The name Kate Martinelli refers to a series of novels written by Laurie R. King. Kate Martinelli is also the primary protagonist of the series.
Order of Kate Martinelli Series
|1||A Grave Talent||1993||Description / Buy|
|2||To Play the Fool||1995||Description / Buy|
|3||With Child||1996||Description / Buy|
|4||Night Work||2000||Description / Buy|
|5||The Art of Detection||2006||Description / Buy|
Laurie R. King garnered a reputation for writing the Russell and Holmes historical series. The idea for the Kate Martinelli series came to her while she was ruminating over a Russell and Holmes book.
She was drawn to the idea of a female artist, an alternate Rembrandt of sorts. However, she tried and failed to fit the concept into the whimsical realm of the Russell and Holmes series.
So she left the historical era, ran all the way to San Francisco in modern times and expanded the idea into a full-blown detective drama series featuring a lesbian law enforcement officer.
When Kate is introduced in A Grave Talent, she has just been promoted to the position of a homicide detective. She is partnered with the disgruntled Al Hawkins just as a string of child murders takes place. It takes a bit of work for the two detectives to overcome their issues in order to focus on the dark and depressing crime at hand.
Al Hawkins is written as a seasoned cop who doesn’t like the idea of taking on a green partner. But Kate proves that she doesn’t need babysitting and it doesn’t take long for the pair to develop a grudging respect for one another as their relationship grows.
Kate’s home life and her relationship with partner Lee receive some attention. The couple is initially strong and united. However, Kate’s work eventually brings trouble to her doorstep. And when Lee survives an unfortunate ordeal, the consequences to her personality and emotional state threaten everything Kate had worked so hard to build.
The Kate Martinelli books have as many fans as they do detractors. While some readers appreciate Kate as a strong female detective who gets the job done, others believe that Laurie R. King debilitates the quality of her Martinelli novels by injecting a strong feminist message into her stories.
The common complaint is that most Kate Martinelli books have no relatable male characters. Besides Kate’s partner, practically every man in the series is a violent criminal, and typically a murderer or a rapist.
Laurie isn’t the first person to create despicable male criminals. However, she makes no effort to give them redeeming qualities or to explain their depravity. On the other hand, most of the women in these books are sweet, kind souls.
When Laurie does create female criminals, she makes an effort to make them sympathetic and, in some cases, downplays their violent crimes.
This view isn’t shared by Laurie R. King’s fans, especially those readers that followed her from the Russell and Holmes novels and who believe that her Kate Martinelli books are well-written thrillers with cohesive plots and plenty of tension-filled twists and turns.
Kate Martinelli Awards
Laurie R. King won the New Blood Dagger Award and the Edgar Award for her first book in the Martinelli series back in the 1990s.
She was also an Anthony Award and a Macavity Award finalist for the same book, not to mention receiving an Edgar Award nod for With Child, the second book.
Best Kate Martinelli Books
Laurie’s Martinelli books might get a lot of flak for what has been perceived as the author’s feminist agenda but the complaints have done little to dull her popularity, with some of the best Kate Martinelli books including;
A Grave Talent: Kate Martinelli is a newly minted homicide detective attached to a seasoned partner who wants nothing to do with her. When a series of shocking murders involving innocent children rock a small community, the suspicion falls on Vaun Adams, a great painter that was convicted of killing a child.
Kate and her partner Al must put their differences aside and find out if there is any merit to Vaun as a suspect before more kids die.
Wild Child: Jules Cameron is a 12-year-old girl that forms a bond with a homeless boy named Dio. When Dio goes missing, Jules starts to worry. She reaches out to Detective Kate Martinelli for help.
With her world still spinning after the departure of her lover, Kate is a little reluctant to take Jules’ case. But she eventually gives Jules the benefit of doubt and begins to hunt for Dio, a decision that drags her into sinister waters.
Other Book Series You May Like
Fans should also check out the “Harris Stuyvesant” Series by Laurie R. King. Harry Stuyvesant is an agent of the American Bureau of Investigation who crosses paths with a man that is highly sensitive to the thoughts of other people. Together, the pair solves crimes in the 1920s.
Be sure to check out the “Chief Inspector Armand Gamache” Series by Louise Penny. These books tell the story of a member of the provincial police force for Quebec who solves crimes in his small town of Three Pines.
What Is The Next Book in The Kate Martinelli Series?
There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Kate Martinelli Series. The newest book is The Art of Detection and was released on January, 1st 2006.
Updated: October 14, 2017