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The Art of Detection

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Subject: Laurie R. King, Justice Hall, The God of the Hive, Garment of Shadows, The Beekeeper's Apprentice
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The Art of Detection

The Art of Detection
The Art of Detection cover
Author Laurie R. King
Country United States
Language English
Series Kate Martinelli series
Genre Novel
Publisher Bantam Books
Publication date
May 30, 2006
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 386 pp (Bantam Books hardback)
OCLC 62858090
813/.54 22
LC Class PS3561.I4813 A89 2006
Preceded by Night Work

The Art of Detection is the fifth book in the Kate Martinelli series by Laurie R. King. It is preceded by Night Work.

Plot summary

Philip Gilbert, the head of a group of Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts, is found dead in a national park's artillery battery. Because the autopsy report is slow-coming, inspector Kate Martinelli and her partner Al Hawkin treat the death as a murder case. She can discover little about the dead man aside from his unrelenting fascination with all things Holmes. One of his dinner group companions, Ian Nicholson, reveals that he had discovered a "lost" Holmes story, possibly by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, about the murder of a gay soldier in 1920s San Francisco. Kate's interest is piqued when Ian mentions that Gilbert's body was discovered under the same circumstance as the soldier's in the story.

Eventually, Kate traces Gilbert's ex-wife and learns that it is likely Gilbert was gay, given that he had been with an actor several years before. She connects him with Nicholson, who used to be an actor and whose own ex-wife admits he is gay. Kate questions Nicholson, who admits that he hit Gilbert with a heavy bottle of wine after Gilbert announced they would have to break up temporarily following the publishing of the lost manuscript. He did not realize at the time that Gilbert actually died of complications following the attack, thereby downgrading the legal status from homicide to manslaughter. Finding Gilbert dead, Nicholson panics and dumps the body then sets up an elaborate alibi. After confessing his actions to Kate, Nicholson commits suicide by cop.

Characters in The Art of Detection

  • Kate Martinelli
  • Lee Cooper
  • Nora
  • Al Hawkin
  • Philip Gilbert
  • Ian Nicholson

External links

  • Laurie R. King official website
  • Reviews of The Art of Detection

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