[An Early Reviewer copy from LibraryThing. Thanks LT!]
I'm always thrilled to see a new Laurie R. King. Here are the reasons I was not all that excited this time around.
1) One of the joys of reading her books is her interest in theological concepts. Where else-- in the world-- are you going to get religious concepts mixed up with mystery? (And if you say Dan Brown, I'll smack you.)
2) I didn't read the previous book, and that is clearly an oversight. Not that you had to know what happened, she introduces that nicely, but it sorta feels like she left all her best ideas in the previous book.
3) She doesn't put Holmes and Russell together until 4/5 of the way into the book. One of the joys of these books is how these characters interact, each learning (albeit stubbornly) from the other. When they can't play off each other-- and since they rely on no one else, all you get is their thought processes-- it's a bit dull.
4) Furthermore, they act especially grumpy towards each other, with Mycroft getting in the mix there. In the end, it's hard to tell if they're all still pleased to be a family or not. I don't need my books to be wrapped in a bow, but this is fundamental to this series...