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Grave Talent by Laurie R. King

51ox-k5mnvl_sl500_aa240_A Grave Talent by Laurie R King

All summer long we have been introducing readers to the Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie R King, for which she is best known. But Laurie R King is also the author of another mystery series, set in the present day, featuring a San Francisco detective, Kate Martinelli.

We first meet Kate Martinelli in the novel A Grave Talent, winner of the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award, for best first novel, and the Creasy Award from the British Crime Writers Association, in 1993, the year of its publication. 

After reading Laurie R King’s most recent novel about Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, I wondered if her other series was as good as I remembered. I read A Grave Talent when it was published in 1993, and again this summer, finding it among the books on the cottage bookshelf. I enjoyed it as much now as I did sixteen years ago – and I had almost completely forgotten the plot so it was just as suspenseful as reading it for the first time.

Laurie R King Says “ Although my first book published , A Grave Talent, was a Martinelli story, in fact, it was the third book I wrote, after two Russell novels. d Kate Martinelli had her beginnings with the idea of a world-rank woman artist – a female Rembrandt – that I could not see in the setting of one of the historical, and rather whimsical,  Russell novels. So I took that seed and transplanted it to a time and a place I knew well: San Francisco in contemporary times."

Kate has been a police Inspector for a few years now, working her way up in the ranks, at a time when a female Inspector was still unique. Kate has worked hard to get there and is determined to do more than her best to prove herself to her new boss, Inspector Al Hawkin, a veteran officer. Kate has also kept her personal life personal, she has been part of the team at work, but has not let her fellow police officers into her home life.

This case will change things for Kate. There has been a series of child abductions and murders in the San Francisco area and Kate is on the case with Hawkin. It appears that an artist, Vaun Adams, who was convicted and served a prison sentence for killing a child some years earlier, may be the murderer again this time. Hawkin & Martinelli have their doubts and begin to investigate a man who was the lover of Vaun Adams many years before. Neither is sure if their instinct is correct but they head down a dangerous path, not knowing who to trust – putting their own lives, and those of the people they love, at risk.

This is a mystery novel – so that is all I am going to reveal. As Laurie R Kings says, “If nothing else, my books entertain their writer.” I think you will find that they will entertain the reader as well.



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