It seems like, for the last few years, I've been loving every-other-one of Laurie R. King's novels of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. I loved Garment of Shadows, liked Dreaming Spies pretty well, loved The Murder of Mary Russell, and liked Island of the Mad kind of okay. I'm happy to announce that Riviera Gold continues this pattern -- I loved it! It's one I will add to my bookshelf at some point, for sure.
This adventure finds Mary Russell cruising up to Monte Carlo with a bunch of friends, but without her husband, who is sleuthing elsewhere. Although she appears to be in this just for the fun of learning to sail a yacht, she's actually tracking down Mrs. Hudson, who memorably departed Sussex in The Murder of Mary Russell.
Russell finds Mrs. Hudson all right, and also a whole lot of trouble. Smugglers, arms dealers, thieves, swindlers, and many actually nice people rub elbows with each other, and with Russell and Holmes. Actually nice people including people called Scotty and Zelda and Dos.
And, yes, that's F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitgerald, and John Dos Passos. They don't appear in this book as much as Cole and Linda Porter did in Island of the Mad, but since I'm a Fitzgerald fan (this blog is named after a line of his, after all), I definitely enjoyed seeing them crop up.
Anyway, I was worried at first that Sherlock Holmes wasn't going to be in this book much, since he was off on another case, but he joined Russell before long. My favorite parts of this series are usually when they're working together, and this book proved no exception. They did pursue different clues and work on separate angles of the case, but were a team nonetheless.
Adding this to my listing of all King's Russell/Holmes books in order of favoriteness:
1. The Beekeeper's Apprentice (book 1)
2. The Game (book 7)
3. The Murder of Mary Russell (book 14)
4. O Jerusalem (book 5)
5. Garment of Shadows (book 12)
6. Riviera Gold (book 16)
7. Pirate King (book 11)
8. Locked Rooms (book 8)
9. Dreaming Spies (book 13)
10. Justice Hall (book 6)
11. The God of the Hive (book 10)
12. The Language of Bees (book 9)
13. The Moor (book 4)
14. A Monstrous Regiment of Women (book 2)
15. Island of the Mad (book 15)
16. A Letter of Mary (book 3)
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-13 for violence, peril, murder, and a little bad language.