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The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King
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The Murder of Mary Russell (2016)

by Laurie R. King

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My review of The Murder of Mary Russell is now up on Fresh Fiction!

"I can say without a doubt that this is one of my favorite books in the series."

Read the whole review here! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
Another great story weaving Sherlocks Holmes into a strong supporting character, sidekick to his strong, independent wife, Mary Russell. This one is vital to any Sherlock Holmes fan, because it creates a fascinating past life for Mrs. Hudson and how she came to be the Holmes housekeeper. According to Laurie King, there’s a lot more to the quiet, dignified woman than she permits the reader to see in previous books. Well-written and a book that makes great escape reading. ( )
  brangwinn | Mar 26, 2017 |
Mary Russell was alone at home going through when she was interrupted by a man looking for Mrs. Hudson, the Holmes’s long time housekeeper. When he claimed to be her son, it threw Mary for a loop and she allowed him to enter their house. She told him that Mrs. Hudson was out and then, with her instincts for hospitality taking over he instincts for caution, she invited him into the house for a cup of tea. When she came out of the kitchen, she found herself looking a revolver pointing directly at her.
Three and a half hours later, Mrs. Hudson and their friend Patrick returned from their shopping expedition and saw that a saucer that had belonged to Mrs. Hudson’s mother lie shattered on the floor. After she put away the groceries, she discovered a few other items that were amiss and there was an unusual smell in the house. She then saw two pools of blood and realized the smell was from a gunshot. Mary was not in the house.
Most of THE MURDER OF MARY RUSSELL is Mrs. Hudson’s story. Mary had known her almost as long as she had known her husband, Sherlock Holmes, but knew very little of her background. Laurie R. King supplies all the missing information, beginning with Mrs. Hudson’s parents. Her mother died when Clara (that was Mrs. Hudson’s first name) was a child and tells about her relationship with her father and her younger sister, who was her father’s favorite. Her father always had plans for getting money, necessary to pay back a loan from a crime boss, primarily illegal. Soon after the story begins, he was working on a ship to Australia with British prisoners, most of whom had committed crimes of a financial nature. By the time she was ten years old, he realized that he could use Clara to help him attract marks. The story moves from England to Australia and back again.
It also explains how the bond between Sherlock and Clara developed and why it remained solid through the decades.
While most of the chapters are about Mrs. Hudson, many are about Mary and her disappearance.
The book is a well-written quick read with excellent descriptions and answers a lot of questions the readers of the Sherlock Holmes books never knew they had: Clara Hudson had a very interesting life. ( )
  Judiex | Mar 11, 2017 |
After finishing the book, I was ready to give it 4 stars. It really pulled me in. I enjoyed the twists and turns. I thought the focus on Mrs Hudson was really interesting. After reading other reviews I have considered giving it 2 starts - hence I settled on 3 1/2 stars. My conclusion for myself is that if this book were stand alone, I would say it was really interesting. However, I agree with some others' comments about the depiction of Mrs Hudson's background and what that means about her and her relationship to SH and MR. It certainly made for an interesting story. I am still pondering this and haven't reached a final conclusion. ( )
  jour149 | Feb 27, 2017 |
I liked this book better then I thought I would, I really just wish the title was different. *Spoilers follow* Obviously Mary Russell is unlikely to actually be murdered in her own series, but the reveal of her living status was dragged out too much. I think I would have been less annoyed by that (because it was actually kind of nice to see how rattled both Mrs Hudson and Holmes himself were by her disappearance) if the book title hadn't so focused on her death. Much of the book is actually about the early life of Mrs Hudson, and her story was fascinating. It was a very different vision of the character then I'd had going into this book, but that's really the point. Aside from the title, I actually liked this book more then several of the other recent entries in this series. ( )
  duchessjlh | Feb 6, 2017 |
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For my sister, Lynn Difley, who devotes her life to encouraging white-haired folk to find their strength.
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9:15 a.m.

Irony comes in many flavours, sweet to bitter.
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Mary Russell is used to dark secrets—her own, and those of her famous partner and husband, Sherlock Holmes. Trust is a thing slowly given, but over the course of a decade together, the two have forged an indissoluble bond.

And what of the other person to whom Mary Russell has opened her heart: the couple’s longtime housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson? Russell’s faith and affection are suddenly shattered when a man arrives on the doorstep claiming to be Mrs. Hudson’s son.

What Samuel Hudson tells Russell cannot possibly be true, yet she believes him—as surely as she believes the threat of the gun in his hand. In a devastating instant, everything changes. And when the scene is discovered—a pool of blood on the floor, the smell of gunpowder in the air—the most shocking revelation of all is that the grim clues point directly to Clara Hudson.

Or rather to Clarissa, the woman she was before Baker Street.

The key to Russell’s sacrifice lies in Mrs. Hudson’s past. To uncover the truth, a frantic Sherlock Holmes must put aside his anguish and push deep into his housekeeper’s secrets—to a time before her disguise was assumed, before her crimes were buried away.

There is death here, and murder, and trust betrayed.

And nothing will ever be the same.
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