Wednesday, June 3, 2009

To Play the Fool - Laurie R. King

We've talked about Laurie R. King before, when we discussed the book Folly. King is a northern California native, and San Francisco and the area have featured prominently in many of her books, such as the entire Martinelli series, and Locked Rooms, part of the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. (Locked Rooms features the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, and is terrifically interesting historically!)

I wouldn't normally select two books for discussion by the same author. (Although I've been very tempted by Jodi Picoult!) King is the exception because she has three completely different series going. Kate Martinelli's stories are wonderful mysteries, and give a gentle introduction to same-sex relationships. Nothing is scary about Kate's home life. The fact that Lee is disabled is actually a greater stress point in the stories, than Kate and Lee's partnership.

For LGBT month, and for people who are less familiar with the realities of the LGBT lifestyle, the Martinelli books are an entertaining and unthreatening introduction.

I said King has three series - call it actually two and a half series, and a couple of stand-alones.

The two series are the Kate Martinelli series:
A Grave Talent
To Play the Fool
With Child
Night Work
The Art of Detection

The Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series:
The Beekeeper's Apprentice
A Monstrous Regiment of Women
A Letter of Mary
O Jerusalem (which chronologically takes place in the middle of Beekeeper's Apprentice)
Justice Hall
The Game
Locked Rooms
The Language of Bees

The half series is the Folly books:
Keeping Watch

The stand alones are:
A Darker Place
Califia's Daughters (under the name Leigh Richards)

King has visited the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. She's an entertaining speaker. She also has an active blog, which is a wonderful way to see inside the mind of the author. She talks about developing her stories, marketing them, and book tours, as well as a wealth of generally interesting information.

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