I've just finished The Murder of Mary Russell. Wow. It's ... fantastic. I get nervous with Laurie R King's new books in her beloved Mary Russell - Sherlock Holmes series. This is book 14 of the long running series. Sure, I love some books of the series better than others ... but this book was marvelous and absolutely the follow up I needed (as a fan) after Dreaming Spies, Garment of Shadows, and (deep breath), The Pirate King.
After a deadly confrontation, readers are drawn through the history of one of Sherlock Holmes's earliest cases and the true background of the fascinating Mrs Hudson(!), and the true nature of her relationship to Sherlock. We even get a bit of King's take on a Sherlock Holmes not long before his arrival at Baker Street. I know I could read a *lot* more in that vein. Maybe someday King will give us a little more.
About half-way through this latest of the series, I had an idea that though I was enjoying it, The Murder of Mary Russell would only appeal to the die-hard fans of Mary Russell and maybe those true completists of Sherlock pastichery. And a few unbranded #histofic mavericks. After all, we're delving deep --- real deep, into the supporting cast of the series, usually territory for only the most devout readers of fanfic and scholars of minutia. However, after that half-way mark (or so), all that build up became more and more meaningful, reaching deep into the story of King's Sherlock, which incidentally, is among my favorite interpretations.
We're also (mostly) but not entirely back in London and Sussex for this tale. If you're among the legions of King's readers who love the globe-trotting nature of Russell and Holmes's lives, you shouldn't feel too cooped up, after sojourns at sea and a bit of time in Australia during the days of Transportation and gold.
So, a spoiler free review, given how little I can tell you, given that title. Yikes. Read The Murder of Mary Russell and see how the world of Sherlock and Mary Russell is changed forever.
Disclosure: I received a free advance ebook copy for review.