Book review: Newest Sherlock Holmes installment returns to strength _lowres

 

“The Murder of Mary Russell” by Laurie R. King, Bantam, 384 pages, $28, hardcover

“The Murder of Mary Russell” is the latest installment of Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series.

After several books set in foreign lands, most recently Japan, Russell and Holmes are back in Britain, which brings the story back to its strength — the great detective and his young wife in England.

And while the couple plays a strong role, the story revolves around longtime housekeeper Mrs. Hudson and her early days in Australia. That allows the book to draw on familiarity without being a repeat of past tales.

King tells us how Holmes and Hudson met and why their lives are so intertwined. The book starts with Russell at home and unprepared to deal with an unexpected visitor: a man claiming to be Clara Hudson’s son.

Next, Mrs. Hudson arrives home to discover Russell missing, a pool of blood and the smell of gunshot.

The book alternates between Hudson’s past in Australia and the current search for Russell and the villain. It also is filled with Holmes’ insistence that Mrs. Hudson’s story is hers to tell, not his.

Overall, this was a great addition to the long-running series.