Island of the Mad: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes

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Island of the Mad is the latest of Mary Russell’s memoirs, lovingly curated by Laurie R King. This adventure finds the intrepid sleuthing duo headed to Holmes’s least favorite place–Venice. Russell’s friend Veronica has asked her for help in finding her aunt Vivian, who has gone suddenly missing, along with some jewels and money. As Russell gets acquainted with the Lido set in hopes of news or sightings of Vivian, Holmes turns his attention to Cole Porter and his entertainments at the Ca’ Rezzonico. Their lines of inquiry will bring them into close contact with Mussolini’s Blackshirts and take them to the plague island of Poveglia.

This has become my second favorite of Russell’s memoirs, after Justice Hall. I love the depth of history. There is much excitement in this story as both Russell and Holmes are plunged into frenetic environments. Between Cole’s parties and the Lido set, there’s no shortage of entertainment, and that’s aside from the mischief the pair get up to together. I felt as if I could step right into the gaiety.

Aspects of this story touched on issues of homosexuality in that era, in different cultures. It’s terrifying to think that in England you could have been locked up for it in a place like Bedlam, as well as being locked up simply for being an inconvenient woman.

If you are a fan of the series, you won’t be disappointed! If you love Sherlock Holmes and you’ve never read the series, what’s up with that?! Go now, and start! You’ve gotta lotta catchin’ up to do. Highly recommended.

Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.



Author Laurie R. King
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher Bantam
Publish Date 2018-Jun-12
ISBN 9780804177962
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue September 2018
Category Mystery, Crime & Thriller
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