In the eighth installment in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, the mystery is about Mary herself. It’s also about who is trying to kill her. Mary doesn’t remember anything about her life in San Francisco as a young child, not even that she lived there in 1906 during the terrible earthquake that virtually destroyed the city. Nor does she remember much about that terrible day when her entire family died in a car that went over a cliff on the Pacific Coast Highway. The grief and guilt have haunted her for many years.
This all becomes significant when Mary and Sherlock arrive in San Francisco to sign legal papers finalizing her parents’ estate. The locked rooms of the title refer both to rooms in the house where she grew up and to her denial of memories that continue to haunt her dreams. Only those locked memories can save her life.
This is a wonderful book, evocative of both the terror of 1906 San Francisco, the mystery surrounding the death of Mary’s family, and 1920s San Francisco. Mary is a marvelous character and becomes a real person in King’s talented hands. Highly recommended.