Friday, April 15, 2016

The Murder Of Mary Russell




The Murder Of Mary Russell

By Laurie R. King

Published by Allison & Busby, April 2016


I am a keen long-term fan of this engaging series, and was so very excited to buy this latest installment in the saga of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. I really wish now that I had not bothered, then I could have just enjoyed re-reading all the previous cleverly-crafted books every year.

So what was wrong with this book? There were quite a few gaping plot holes and inconsistencies which annoyed me intensely. I cannot imagine the intelligent and astute Mary Russell could possibly have been so dim in her initial encounter with her Antipodean visitor, for starters.  Not to mention that considering she had contacted Mycroft Holmes about the encounter and its unfortunate aftermath, why was the omniscient and omnipotent Mycroft suddenly incapable of finding Sherlock and getting a message to him about Mary without it taking a ridiculous length of time? These were the days when you could post a letter in London in the morning and have it arrive at its destination the selfsame day, after all! Even if the Holmes' telephone line was tapped, someone in the village whom they trust could have been contacted somehow, even if Mycroft would have had to send a physical envoy. It just did not make sense, and this was not the only instance.

Mrs Hudson is certainly not the character whom we think she is, and sadly this then has coloured my view of her retrospectively throughout the entire series. Her back-story occupies an inordinate length of time and  I found it overly long and tedious, neither did I find myself having any sort of real sympathy for her or any of her dysfunctional family.

This is one of the rare books I really wish I could un-read and expunge from my memory, in the same way I wish I could un-watch the dreadful "The Abominable Bride" Christmas special episode of Sherlock.

Will I ever read this book again? No.
Do I even want to have it on my bookshelf with all the others in this series? No.
And that breaks my heart.

Caveat Lector - let the reader beware!









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