Moving right along (though not terribly quickly it seems). The last Mary Russell mystery I read, The Game, was all of a year ago (in December to be precise). My how time flies, and it is most definitely time to check back in with Mary and Holmes. I do like to orient myself when reading a mystery series, so they were in India solving a crime involving Kipling's "Kim" last time out. The year was 1924 and while it has taken me nearly a year to pick up the thread, not much time has passed at all with Mary.
As a matter of fact they are en route to America from India. They are sailing the Pacific in what seems an awfully slow passage, but then you must remember this is the 20s. The dreams began when they left Bombay . . . Maybe there are unresolved issues in Mary's past. I am pretty sure they are and now Mary is returning to San Francisco where her family met with tragedy. I know Mary grew up in Sussex, but she was born in California. She had a brother who died, along with their parents, in an automobile accident. Now Mary must go back to sign papers and sell off some property belonging to her family.
I've been very curious about Mary's 'backstory' and hope this journey to America will shed light on how she came to be where she is now. Those dreams do no bode well, however, for a quick and trouble-free few days in California. She is sure she was not in San Francisco during the event of the infamous 1906 earthquake, but Holmes might know better. In any case she is troubled with dreams as they sail towards the Pacific coast of California, which is what my teaser is going to elude to.
"The first dream objects flew."
"The first time I dreamt about flying objects was jut a day or two after we had steamed away from the port, and it seemed at the time an entertaining variation played on one of the day's events. That morning, sitting on a deck-chair beneath the canvas awning that sheltered us from the tropical heat, I had eavesdropped on a discussion of the Alice books between a child enthusiast and her disapproving nanny. So when I dreamt that very night of a deck of cards hurling themselves at me through the air, I woke startled, but amused as well."
"The second dream began after the first was well established in my nocturnal routine. In it, a completely faceless man stood before me, peculiarly terrifying in his utter anonymity, and appearing always in a similarly white and featureless room. He would sometimes speak--how, without a mouth? Don't be afraid, little girl, he would say. Don't be afraid."
In the third dream, I would be strolling through a house, a large and beautifully designed building whose architectural style changed every time--Medieval stone one night and modern steel-and-glass the next, Elizabethan half-timbered or nineteenth century brick terrace."
I feel like surely these are the first clues and a taste of what is to come. Add in the title of the book, Locked Rooms, and surely there must be some underlying fear of being stuck or enclosed, or maybe there will be a death unexplained? I have been looking forward to this mystery as San Francisco is one of my own very favorite destinations and it will be interesting to immerse myself in 1920s San Francisco. And all the better to be again in Mary's company.