Monday, February 12, 2024

The Lantern's Dance - Historical Mystery Review

Goodreads: The Lantern's Dance (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #18) by Laurie R. King

Rating: Really Liked It! (4.5 Stars)
Source:  Publisher

Description:  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’ grand-uncle, the artist Horace Vernet. It’s an odd mix of treasures and clutter, including a tarnished silver lamp with a rotating 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 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?

Genre: Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I've read and really enjoyed other books in this series so of course I couldn't pass up this newest book.  

My Impression: I have been reading this series since the first book came out and have always enjoyed it.  This book might just be my favorite.  I normally don't enjoy when Holmes and Russell are separated but in this case it really worked and I found each POV equally compelling.  As well was the POV of the journal entries that reveal the life of a vivid and extraordinary character.  This completely hooked me as I was fascinated by the story and was looking for clues to see just how the stories would come together.  

The mystery was one that kept me guessing and I enjoyed Holmes' more active role played against Russell's more research role.  I really enjoyed digging more into Holmes' past as well as learning more about Damian's.  Holmes and Russell are both characters that I have come to feel like I know and I always enjoy checking in with them.  Pair this with an interesting and compelling mystery and this made for a story that I didn't want to put down and was sad to see the end arrive.  

If you enjoy mysteries and like some history mixed in this is a book I think most readers would enjoy.  While all series are better read in order I do think this is a book that you could jump into here (though this is not always the case for this series) and get caught up in the story.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  This is a series I always enjoy and one I'd really like to go back and reread from the beginning.

Would I Recommend this Book? I would recommend this book and this series.  Even if you're not a fan of the original Holmes books this is a fantastic mystery series.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. The series and the author new to me. Thanks for the review

  2. Wonderful review. Sophia is reviewing this one on the blog. I think I'd enjoy this book/series.

  3. I think I would really love this series. I am glad you continue to enjoy it!

  4. Eighteen books in and still loving it. That's a good series!

  5. Another great mystery book and series for you. I don't know how you make the time to read so much!

  6. I love the cover. 📘 The story sounds intriguing. 🕵