The Game (2004)

This was a birth certificate, for a child born in some place called Ferozepore in the year 1875.  His father’s name clarified the difficulties of the K—something from the other forms: Kimball.

I looked up, hoping for an explanation, only to find both sets of grey Holmes locked expectantly onto me.  How long, I wondered, before I stopped feeling like some slow student facing her disappointed headmistress?  “I’m sorry,” I began, and then I paused, my mind catching at last on a faint sense of familiarity: Kimball.  And O’Hara.  Add to that a town that could only be in India…. No; oh, no—the book was just a children’s adventure tale. “I’m sorry,” I repeated, only where before it had connoted apology, this time it was tinged with outrage.  “This doesn’t have anything to do with Kim, does it? The Kipling book?”

“You’ve read it?” Mycroft asked.

“Of course I’ve read it.”

“Good, that saves some explaining. I believe this to be his amulet case.”

“He’s real, then? Kipling’s boy?”

“As real as I am,” said Sherlock Holmes. 

To Buy a Copy

Bookshop Santa Cruz (ask for a signed copy!)

What they say

Lush colorful and utterly compelling, this is a superbly wrought novel of suspense that evokes its period with enviable panache. FOUR STARS out of four stars.  (Detroit Free Press)

King [develops] a series of voluptuous set pieces: about the learning of language, prestidigitation, and disguise; about shipboard mores among the upper classes; about the daily habits of a maharaja’s many-splendored guests and how they are housed, fed, and entertained. All the while and underneath these musings develops a wondrously taut mystery, ticking away like a malevolent clock…. Fabulous reading, breathless excitement, and the myriad pleasures of watching great minds at work.  (Booklist, starred review)


Read Laurie’s thoughts on writing The Game on her blog, Mutterings.

The author interviewing herself about The Game.

For a timeline and various links, go to Mary Russell’s World

The online edition of Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, a book which has much to do with The Game

A provocative article on Kim by Ian Mackean

A review of British India

And for an 1880 article on pig sticking, see here or see the 1911 article

To see the kind of plane flown in and out of Khanpur, see here

For a bibliography, click here.

For Laurie’s suggestions to teacher and book groups, click here


Click the entrance to New Fort, Khanpur to visit the gallery