However, sometime after the 1997 A Letter of Mary, the books were less appealing to me. Maybe it was that A Letter of Mary was so good.
Murder of Mary Russell is a misleading title. In spite of a pool of blood, broken glassware, and Mary Russell's absence, she's not murdered. She's absent from the tale for awhile, but that's not the key.
|Mary Gordon as Mrs Hudson|
Things get better in the last third of the book, but reading most of it for me was as dreary as a winter day on the Sussex coast. Not that Mrs. Hudson's past wasn't colorful. She was a beggar, pickpocket, and foil for her father's cons. Quite successful for a time too. Right up until Sherlock Holmes tracked her down. Holmes and Mrs. Hudson were cornered by her father whereupon Clarissa Hudson killed her father and covered up the crime with Holmes' help.
She left England with her infant son for Australia with Holmes' help and returned to England a year of so later, without her son (left with her sister). It's that missing son who appears in the Holmes' house looking for his mother. His threats toward Mary Russell result in the blood on the floor and the absence of Mary Russell.
Enough said. It wasn't great. It fit my mood better than Thomas Perry's succession of deadly hide and seek.
If you like King's writing or are a fan of additions to the world of Sherlock Holmes, you might like Murder of Mary Russell. (library or Half Price books, anyone?) I do wish King would write more Martinelli mysteries.
- King's web site
- Steven Donoghue's review in the Christian Science Monitor
- Barbara Clark's review at BookPage
- Thomas Perry's web site
- Muriel Dobbin's review in the Washington Times
- Marilyn Brooks' review in Marilyn Reads Mysteries