and cryptic notes with her husband, Sherlock Holmes, and with Holmes’ young granddaughter in her safekeeping, Russell will have to call on instincts she didn’t know she had as the famous husband and wife sleuths are pursued by a killer immune from the sting of justice.

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The Language of Bees ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Jenny Sterlin
13 discs

beesPart of the Mary Russell Series. Returning to London after extensive travels abroad, Mary and husband Sherlock Holmes receive an unexpected visit from Sherlock’s estranged son Damian. Years ago, Damian was arrested following the murder of his drug dealer and as this novel begins Damian is once again a murder suspect.  Further complicating matters, Damian’s wife and child are missing. While Sherlock helps Damian search for his loved ones, Mary launches her own investigation in an attempt to reveal Damian’s troubled history.  While Jenny Sterlin portrays the characters well, her French accent is awkward.

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Locked Rooms ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Jenny Sterlin

lockedroomsHaunted by her dreams, Mary Russell arrives in San Francisco in 1924 to settle her parents’ estate. But she quickly encounters a few surprises and learns there may be a great deal more to her childhood in this city than she ever knew. As Mary tries to cobble the pieces of her shadowy past together, her husband Holmes wonders if she may be repressing vital memories. And one thing seems certain–someone wants Mary’s remembrances to stay buried.

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The Mary Russell Series ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Jenny Sterlin

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
arussSherlock Holmes takes on a young, female apprentice in this delightful and well-wrought addition to the master detective’s casework. In the early years of WW I, 15-year-old American Mary Russell encounters Holmes, retired in Sussex Downs where Conan Doyle left him raising bees. Mary, an orphan rebelling against her guardian aunt’s strictures, impresses the sleuth with her intelligence and acumen. Holmes initiates her into the mysteries of detection, allowing her to participate in a few cases when she comes home from her studies at Oxford. The collaboration is ignited by the kidnapping in Wales of Jessica Simpson, daughter of an American senator. The sleuthing duo find signs of the hand of a master criminal, and after Russell rescues the child, attempts are made on their lives (and on Watson’s), with evidence piling up that the master criminal is out to get Holmes and all he holds dear.

A Monstrous Regiment of Women
aruss2in 1920, Mary is a week away from her 21st birthday and has finished her studies at Oxford, and the relationship between these two forceful, eccentric and indelibly etched characters is charged with sexuality and issues of authority. A chance meeting with a friend in London introduces Mary to Margery Childe, leader of the New Temple of God, a burgeoning institution in which feminism powers both theological inquiry and programs of social activism. Skeptical, analytical Mary, who concentrated on theology at Oxford, is reluctantly drawn toward Childe and the temple’s inner circle, most of whom are wealthy, educated young women. After one of them is murdered, Mary persuades Holmes to help in the recovery of the dead woman’s brother, who became addicted to heroin while in the war. While Holmes is so occupied, Mary learns about other unexpected deaths of temple members and determines to investigate.

A Letter of Mary
aruss3set in 1923, involves the suspicious death of Dorothy Ruskin, an amateur archeologist recently returned from Palestine, who gave Mary, an academic theologian, a letter dated about A.D. 70 written by “Mariam the Apostle” to her sister in Magdala. Mary Magdalene? An Apostle? Holmes and “Mrs. Sherlock,” as Lord Peter Wimsey addresses her in a funny cameo, collaborate. Red herrings define the political and cultural climate: a retired colonel’s opposition to women’s suffrage; Dorothy’s interest in Zionism; the British Near East scholar/spy network; the tumultuously upsetting implications of the letter for organized Christianity. The investigation also includes the Ruskin family.

The Moor
aruss4The elderly, eccentric Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould asks his friend Holmes to investigate the murder, as well as sightings of a ghostly carriage drawn by headless horses accompanied by a gigantic hound. In the constant fog and bone-chilling rain, Holmes and Russell tramp the muddy moors interviewing delightful characters. The new owner of Baskerville Hall, a mysterious, wealthy American, is the obvious villain, although it takes all the detectives’ skills to determine his motives.

Justice Hall
Aruss5Two characters from a previous adventure (O Jerusalem), Ali Hazr and his brother, Mahmoud, have problems that require an understanding of British aristocracy and the unraveling of the story behind a British soldier’s execution. This English manor house is examined to good effect, including the changes wrought by WWI, and seamlessly incorporates as background the horrific wartime executions of numerous British soldiers for desertion or cowardice. Separately and jointly, Mary and Sherlock utilize familiar tools: research, disguises, trips to London and France and the connections and expertise of Mycroft Holmes to ferret out crimes committed and contemplated.

The Game
aruss6It’s 1924, and Kimball O’Hara, the “Kim” of the famous Rudyard Kipling novel, has disappeared. Fearing some kind of geopolitical crisis in the making, Mycroft Holmes sends his brother and Mary to India to uncover what happened. En route, they encounter the insufferable Tom Goodhearta wealthy young American who has embraced Communismtraveling with his mother and sister to visit his maharaja friend, Jumalpandra (“Jimmy”), an impossibly rich and charming ruler of the (fictional) Indian state of Khanpur. With some local intelligence supplied by Geoffrey Nesbit, an Englishman of the old school, and accompanied by Bindra, a resourceful orphan, the couple travel incognito as native magicians (Mary, it goes without saying, learns Hindi on the voyage out). Ultimately, their journey intersects with the paths of the Goodhearts and the mysterious Jimmy. At times, travelogue and cultural history trump plot, but the sights, smells and ideas of India make interesting, evocative reading (Mary’s foray into the dangerous sport of pig-sticking is particularly fascinating).

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