Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Book Review: The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King

The Murder of Mary Russell
Author: Laurie R. King
Series: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (Book 10)
Publication: Bantam (April 5, 2016)

Description: Laurie R. King’s bestselling Mary Russell–Sherlock Holmes series weaves rich historical detail and provocative themes with intriguing characters and enthralling suspense. Russell and Holmes have become one of modern literature’s most beloved teams. But does this adventure end it all?

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.

My Thoughts: This mystery arises out of housekeeper Mrs. Clara Hudson's past and illuminates that past for us as readers and gives glimpses of it to Mary. It also gives us fascinating glimpses of a young Sherlock Holmes and the very complicated relationship he has with Mrs. Hudson.

It begins with Mary receiving an unexpected visitor - Mr. Samuel Hudson - who has arrived from Australia looking for his mother with some sort of revenge in mind. It goes back in time to explore events chronicled by Dr. Watson in "The Adventures of the Gloria Scott."

The book has mutiny, murders, and betrayals of all sorts. I really liked getting to know Mrs. Hudson in a very different way than the quiet housekeeper who has been a background figure in all of the books and stories that have come before. I admire her for her survival skills and for her resiliency.

Fans of the Sherlock Holmes books will enjoy this new look at a very familiar character.

Favorite Quote:
Of all the mysteries that are love, maternal love may be the most basic. My own mother had died when I was fourteen. A few months later, with the raw instincts of a barnyard chick imprinting its affections on the first available surrogate, my bereft heart had claimed Mrs. Hudson for its own. I had known her for ten years now, lived with her for more than four, and she was as close to a mother as I would ever have again.
I bought this one for my Kindle. You can buy your copy here.

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