The Murder of Mary Russell (2016)

April 5, 2016 
 
Laurie R. King’s bestselling Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes series weaves rich historical detail and provocative themes with intriguing characters and enthralling suspense. Russell and Holmes have become one of modern literature’s most beloved teams.

Does this adventure end it all?


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Mary Russell is well used to dark secrets—her own, and those of her famous partner and
husband, Sherlock Holmes. Trust is a thing slowly given, but over the course of a decade together, the two have forged an indissoluble bond.But what of the
other person Mary Russell has opened her heart to, that third member of the Holmes household: Mrs Hudson? Russell has come to love—and trust—the long-time housekeeper like the mother she lost so long murder of mary russell UKago. Mrs Hudson, once the most long-suffering landlady in all of London, followed Holmes into his Sussex retirement back in 1903. Surely she had good reasons for that? Russell has never questioned why…until a man comes to the door one morning, claiming to be Mrs Hudson’s son.What Samuel Hudson tells Russell shatters her childish faith. It cannot possibly be true, yet she believes him. She also believes his threats: both the gun in his hand, and the knowledge he holds.

In a devastating instant of choice, Russell declares her loyalty and love, and everything changes.

Blood on the floor, a token on the mantelpiece, the smell of gunshot in the air: all point directly at Clara Hudson—or rather, at Clarissa, the woman she was before Baker Street. The key to Russell’s sacrifice lies in Mrs Hudson’s past, and to uncover the crime, a frantic Sherlock Holmes must put aside his anguish and push deep into his housekeeper’s secrets, to a time before her disguise was assumed, before her crimes were buried away.

There is death here, and murder, and trust betrayed.

And nothing will ever be the same.

 To read a long excerpt, click here. 
To download a discussion guide, click here.
To see a handout on Victorian garments, click here.
To see a handout on garments of the 1920s, click here. 

What they say:
Kirkus (starred review):

“King forswears the foreign intrigue that’s increasingly dominated her Sherlock-ian pastiches (Dreaming Spies, 2015, etc.) to return to the great man’s roots, which are surprisingly intertwined with those of his longtime landlady. An apparently innocent knock at the door of the retired Holmes’ farmhouse brings his wife, Mary Russell, face to face with a rough-hewn Australian who…pulls a gun.

“The real star is Clara Hudson,” and “the fateful moment when her path crosses that of the young Sherlock Holmes.”  She is a character “whose touching, remarkable, and wholly absorbing life story offers not only a high point in King’s long-running series, but a compelling demonstration of the ways inventive writers can continue to breathe new life into the Holmes-ian mythology.”

Booklist (starred review):
… there’s blood on the floor of Russell and Holmes’ house in Sussex, thanks to the appearance of Samuel Hudson, the son of the couple’s longtime housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson. Perhaps to readers’ surprise, the focus of this novel is that same Mrs. Hudson, who, in the original Conan Doyle stories as well as in the earlier installments in King’s series, has spent most of her time making tea and bringing in the mail. Now we learn about her suspect background as well as her tangled relationship with Holmes. It’s a well-crafted tale with occasional interruptions that unravel Mary’s fate. In a triumph of plotting, King also incorporates characters and information from an original Holmes story, “The Adventure of the Gloria Scott”…. fans, always hungry to know more personal details about King’s iteration of Sherlock Holmes and his world, will get a few more delicious tidbits this time around.

Links

What Laurie has to say about writing and researching Murder of Mary Russell, here.

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BHY8K5 'The Embankment', 1874. Artist: John Scorrer O'Connor

‘The Embankment’, 1874. Artist: John Scorrer O’Connor

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