The Lantern’s Dance is the eighteenth book in Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series. It’s also the current Hot Book of the Week at The Poisoned Pen. King’s event at the bookstore was a pre-launch event, hosted by Barbara Peters, owner of the bookstore. You can still order a signed copy of the book through the Webstore. https://bit.ly/3SUpnoA
Here’s the summary of The Lantern’s Dance.
“Deftly interlacing present and past, King offers further fascinating insights into Holmes’s family while also delivering an intriguing mystery.”—The Washington Post
After their recent adventures in Transylvania, Russell and Holmes look forward to spending time with Holmes’ son, the famous artist Damian Adler, and his family. But when they arrive at Damian’s house, they discover that the Adlers have fled from a mysterious threat.
Holmes rushes after Damian while Russell, slowed down by a recent injury, stays behind to search the empty house. In Damian’s studio, she discovers four crates packed with memorabilia related to Holmes’ granduncle, the artist Horace Vernet. It’s an odd mix of treasures and clutter, including a tarnished silver lamp with a rotating shade: an antique yet sophisticated form of zoetrope, fitted with strips of paper whose images dance with the lantern’s spin.
In the same crate is an old journal written in a nearly impenetrable code. Intrigued, Russell sets about deciphering the intricate cryptograph, slowly realizing that each entry is built around an image—the first of which is a child, bundled into a carriage by an abductor, watching her mother recede from view.
Russell is troubled, then entranced, but each entry she decodes brings more questions. Who is the young Indian woman who created this elaborate puzzle? What does she have to do with Damian, or the Vernets—or the threat hovering over the house?
The secrets of the past appear to be reaching into the present. And it seems increasingly urgent that Russell figure out how the journal and lantern are related to Damian—and possibly to Sherlock Holmes himself.
Could there be things about his own history that even the master detective does not perceive?
Laurie R. King is the award-winning, bestselling author of seventeen previous Mary Russell mysteries, a new series featuring SFPD cold-case inspector Raquel Laing, the contemporary Kate Martinelli series, the historical Stuyvesant & Grey stories, and five acclaimed standalone novels. She lives in Northern California, where she is at work on her next Mary Russell mystery.
It’s a fascinating discussion with two people who know the history of India. Enjoy the conversation.