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Extended Audio Sample The Art of Detection Audiobook, by Laurie R. King Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,208 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Laurie R. King Narrator: Alyssa Bresnahan, Robert Ian MacKenzie Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Kate Martinelli Mysteries Release Date: May 2006 ISBN: 9781440756382
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When San Francisco detective Kate Martinelli arrives at the murder scene, she discovers that the dead man may have been killed for the century-old manuscript he had recently acquired <#150> a manuscript purportedly written by Sherlock Holmes. Even odder: Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fans of Martinelli will find much to enjoy…[Martinelli's] contented home life contrasts nicely with the grim details of her job.”

    Seattle Times

  • “Cohesive, compelling, wildly original…King works the story-within-a-story concept exceptionally well. But the best thing about The Art of Detection is Kate…and the book’s upbeat and hugely satisfying ending reminds us that there are simply not enough Kate Martinelli books to go around.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Sometimes a mystery takes one’s breath away with its impeccable, inexorable logic. King makes two such tales here, whose wheels interlock with a perfect, audible click…A tour de force and a great read.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Bestseller King meshes her two best-known series—contemporary police procedurals set in San Francisco featuring Kate Martinelli of the SFPD and the period stories of Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes—to create an intelligent, satisfying novel of suspense…Fans of both series will be well rewarded.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mindy | 2/18/2014

    " I enjoyed listening to this book. It advances the Kate Martenelli series and also gives us an addition to the Mary Russell series through Holmes' eyes. I thought the use of a male voice for the story of Holmes in San Francisco in 1924 was very effective. I love the Mary Russell series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kiersten | 2/16/2014

    " I loved that this book was the intersection of King's two series, the Kate Martinelli books and the Mary Russell books. I loved that it was the story of what else happened during Holmes' and Russell's stay in San Francisco (Locked Doors), and I loved that it continued the Holmes-as-a-living-person conceit. And I love that King loves Holmes so much that she had to incorporate him into her other series (actually, this is not the first time that Holmes has made an appearance in this series. In fact, every one of King's books that I've read so far has had at least one reference to Sherlock. I love it.) However, I'm starting to feel a little bit preached at. I have no problem with Kate's orientation or her relationship. What I do have a problem with is that it's become an Issue, with a capital I, in this series. In the Russell books, I found King to be a very subtle, nuanced writer. Here, however, I feel like I've been beaten over the head. Also--there was one other thing that bothered me; for the most part, it seems like these books are very well written and well edited; however in this book there was a big inconsistency. In Night Work, Mina is described as Maj's adopted daughter, the biological daughter of Maj's sister, I believe. However, in The Art of Detection, it states that Maj is Mina's biological mother. I know that was a little detail, but it irritated me. And I still miss Russell and Holmes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jodi | 2/8/2014

    " Murder, marriage, and Sherlock Holmes... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 2/7/2014

    " I really like the books in the Kate Martinelli series and this one was a great combination with the Sherlock Holmes stories she also writes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen Bard | 2/6/2014

    " My favourite of the Kate Martinelli series, as her relationship is more established, and there's some lovely detail around Sherlock Holmes (which is a delight if you've read the Mary Russell series as there are some nods in that direction). An interesting plot and story, with San Fransisco the definite star of it all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn | 1/15/2014

    " It was two stories in one and you had to read both to get a sense of how their intertwined. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Autumn | 1/10/2014

    " Only worth reading for the Holmes mystery within the book. Martinelli, etc pale in comparison. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 1/4/2014

    " A must. One sees a new side of the author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 1/2/2014

    " I'll have to re-write this later. PC dropped all my comments! Arrrgh. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bhan13 | 12/12/2013

    " This book wasn't terrible but I can't think of anything to recommend it either. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 12/2/2013

    " Enjoyed the tale within the tale and intrigue of whether it was a lost Holmes story. I would have enjoyed a bit more of Kate and Al working together to solve the crime, and a bit more on Al's family, since Jules is a fascinating character. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elaine | 11/29/2013

    " I'm only lukewarm on this one but honor the author just because her Mary Russell mysteries are so engaging. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elisha (lishie) | 11/23/2013

    " I like King's Mary Russell series more but this was a solid mystery. I actually enjoyed the pastiche within the story very much, more than the mystery itself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ccbreland | 8/14/2013

    " What a great book to read after Locked Rooms! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joan | 3/15/2013

    " Good read with disappointing ending. Seems as if the lengthy Holmes story was something like a Trojan Horse. Not bad for a long airport wait. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erussell Russell | 2/26/2013

    " Sherlock Holmes to the Max. SH in San Francisco, as an elderly man - a story w/in a story. Is the MS real or a fake. Good read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Meg | 2/2/2013

    " Though she includes a clever Sherlock Holmes pastiche and an intriguing set of Holmes fanatics, Laurie King's fifth Kate Martinelli mystery lacks narrative force and impact. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 12/25/2012

    " Great writing and interesting mystery, but I was uncomfortable with certain aspects of the book and found the insertion of the "Sherlock Holmes" story to be distracting at best. Think I'll try the Mary Russell series instead. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie Oosterwyk | 11/27/2012

    " Fun melding of King's two series, Holmes and Martinelli. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jody | 9/1/2012

    " This is a cross-over book between her two mystery series - I think only of interest if you have read both. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susanna | 5/5/2012

    " Good mystery - Laurie King always does a good job. Nothing to tax the brain excessively - but interesting - joins together Kate Martinelli with Sherlock Holmes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Merry | 10/20/2011

    " Pretty good, I didn't figure out "who done it" before the main character. Which is always a good thing with a mystery. But I enjoy the Mary Russell series a whole lot more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katrina Brage | 10/13/2011

    " This was my first Kate Martinelli. I really enjoyed the possible lost Arthur Conan Doyle story and the link to the Sherlockian dinner group. I have tried Laurie King's actual Sherlock Holmes novels and couldn't quite get into them. I will read more of this character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 10/7/2011

    " Great merging of the two series - but where was Russell?? I know it would have complicated the plot but couldn't there have been some cryptic explanation? Maybe I need to go back and re-read Locked Rooms... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dree | 8/10/2011

    " I did not like bringing the two series together--love them both and have read them all, but this was too contrived. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 4/16/2011

    " Enjoyed the tale within the tale and intrigue of whether it was a lost Holmes story. I would have enjoyed a bit more of Kate and Al working together to solve the crime, and a bit more on Al's family, since Jules is a fascinating character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 3/22/2011

    " This author was new to me. Had I known the main character was a lesbian, I would have passed on it. Being a lesbian myself, I am generally insulted by the trash of most "lesbian fiction" authors. This author wrote a great mystery that happened to have gay characters. I loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie | 1/21/2011

    " Fun melding of King's two series, Holmes and Martinelli. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 1/20/2011

    " Combines elements of her russsell/Holmes work with her contemporary San Francisco cop Kate Martinelli "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elaine | 1/12/2011

    " I'm only lukewarm on this one but honor the author just because her Mary Russell mysteries are so engaging. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 DarcyMom | 12/30/2010

    " This was mediocre but saved by the Sherlock Holmes society and novel-in-novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josephine | 12/14/2010

    " I loved this last book just as much as I did the first. The book within the book was great. And the addition of Nora was so cute. Loved this series. Sad that it's done but all stories have an ending. Much enjoyed and recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 10/21/2010

    " Great writing and interesting mystery, but I was uncomfortable with certain aspects of the book and found the insertion of the "Sherlock Holmes" story to be distracting at best. Think I'll try the Mary Russell series instead. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 9/18/2010

    " I read this years ago when I'd been introduced to the work of Laurie R King - now living in the bay area, nice to read about SF history in a good detective story. actually this was a book on tape i listened to while commuting to work. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Astraia | 9/11/2010

    " Started strong but had a weak middle which did not make me care or feel the reveal was exciting or worth waiting for. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linnea | 7/7/2010

    " I took a break from Mary Russell in the middle of the series to read this one - again, thorougly enjoyed it. King really made the Bay Area come alive, both in present day and in times past for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kris | 7/4/2010

    " A lesbian San Francisco police inspector plus Sherlock Holmes and ardent Holmesian fans...what more could you ask for in a mystery novel? "

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About the Author
Author Laurie R. King

Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books, including the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes stories. She has been nominated for a multitude of prizes, and her fiction has won the Edgar, Creasy, Nero, Macavity, and Lambda Awards. She has been guest of honor at several crime conventions and is probably the only writer to have both an Edgar Award and an honorary doctorate in theology. She was inducted into the Baker Street Irregulars in 2010.

About the Narrators

Alyssa Bresnahan is a dynamic dancer, actor, and audiobook narrator. She has narrated over two hundred audiobooks, has earned twenty Earphones Awards, and was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Golden Voices. In 2009 she was a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best fiction narration. She has toured Europe in stage productions of several Greek dramas. In the United States, she appeared as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire and as Nina in The Seagull. At the New York Stage and Film Festival, she had the starring role in The Clearing.

Robert Ian Mackenzie became an actor after holding a wide variety of other jobs, including everything from London policeman to water ski instructor in Greece. Since then, his acting career has encompassed straight theater, musicals, opera, films, television, voice-overs, commercials, and recorded books.