Story: O Jerusalem
Author: Laurie R. King
Story URL: Amazon Link
Page count: 464 pages
Rating: Young Adult
Amazon Summary: It’s 1918. Nineteen-year-old Mary and her fiftysomething mentor are forced to flee England to escape a deadly adversary. Sherlock’s well-connected brother Mycroft sends them to Palestine to do some international sleuthing. Here, a series of murders threatens the fragile peace.
Laurie King connects us, through details of language, custom, history, and sensual impressions, to this very alien environment. Russell, Holmes, and two marvelously imagined Arab guides named Mahmoud and Ali trek through the desert and visit ancient monasteries clinging like anthills to cliffs. They also find time to take tea with the British military legend Allenby in Haifa and skulk through or under the streets of Jerusalem.
I read this one out of order, as I couldn’t get to the library in time to pickup the prequel over this last weekend. It didn’t matter since this story is actually set in the middle of the first book (not unlike The Horse and His Boy/The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe in the Chronicles of Narnia), as Holmes and Mary roam around Israel. I loved the setting, the unusual characters, and the fun Mary had with scandalizing half of Palestine. I was reminded of Bodie Thoene’s books, thanks to the time period and location, though in this story we’re spending more time on the Arab side of Palestine. (I was also reminded of how ticked I still am at Great Britain over the White Paper Agreement. Though that’s rightfully another rant for another day.) But the similarities between the two authors’ series ends there.