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I don't think it's a spoiler to reveal what any fan of this series will know even before picking up this latest installment in the Holmes/Russell series: the title is a tad misleading!
That said, it was quite smart of Laurie R. King (a woman whose intelligence obviously equals that of her creations!) to take the story in a new direction. Her latest additions have involved separation of the characters, foreign lands and plots, and (let's be honest) a certain flatness in the Holmes/Russell progression. This departure makes for a good way to return to the earlier freshness of the series and to the British basis of the Doyle canon.
The twists, turns, and revelations in "The Murder of Mary Russell" make the book a real treat for Sherlock Holmes fans. Although the reader may initially think Mrs. Hudson an unusual choice for front-and-center treatment, in the hands of King, nothing could be further from the truth!
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
Highly creative, exceptionally entertaining, and downright brilliant! Laurie R. King’s “Mary Russell” series is one of my top five favorite literary series of all time, and #14, “The Murder of Mary Russell,” is the best volume thus far! King exhibits an uncanny ability to take the deep and subtle insights she's gained into the psyches of the characters she creates, and then weaves credible, yet extraordinary circumstances and motivations into her story that couldn't possibly be anticipated, but which always fit tight. In addition, King never fails to draw out intense emotional responses from me, which I find most gratifying! Usually, once a novel is finished, I pick up another without pause, but “The Murder of Mary Russell" has left me wanting instead to just sit for awhile and marinate in the profound satisfaction I'm feeling from my reading experience. Thank you so much, Laurie R. King! You are an extraordinarily talented artist and visionary! I look forward with great anticipation to your future offerings.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Just a little warning to those who have been enjoying this series, that the majority of this book takes place away from our favourite couple. Jenny Sterlin is great as ever and the story is interesting without being as engrossing as some of the others.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?
What could Laurie R. King have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
Stuck to the Mrs. Hudson character as she has always been. This total change in her personality just doesn't ring true.
What does Jenny Sterlin and Susan Lyons bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
To me Jenny Sterling is Mary Russell, her voice is perfect.
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
The parts focusing on Russell and Holmes were as good as always.
Any additional comments?
I don't know if I shall bother with any future books, I'll wait and see, but this is one I shall not be listening to again.
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
The book has obviously been thought of as a spin off, and the author presumably thought it would be so much fun to shed light on the dear old housekeeper that we never learn much about in the Holmes Canon. She took pains too make Mrs Hudson the main character of the story but what she came up with is simply insufferably boring. Also, the specific ideas, especially regarding the relationship between Mrs Hudon and Sherlock Holmes are quite outrageous and vastly out of character for Sherlock Holmes, even the one depicted by the other King books.
Did Jenny Sterlin and Susan Lyons do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?
OK, so this question - "did Jenny Sterlin and Susan Lyons do a good job differatinating each of the characters" - was the first time I realised there was more than one narrator in the book... The voices were definitely too similar, and the different accents (an important aspect of the book) were quite artificial. Male voices, in particular, felt really forced, I'd have preferred the narrators to just keep to their real voices.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Murder of Mary Russell?
I would really and truly cut the endless, almostSEVEN HOUR LONG psuedo-Diceknsian sentimental predictable teary beginning depicting in gruesome details all the sufferings of a poor girl in the cruel XIXth century city. Like, MERCY. I was really close to quitting after two hours of this (I really have read enough of that in my life), I only couldn't believe it would go this way for SO LONG.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful