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The Murder of Mary Russell

(Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #14)

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  6,370 ratings  ·  1,052 reviews
Mary Russell is 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.

And what of the other person to whom Mary Russell has opened her heart: the couple’s longtime housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson? Russell’s faith and affection are
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Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Bantam
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Natalie Here are the ones you need to read in order to understand this story: Beekeeper's Apprentice (#1) and A Monstrous Regiment of Women (#2). Of the…moreHere are the ones you need to read in order to understand this story: Beekeeper's Apprentice (#1) and A Monstrous Regiment of Women (#2). Of the others, I highly recommend O Jerusalem (#5) although it's a side story to be sure - but a great one. Also, try The Game (#7) and Dreaming Spies (#13) if you want to get a sense of cases over the years and where they are now. But that's it. There are some pretty good reads in between all that, but more involved with other parts of their story and not touching on the current book.(less)

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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016
THE MURDER OF MARY RUSSELL is the fourteenth book in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series, and I have read every single one of the books. This series is actually one of my absolute favorites, and to say that I've been waiting to read this book is an understatement.

READ THE WHOLE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!
Diane S ☔
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Mrs. Hudson arrives home from her shopping, she is shocked to find trails of blood, but even more shocking is that Mary Russell is nowhere to be found. Putting an ad in the paper, the signal she uses when she needs Holmes to come as soon as possible. So here it begins.

Long readers of this series are in for a treat because for the first time we are taken into Mrs. Hudson's past, a past that quite frankly I found amazing. After many years as Holmes's housekeeper, she has just always been ther
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Kathy
The title of this latest Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes is enough to make long-time fans, including me, of this series wring their hands and bite their nails. Murder of Mary Russell? Has author Laurie King lost her mind? Have fans not shown how much they love Mary? Well, there was nothing to do but read the book and hope for the best.

So, what to tell those who haven’t read The Murder of Mary Russell. I can tell you that Laurie King has written a brilliant book, one of the best in the series. There
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Sandy
3.5 stars

Let me get a couple of things out of the way. First, I'm a huge fan of this series & wait impatiently for each instalment. Second, this is a well written book. So you may ask why 3.5 stars?

It begins with a bang when Mary opens her door to a stranger. But despite the title, this is a book about Mrs. Hudson. What follows is the extremely detailed story of her life from birth to present day. And while I've always found her an engaging secondary character, she is not why I read these bo
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Elisabeth
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Well written, as always; the mystery itself is decent and Holmes and Russell are everything I have come to expect.

However.

(The following contains spoilers.)

I do not like the backstory King has chosen for Mrs. Hudson. Making her a criminal beholden to Holmes' generosity weakens rather than strengthens the character. In my headcanon she has never owed him a thing, but as an independent human came into his life by her own free choice. Worse, Mary too is now beholden to the brothers to hide her own
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Jennifer
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
This was...not great. Ms. King can do better.

**** I'm editing this review because after thinking about it for 12 hours this book is still making mad and I have thoughts.****

I stayed up way past my bedtime to read this book, so the fact that it was so...not good...ticks me off. And it's not that the book was "bad", it was just extremely boring. I will now present my complaints in a list:

1- Mary Russell isn't murdered. This isn't a spoiler by the way, because the author (well, "Mary Russell" has
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Cyndi
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This turned into a really good murder mystery. Sherlock is not the central character, instead its the women in his life, his young wife and the indomitable Mrs. Hudson. In this book we learn about Mrs. Hudson’s background. It’s written intermittently with the current murder in progress. Not one of my favorite story techniques, but it seemed to work well.
I’m usually picturing the characters standing by, checking their watches while the scenes on the next stage progress. 🤷🏼♀
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Karyn Niedert
I am not a huge fan of novels that jet set between continents and leading readers through a whirl-wind tour of exotic locales. This is unusual, I know, but I want my novels to be based in one location, preferably the USA. With that being said, I became a HUGE fan of Laurie R. King when I read “Keeping Watch”, a standalone novel that moved me in ways I can’t explain. Of course, I immediately dove into “Folly”, and followed up with “A Darker Place”. Her Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series nev ...more
Viccy
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mary Russell is confronted by an unknown man at her home in the Sussex Downs. Sherlock Holmes is away for a few days and Mrs. Hudson is in town at the market. Mary figures out this man appears to think Mrs. Hudson is his mother and from there, the past becomes alive as the reader discovers the entire backstory of Mrs. Hudson and how she came to work for Sherlock Holmes. Fascinating story building about a beloved character.
Chris Apolant
Jan 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
I am a newcomer to the Mary Russell series, and whilst in the past have deliberately strayed from the previous books, the premise of this latest installment genuinely did pique my interest; thus, I went into 'The Murder of Mary Russell' sans preconceived notions and with an open mind.

The first chapter starts out all right. A mysterious visitor claiming to be Mrs Hudosn's son comes calling, and we get to see Russell make what she would have the reader believe are astute - but are mostly only jus
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Elspeth
May 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
This story was excruciatingly boring and disappointing. I love Mary Russell and have read them all & recommended them to others. I've even emailed Laurie King in the past to thank her for Russell & Holmes. The stories were so fresh & imaginative, well-written, clever and entertaining.

Not this one, sad to say. When I first saw the title (which is completely misleading), I gasped, then quickly realized Laurie would not kill off Russell. Still, it left me with a queer feeling so I dive
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Lars Dradrach
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-book
It’s like the series has got its second wind with the last couple of books.

I should have expected that King knew what she was doing when Mrs Hudson got her own short story, a while back, it was obviously a prelude to this book where she’s the undisputed main character.

With pure genius King digs back to the very start of the Sherlock Holmes legend and weaves in Mrs Hudson in a very convincing tale.

Even Sherlock himself who in the last couple of books has taken a back seat gets a real role in this
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Brenda
This was a new author for me. The characters were real-to-life. I did enjoy this story with its many twists and turns. I did not loose interest in this story and there were times it was hard to put the book down. I am planning to read some of the stories that came before this one. I may have discovered another author that I really enjoy.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
My ARC courtesy of Random House/Net Galley; much thanks. My opinions are my own.

3.5 stars. This is principally a novel about Mrs. Hudson, who walked into 221 Baker St. in 1880 with a backstory. That story takes up at least half the book, perhaps more. (Mary Russell is present only briefly in the first half, and I believe the Sherlock Holmes of 1925, only in the second half.)

I'd refresh myself with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Gloria Scott" (it's in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holme
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Marjorie
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love all of Laurie R. King's books (she is a very fine writer), especially the Mary Russell series, and THE MURDER OF MARY RUSSELL is one of the very best additions to the series. It's hard to talk about the plot at all without possibly giving away one iota of pleasure that the reader will luxuriate in while returning to the (1920s) world of Mary Russell, an academic and a detective, and her husband (a retired beekeeper in Sussex, England), but I will say that Ms. King knows how to keep the se ...more
Jeanne
What don't we know about the people safely in our backgrounds – parents, teachers, caregivers, etc. Laurie King asked this question in The Murder of Mary Russell. Like Ms. Russell, "I was astonished, and fascinated, and—yes—somewhat troubled by what I learned of Mrs Hudson, those days and the time that followed. But mostly, I was ashamed, that I had never even asked (pp. 297-298). We are curious about Sherlock Holmes and Ms. Russell, but a servant? She can stay safely in the background.

I was ini
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Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
A Tribute to Mrs. Hudson...

I'm a huge fan of the Mary Russell series so I've been not so patiently waiting for this next book, especially considering the title is "The Murder of Mary Russell." My imagination was running wild, wondering what happens to Mary so I was a little disappointed when the book started off as a recitation of Mrs. Hudson's past. It was quite a bit different from King's usual format of jumping right into the story. I really wanted to just hurry up and get to the present hea
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Erin
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, historical, mystery, vbc
Another great entry in the Russell series from Ms. King! A throwback to the story style from Locked Rooms where most of the story is told from perspectives other than Russell's (understandably!). It's tricky to write a review without spoiling the story, but I will say that the best part of this book is Mrs. Hudson. She's so much in the background in the series (and in Canon in general!), but she really shines in this story.

Fans of Russell will absolutely love this one. This would also be a great
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Krisette Spangler
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
The title of this book alone was enough to make me eager to read it. The novel starts off with a bang and never lets up. I couldn't get through the pages fast enough, as you are desperate to know if Mary Russell is indeed dead. We get the back story of one of the most famous housekeepers in literature in this edition of the series, and we see Sherlock lose some of his stone cold reserve with the loss of his wife. It's a touching and fantastic story that incorporates one of Arthur Conan Doyle's o ...more
Janette
Apr 23, 2016 rated it liked it
I was looking forward to reading this book, but was so disappointed. It is good, but not at all what I expected. It was hardly about Mary or Sherlock, mostly about Mrs. Hudson. So I felt cheated. That is why I gave it 3 stars.
Pamela
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I found the story of Mrs. Hudson's life to be interesting and satisfying. From the beginning to end of her story—thus far. After fearing for Mary's life, she puts the safety net that Holmes has created into action. Holmes and Mary have responded to the threat of Mrs. Hudson's son with their typical thoroughness. Mrs. Hudson then turns a page in her life story to deal with her son's father. As inventive as ever, she is able to accomplish this with the support of Holmes and Mary.
Marilee
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book gives the whole series a big plot twist. I like this series, but sometimes I feel like the books can drag a little. Not this time. Best of all, we're given a lot of background to Mrs. Hudson's story. (Who knew Mrs. Hudson had a story?) This is a good one, but if you haven't read the previous books in the series you could find yourself a little behind.
Linda Baker
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
The fourteenth novel in the Sherlock Holmes/ Mary Russell series opens on a quiet summer day on the Sussex Downs. Mary Russell is home alone, as Mrs. Hudson, the longtime landlady, then housekeeper, to Sherlock Holmes is doing her regular marketing. Sherlock Holmes is away doing whatever Sherlock does: probably a mission for Mycroft Holmes. At the door is a man, claiming to be Mrs. Hudson's son. All of Mary's alarm bells are ringing, as she knows nothing of a son. She,however, does know about a ...more
Janellyn51
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've read and enjoyed all the Mary Russell books. This started a little pokey, where we are filled in on our Mrs. Hudson's past. A past which I certainly would not have expected! It turned out to be quite good, and moved along more quickly once Sherlock arrived on the scene. I enjoyed Billy, I hope he reappears in more books.
Barbara
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
I will start by saying that I have read and enjoyed all of the Mary Russel books. I generally enjoyed this book (although it's one of the weakest in the series, IMO), and probably would have given it 3 stars, were it not for one scene in particular.

I won't explain too much about the scene to avoid spoilers, and because it's not necessary to explain my issues with it. There is a confrontation with a minor villain wherein the fact that this person is fat is clearly being used as shorthand for his
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Ellen Church
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-english
Warning! Do not start this book if you have anything else to do--Laurie King draws you in to a web of thrilling suspense. Don't worry, no spoilers in this review, just an assurance that you will enjoy this book, whether or not you have read the other Mary Russell books, although a history with Sherlock Holmes always improves the experience. In this case, I would recommend re-reading "The Adventure of the Gloria Scott."
By page 16, the length of the teaser that the author released months ago, Mr
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Meredith Taylor
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Book to Curl Your Hair.

Or uncurl it, as the case may be. This book comes out on April 5, and Run, do not walk, to get it.

I am a long-standing Laurie King fan, and this might be her best yet.

What, pray, can one say? I would sooner be hanged than give Spoilers. Yes, I gave in and paged ahead. There were twists. Then, when you'd weathered those, there were more!

Who knew our Mrs Hudson had a past like that!? OF NOTE: serious Sherlockians may find this one especially fun.

A Splendid Book.
Book Club Mom
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The 14th book of King’s Mary Russell series in which the author incorporates characters from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes mysteries into new detective stories. This one includes Sherlock Holmes and his landlady, Mrs. Hudson, as well as Mary Russell, Holmes’ wife, a new character created by King at the beginning of the series. The book is based on Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Gloria Scott,” a tale involving Mrs. Hudson’s father as a young man, as he is transported as a prisoner from ...more
Linniegayl
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the first full Russell and Holmes book I've read in years (stopped halfway through the pirate book). I'd read good things about recent entries so decided to give the series another try. In the early going I regretted my decision, as it was very slow for me. When the book starts Mary is quickly in peril (but using her brilliant mind to try and figure out how to get out of it). However, the POV quickly shifts to Mrs. Hudson, the longtime housekeeper of Holmes. Or perhaps I should say it sh ...more
Christine Woods
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I have to say it again, "Laurie R. King is absolutely, positively, brilliant!"

I have been so afraid to read, The Murder of Mary Russell, and with good reason. The book begins with our faithful Mrs. Hudson coming home to find pools and trails of blood, a knife in the wall and Mary missing.
Sherlock is out of town but Mrs. Hudson seems to know just what to do. After all, she has been the housekeeper of the famous Sherlock Holmes for many years, or is there more to Mrs Hudson than spotless housekee
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Edgar-winning mystery writer Laurie R. King writes series and standalone novels. Her official forum is
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King's 2018 novel, Island of the Mad, sees Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes travel from London's Bedlam to the glitter of Venice's Lido,where Young Things and the friends of Cole Porter pass Mussolini's Blackshir
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Other books in the series

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1)
  • A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell, #2)
  • A Letter of Mary (Mary Russell, #3)
  • The Moor (Mary Russell, #4)
  • O Jerusalem (Mary Russell, #5)
  • Justice Hall (Mary Russell, #6)
  • The Game (Mary Russell, #7)
  • Locked Rooms (Mary Russell, #8)
  • The Language of Bees (Mary Russell, #9)
  • The God of the Hive (Mary Russell, #10)
“When the choice came down to tears, strong drink, or potatoes, one chooses potatoes. She” 1 likes
“Love was the thing that kept a person going past exhaustion, beyond reason, after hope was at its end. Grit,” 0 likes
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