NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Laurie R. King’s 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. But does this adventure end it all?
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 suddenly shattered when a man arrives on the doorstep claiming to be Mrs. Hudson’s son.
What Samuel Hudson tells Russell cannot possibly be true, yet she believes him—as surely as she believes the threat of the gun in his hand. In a devastating instant, everything changes. And when the scene is discovered—a pool of blood on the floor, the smell of gunpowder in the air—the most shocking revelation of all is that the grim clues point directly to Clara Hudson.
Or rather to Clarissa, the woman she was before Baker Street.
The key to Russell’s sacrifice lies in Mrs. Hudson’s past. To uncover the truth, 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.
Praise for The Murder of Mary Russell
“Leaping narrative energy has always been a hallmark of this series, and it reaches something of a peak in this latest volume. . . . The lean momentum of the story never falters. . . . It’s a stunning prolonged feat of storytelling, and it succeeds in making The Murder of Mary Russell the best installment so far in an excellent series.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“[A] sharp, inventive and rewarding series.”—The Seattle Times
“Delightful . . . a triumph of plotting . . . 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.”—Booklist (starred review)
Edgar-winner King's subpar 15th Mary Russell novel (after 2015's Dreaming Spies) opens on a quiet morning in Sussex in May, 1925. Against her better judgment, Mary, the independent wife of Sherlock Holmes, admits a stranger to her cottage, who says he's Samuel Hudson, the son of her housekeeper and surrogate mother, Clara Hudson. Her misgivings prove warranted when he confronts her with a gun. Clara returns home to find Mary missing, a pool of blood on the floor, and the smell of gunpowder in the air. With Mary's fate unresolved, the focus shifts to Clara, the daughter of a criminal implicated in Holmes's very first case. Mary and Holmes fade into the background amid some florid prose ("I looked into his pale eyes, the bones of my chest cringing away from thirteen grams of leaden death"). This atypical entry will appeal mostly to longtime series fans.