The Murder of Mary Russell
Author: Laurie R. King
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Series: Mary Russell #14
I can’t believe we’re already on the 14th book for Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series.
“The Murder of Mary Russell” had me a little nervous going in since I was afraid it was an unexpected series ender. While King does take a startling turn with a main character, it looks like we’ll still be getting the occasional book in the future.
Everyone has their secrets and no one knows this better than Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell’s housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson. For decades she’s managed to keep the events that led her to becoming Holmes’ housekeeper under the rug. This all threatens to crumble when she returns home one day to find Mary missing and two large pools of blood on the floor. A necklace hanging from the mantel piece makes Mrs. Hudson fear her past has finally caught up with her and that Mary has paid the price.
With all the evidence left in the house pointing toward murder, Holmes must piece together the clues to figure out what happened to his wife.
At its heart, this is Mrs. Hudson’s story with the mystery of Mary’s fate acting to propel us through a series of flashbacks. While I missed seeing most things from Mary’s prospective, it was a nice change of pace to see scenes from the other characters’ point-of-views. I especially enjoyed the little bits we got from Holmes and wish we’d get a little more from his eyes in the future.
Despite enjoying the story, I did find parts of the book dragging. This mostly happened in the flashbacks of Mrs. Hudon’s past. Diving into her history was interesting, but I personally was never really invested her character. So, I found the frequent trips out of the present scenario a little frustrating, since I just wanted to get back to the main story of what happened to Mary. I really enjoyed the suspense around the main mystery and seeing Holmes and Mrs. Hudson’s reaction to Mary possibly being dead.
Overall this was a solid addition to the series and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys these books. However, if you haven’t read a few of the previous titles, I would recommend reading one or two before picking this one up. While most of the books in the series work as standalones, this book benefits the most if the reader is already familiar with the relationship dynamics and invested in the characters, especially Mary Russell.
ARC provided by Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.