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A Letter of Mary (1996)

by Laurie R. King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Mary Russell (3), Mary Russell: Chronological Order (August-September 1923)

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2,667785,530 (3.9)104
Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML:

The third book in the Mary Russellâ??Sherlock Holmes series.
It is 1923. Mary Russell Holmes and her husband, the retired Sherlock Holmes, are enjoying the summer together on their Sussex estate when they are visited by an old friend, Miss Dorothy Ruskin, an archeologist just returned from Palestine. She leaves in their protection an ancient manuscript which seems to hint at the possibility that Mary Magdalene was an apostleâ??an artifact certain to stir up a storm of biblical proportions in the Christian establishment. When Ruskin is suddenly killed in a tragic accident, Russell and Holmes find themselves on the trail of a fiendishly clever murderer. A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King is brimming with political intrigue, theological arcana, and brilliant Holmesian deductions… (more)

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» See also 104 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
A disappointing read compared to the more gripping and psychologically astute The Beekeeper's Apprentice (the first in this series) and the far superior (alternate) historical novel Cahokia Jazz by Francis Spufford, the book I read just before. In Mary, the plotting is loose, the red herrings belabored, the ultimate solution tawdry; and the most interesting element in the book, the one most likely to attract the interest of those not already invested in the series, turns out to be a mere distraction, a dangling bauble constructed to emphasize and underscore a theme already well developed in the book's other elements and plot points. I would recommend this only to Holmes fanfic completists and to those whose chief pleasure in reading mysteries is in solving their puzzles. ( )
  john.cooper | May 18, 2024 |
Another excellent installment in this series. I love the relationships and deep subject matter that bring the mystery together. ( )
  KallieGrace | May 8, 2024 |
I have always enjoyed Laurie R. King’s stories about Sherlock Holmes and his protégée and later wife, Mary Russell. This book, about a mysterious document, a sinister murder, multiple red herrings and a few bees, kept my attention throughout. King is a very competent writer and the books slide by like honey, smooth and tempting and occasionally with a bit of a sting.
I try not to envision Mary with the very much older Holmes, as I find that somewhat Lolita-esque, but once that is pushed aside the mysteries are always involving without being too frightening- a perfect read for this anxious time.
I share with Holmes his feeling at the solution to the mystery- I shan’t mention it here to avoid spoilers, but I sense the book ended not quite as King would have wanted it.
That said, I will be looking for more in this series. An excellent rainy day read. ( )
  Dabble58 | Nov 11, 2023 |
This series continues to be awesome. I was a little concerned at the end of the last book that this one might descend into cheese, as Russell and Holmes do the rom-com thing and embark on an unlikely May-December marriage. However, the relationship is not depicted in a particularly romantic way, but instead continues as it was in the previous volumes, albeit with a deepened sense of mutual respect and intimacy, almost a sweetness at times. The mystery here concerns the death of a friend who appears bearing a mysterious and potentially profound document that is right in Mary's wheelhouse of Judeo-Christian scholarship. Of course this combination would be irresistible to me, representing two areas that interest me greatly. And the Holmesian ruses that are undertaken in the investigation are smart and delightful. ( )
  karenchase | Jun 14, 2023 |
The year is 1923 and Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell receive a visit from Dorothy Ruskin, an amateur archaeologist. She shows them a scrap of ancient writing that is supposedly Mary Magdalene's. Soon afterwards she is murdered — but why? ( )
  jepeters333 | Feb 1, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

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)
Dedication
For my brother Leahcim Drawde Nosdrahcir and his family, from his sister Eiraul Eel.
First words
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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Wikipedia in English (1)

Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML:

The third book in the Mary Russellâ??Sherlock Holmes series.
It is 1923. Mary Russell Holmes and her husband, the retired Sherlock Holmes, are enjoying the summer together on their Sussex estate when they are visited by an old friend, Miss Dorothy Ruskin, an archeologist just returned from Palestine. She leaves in their protection an ancient manuscript which seems to hint at the possibility that Mary Magdalene was an apostleâ??an artifact certain to stir up a storm of biblical proportions in the Christian establishment. When Ruskin is suddenly killed in a tragic accident, Russell and Holmes find themselves on the trail of a fiendishly clever murderer. A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King is brimming with political intrigue, theological arcana, and brilliant Holmesian deductions

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Average: (3.9)
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1 2
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2 15
2.5 11
3 172
3.5 42
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4.5 31
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