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The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King

The Murder of Mary Russell (2016)

by Laurie R. King

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3195134,767 (4.17)45



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is the first book in the Mary Russell series I have read. I had a few reservations when I found out that there are thirteen previous books in the series. Often this far into a series the books have a tendency to lose some of their luster. However, that is not the case with this novel. Reading it more as a stand alone novel I found the premise, characters and plot very fresh and engaging. I was also impressed with how the novel focused on the somewhat secondary character of Ms. Hudson. It was enjoyable to take some time to understand the backstory of Sherlock and Ms. Hudson as it wove itself through the mystery of what happened to Mary Russell. Although the first part of the novel moved a bit slow, I found that once details started to emerge I was totally drawn into the action. Needless to say I'll be going back to the beginning of this series with great expectation. ( )
  Hardboiled | May 18, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book, in exchange for an honest review, through my participation in the Early Reviewers group on Library Thing.

Having read all the previous volumes in this series (this is the 14th), I wondered where Laurie R. King was going to go next. I hadn't been especially thrilled with the most recent books, but when I saw the chance to receive this one, I had to do it. I'm thoroughly glad I did, because I enjoyed this one very much.

The beginning was indeed thrilling, after an unexpected visitor appears and something grave happens to Mary Russell. We're left with the mystery of not only *what* happened, but *why*. Sherlock Holmes is devastated, but must carry on the investigation.

For a change, the real focus of this historical mystery was not on either Mary or Holmes, but instead on Mrs. Hudson, who, it turns out, had a very checkered past. We learn about her in alternating flashback chapters; her early childhood, her apprenticeship with her father; and her sketchy existence before meeting a young Mr. Holmes.

The mystery is a good one, and Ms. King definitely knows how to wrench up the suspense. I literally had a difficult time waiting for the denouement.

Thank you to Bantam for the opportunity to catch up with the series, and to Library Thing for offering it.

Some violence; very little foul language; adult situations but no sex. Highly recommended for those who think they knew Mrs. Hudson's history. ( )
  mcfitz | May 14, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was the best installment of the Mary Russell series in a while. The reader is treated to a return to the basic characters with the added treat of some hitherto unknown personal histories. Full of secrets, gasps, tension and daredevil adventure, this read is delightful! ( )
  hemlokgang | May 13, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Synopsis: Mary is home alone when a man appears at her door asking for Mrs. Hudson. When the housekeeper returns, she finds broken pottery and blood on the parlor floor. Has Mary been murdered and who is the mysterious man?
Review: This was an excellent book that gave the back story of Mrs. Hudson and also of Billy (the page who served Sherlock in London). The tension begins in the first chapter and continues throughout the greater part of the book. The conclusion is every bit as well done as the rest of the book. ( )
  DrLed | May 12, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I always suspected there was more to Clara Hudson than meets the eye...now we know! Her backstory plays a key role in this Russell/Holmes story that hops back and forth from her past to the Holmes' present, combines mystery with manhunt, and leads to a highly satisfying ending. Finished it 30 minutes ago and I'm still grinning.

A few comments more appropriate to those of you who are familiar with the entire series: The last Russell/Holmes story I really enjoyed was Locked Rooms...the ones that immediately followed, to me, were convoluted and improbable; then I missed a few, which I hope to remedy soon. Skipping some in the series does no harm--the story is easy to dive into. The Murder of Mary Russell is a refreshing return to Laurie King's earlier, enjoyable editions. ( )
  gmathis | May 3, 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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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