Saturday, June 6, 2020

ARC Review: Riviera Gold by Laurie R. King

Riviera Gold
Author: Laurie R. King
Series: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (Book 16)
Publication: Bantam (June 9, 2020)

Description: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes turn the Riviera upside down to crack their most captivating case yet in the New York Times bestselling series that Lee Child called “the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.”

It’s summertime on the Riviera, and the Jazz Age has come to France’s once-sleepy beaches. From their music-filled terraces, American expatriates gaze along the coastline at the lights of Monte Carlo, where fortunes are won, lost, stolen, and sometimes hidden away. When Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes arrive, they find their partnership pulled between youthful pleasures and old sins, hot sun and cool jazz, new affections and enduring loyalties.

Russell falls into easy friendship with an enthralling American couple, Sara and Gerald Murphy, whose golden life on the Riviera has begun to attract famous writers and artists—and some of the scoundrels linked with Monte Carlo’s underworld. The Murphy set will go on to inspire everyone from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Pablo Picasso but in this summer of 1925, their importance for Russell lies in one of their circle’s recent additions: the Holmeses’ former housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson, who hasn’t been seen since she fled England under a cloud of false murder accusations.

When a beautiful young man is found dead in Mrs. Hudson’s front room, she becomes the prime suspect in yet another murder. Russell is certain of Mrs. Hudson’s innocence; Holmes is not. But the old woman’s colorful past has been a source of tension between them before, and now the dangerous players who control Monte Carlo’s gilded casinos may stop at nothing to keep the pair away from what Mrs. Hudson’s youthful history could bring to light.

The Riviera is a place where treasure can be false, where love can destroy, and where life, as Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes will discover, can be cheap—even when it is made of solid gold.

My Thoughts: After their adventures in Venice, Sherlock and Mary split up for different destinations. Holmes is off to Romania for something to do with vampires while Mary sails to the South of France with the Honorable Terry and some friends. Mary wants to see if she can locate their former housekeeper Mrs. Hudson who left a clue that Monaco was her destination when she left them.

Clarissa Hudson is in Monaco with some plans for her retirement that means she needs to interact with some of the shady characters who are making Monaco their home base in 1925. From smugglers to arms dealers to White Russians who fled the revolution, Monaco is filled with shady characters.

Monaco is also the home of a growing group of American ex-pats led by Gerald and Sara Murphy who are gathering a group of artists of all kinds from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Pablo Picasso.

When the body of a handsome young man is found in Mrs. Hudson's sitting room, Mary and Sherlock get involved in finding out what happened since Mary, at least, is certain that Mrs. Hudson had nothing to do with the murder.

I loved the setting and characters in this story and the way real historical characters are included in the story along with the fictional ones. The historical detail in intriguing. The story moves at a fast pace and was engaging. I can't wait for more adventures starring Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes.

Favorite Quote:
Clarissa and Sir Basil had known each other. When they were young, and attractive, and flirtatious. It was all beginning to feel like the day a child realises that her parents--her parents--had once...(had more than once...)

My appalled musings were shattered by Mrs Langtry's delighted laugh. "Yes, dear thing, your Mrs Hudson cut quite a swathe through the blades of Europe."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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