*** The Game, Laurie R King, 2004
In an earlier review, I said that King did Doyle one or two better. After reading The Game, I think she takes Dorothy Sayers game to the next level as well. In this story, character and sense of place trumps plot, which is quite Sayeresque (if I can use that word), but Mary Russell feels more vivid to me than Lord Peter Wimsey. Of course, it's been a decade or more since I've read Sayers, so perhaps I'm speaking a bit out of turn, but I don't think so.
Like Kipling's Kim, on which this story is based, and like O Jerusalem, large portions of the narrative are devoted to travelling, which could get tedious in less skilled hands. I found some of the tricks of Holmes' travelling magician to seriously stretch credulity, but if that is a flaw, it is a minor one.
However, the account of the first pig hunt had me turning pages like a madman, completely riveted and oblivious to my surroundings. It far surpassed the hunt in Justice Hall, although for some reason it reminded me of the horse-riding scene in A Letter of Mary.
In addition, I was so intrigued by the story, I immediately bought Kim for my Kindle and read it with great enjoyment before proceding to the next Mary Russell book. (Review to follow, eventually.)
I don't know what more I can say that I haven't said before to motivate you to read this series. Just do it.