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A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King
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This mystery begins with a visit from an old friend. Miss Dorothy Ruskin is an amateur archaeologist that Mary and Sherlock met when they were in Palestine. Miss Ruskin has an interesting gift for Mary. She has brought her a papyrus that is purported to me written by Mary Magdalene which shows that she was one of Jesus's apostles. This would be epic if it were true. The changes to the Christian churches would be immense. Miss Ruskin had shown it to two experts who declared it false but neither Miss Ruskin or Mary are willing to dismiss it. The papyrus is in an old Italian inlaid box which presents a mystery of its own.

A couple of days later, Sherlock reads a notice in a London paper asking if anyone knows the identity of a woman dead in a hit-and-run. It is Miss Ruskin which involves Mary and Sherlock in trying to find out if it was an accident or murder. And, if it was murder, finding out who murdered Mary's friend.

The suspects range from her family to the potential supporters of her next archaeological dig and may involve politics in Palestine. Mary and Sherlock call in Mycroft and the latest Inspector Lestrade to help them and each goes undercover to uncover the clues.

I enjoyed the setting. Many of the characters were interesting people including Colonel Dennis Edwards who is one of the group who were planning to support Miss Ruskin's next dig. Even though he couldn't be more misogynistic, Mary finds him attractive and somehow likable. I liked some of the walk-ons like a brief mention of Tolkien and possibly Lord Peter Wimsey. I also liked seeing how Holmes and Russell's marriage is progressing. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jun 17, 2019 |
The year is 1923, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes is at their home in Sussex Downs busy with their studies. Russell with theology and Holmes with some chemical experiments. Then they are visited by amateur archaeologist Miss Dorothy Ruskin with a startling puzzle for them. She has found in the Holy Land a roll of papyrus with a message from Mary Magdalene. A couple of days is Miss Ruskin killed in a traffic accident. But was it really an accident.

The case in this book is intriguing with an ancient papyrus claimed to be written by Mary Magdalene and the death of Miss Ruskin. Was she murdered? And, if she was murdered, why? It’s up to Russell and Holmes to find out the truth.

Like the previous two books a great story. I love the theology part of the story, with a papyrus that could very well be written by Mary Magdalene. I love how Laurie R. King manages to combine theology with crime, just like in the previous book. ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
Mary Russell has noted the tell-tale signs of boredom in her husband, Sherlock Holmes, when his mind is not being stimulated with a case. His malaise ends when the couple receives an unexpected visit from a former acquaintance, Dorothy Ruskin, an amateur archeologist. Ms. Ruskin is seeking Mary's assistance in authenticating and translating a 1st century papyrus letter reportedly written by Mary Magdalene. Leaving the letter with Russell, she returns to London only to be killed in an apparent hit-in-run accident. However, when the couple begins looking into the accident they begin to believe that it was murder.

Although I do enjoy Laurie King's writing and the relationship between Holmes and Russell, I believe that Sherlock Holmes himself summed up this novel at the end when he tells Russell, "I had such hope for this case...it's hardly worthy of any attention." ( )
  John_Warner | Nov 19, 2018 |
Very well written. No big surprises but never feels like a formula. Glad I still have more adventures to read. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | May 27, 2018 |
Mary Russell who started off being mentored by Sherlock Holmes has become his wife and works with him on come cases. Holmes, himself, is semi-retired from detective work and they live in his former bachelor pad Sussex where he raises bees and Mary works on getting her degree from Oxford while also building a life with her new husband.
An acquaintance of Mary's, an archaeologist Dorothy Ruskin, visits them, and gives Mary a letter she found on a dig in the Middle East. The letter is believed to have been written by Mary Magdalene to her sister. The next day, Ruskin is found dead, after she is hit by a car in London. Holmes and Russell of course get involved, as they suspect that Ruskin was murdered for some reason. The same day, Holmes's house is broken into and searched. Which furthers suspicion that it was murder and not an accident.
The rest of the story involves their investigation, with some help from the son of Inspector Lestrade and Sherlock's older brother Mycroft. Both Holmes and Mary follow two very different suspects; one a misogynist Colonel, the other Dorothy's sister.

This book has a very good plot line with interesting characters, lots of suspense and intrigue, which makes this a very though provoking book. ( )
  FaytheShattuck | May 23, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Laurie R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sterlin, JennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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... I would terrify you by letters. (The Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians 10:9)
For my brother Leahcim Drawde Nosdrahcir and his family, from his sister Eiraul Eel.
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The envelope slapped down onto the desk ten inches from my much-abused eyes, instantly obscuring the black lines of Hebrew letters that had begun to quiver an hour before.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553577808, Mass Market Paperback)

Sherlock Holmes and his scholarly companion Mary Russell are caught up in an exciting mystery when an archaeologist leaves them with a treasured find, a papyrus supposedly written by Mary Magdalene. When the archaeoligist winds up dead and someone attempts to make off with the artifact, Holmes and Russel become embroiled in a rollicking story filled with political intrigue and highbrow sleuthing. The level of writing hasn't been higher in this Laurie King series.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:22 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

When an old archaeologist friend is killed shortly after leaving a document with Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes that suggests that Mary Magdalene was an apostle, the two are drawn into a game with a clever murderer.

» see all 9 descriptions

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