Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King is the 8th book in the Mary Russell series. This time around Holmes and Russell are back in her hometown of San Francisco and Russell is facing several deeply suppressed demons from her past. I really appreciated this foray into Russell's past and a getting a better look at the mystery surrounding the death of her parents and brother. San Francisco in the 1920s was also a delightful setting to immerse myself in with the added touch of Dashiell Hammett (another genre of crime fiction that Ms. King does delightfully well, check out Touchstone and The Bones of Paris)! The format of this book is a bit different from the previous Mary Russell books as it alternates from being Russell's first-person memoir to a third-person narrative following Holmes.
There's a lot going on in this flapper meets hippie outfit that perfectly embodies the carefree spirit of San Francisco. To start, the dress is a tent dress, chosen, not only because it fits the requirements for flapper meets hippie, but also because of the "city of tents" that populated the city after the 1906 earthquake that Russell had blocked from her memory. The shoes are "Moxy Flapper" platforms, and while Russell would never wear anything so impractical, they are certainly endless amounts of fun! "Chinatown" nail lacquer is a reference to San Fran's Chinatown which pays a pivotal role in the story and Russell's own personal history. The kimono inspired clutch is a nod to the briefly mentioned stop Holmes and Russell made in Japan after The Game and before Locked Rooms (Ms. King, I still want this one recalled in detail, please). The geometric cliff ring is a sad reminder of Russell's family's deaths. That architectural Golden Gate ring/necklace is a lovely nod to the city's most famous landmark; one that, admittedly, didn't exist during the events of Locked Rooms. The key earrings should be a rather obvious reference considering the title of novel, but I'll give you a spoiler, the psychological idea of the memory palace gets a lot of attention here. Finally, some Russell worthy eyewear.