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The Murder of Mary Russell    by Laurie R. King order for
Murder of Mary Russell
by Laurie R. King
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

This title is a bit deceptive because the focus here is really Mrs. Hudson, the longtime housekeeper of Sherlock Holmes. Granted, although Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, are the key characters in this series that now stands at over a dozen novels, it is the unobtrusive, elderly woman whom you'll be reading about.

As is so often the case with the people associated with the legendary consulting detective, anyone who plays a role in his life eventually ends up as the subject of a novel, if not an entirely new series of suspense stories.

You'll learn all about Mrs. Hudson's past (as devised by Ms. King) and how this intriguing woman became associated with Holmes. Then bringing her story into the current Mary Russell series, the tale follows how decisions made when she linked her life with Holmes result in the current situation where Russell becomes embroiled in a scenario that one of the landlady's relatives devises to exact revenge for one of her past indiscretions.

It is a lengthy story but not without its moments of high drama and there are some interesting elements that address Holmes' early days before he elected to become a private detective.

After an excellent beginning, the Mary Russell series has been a bit uneven of late and some of her adventures have been less than riveting. That hasn't bothered her ardent fans, but others have wondered if Laurie King had any real surprises left up her sleeve, that would pump some new life into the characters.

Well, the answer is a resounding, 'Yes!' Not only does this latest adventure pump a little adrenalin into Mary and her husband's relationship, but a few more situations have also been created that could lead to even more riveting explorations in the future.

Obviously, for those who might have been disappointed with some of the more recent Russell adventures, don't give up now ... this one is definitely worth reading!

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