Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"The Murder of Mary Russell" by Laurie R. King

You may recall that I was so excited/concerned/thrilled/worried about the title of the latest novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes that I actually posted about it last year when King revealed the title and cover art.  Well, it finally came in for me at the library, and I devoured this book in two days.  One night, I stayed up until almost midnight reading it, without realizing how time was flying.  I finished it the next day.  Although I've only read it once so far, I thiiiiiink this might be my second-favorite book in this series, edging out The Game.  

Much of the book is a flashback of sorts detailing the history of Mrs. Hudson.  Yes, Sherlock Holmes' landlady from Baker Street, now his housekeeper in Sussex.  King has created an inventive, dark, and surprisingly believable backstory for Mrs. Hudson, basing it on the fact that there's a man named Hudson in the canon story "The Adventure of the Gloria Scott."  In King's hands, he is revealed to be Mrs. Hudson's father, and you know, I just don't feel like spoiling this story too much because I would have been really mad if I'd known much more than that myself going in.

Well, except I'll tell you this:  the story revolves around con artistry.  And I am perilously fond of confidence men, grifters, matchstick men, hustlers, and flimflammers.  Which is why this book drew me in so quickly and deeply.  Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell kind of float on the periphery of this one for a long time, very intensely tied to the plot, but at the same time staying a bit in the background for 200 pages.  Holmes gets page time in the flashbacks too, a young Holmes working his first case, which is charming.  But I wasn't bothered by their absence because the story King wove around Mrs. Hudson was so compelling.

Particularly Good Bits:

"The smiling countryside," he said bitterly.  "Its potential for sin has always filled me with horror.  Now I have added to its lonely secrets" (p. 172).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  R for more scenes of sensuality than are typical of this series, and also violence and some language.

4 comments:

  1. This series sounds interesting! I'll have to look into it! I do love Sherlock Holmes!! :)

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    1. Phyl, it's very good overall! The first book, A Beekeeper's Apprentice, is one of my favorite books ever.

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    2. I just checked and my library has several of them!! I know what I'm doing Monday ;)

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    3. Sweet! I hope you dig them :-)

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