In her latest Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes adventure, Laurie R. King puts Mary in the middle of dangerous mother and son reunion.
Mary is home alone when a stranger appears, claiming to be the housekeeper’s long lost son. Within moments, Mary’s life is in jeopardy, forcing her to make a split-second decision.
Despite its title, this book centers around Clara Hudson, the Holmes’ unflappable housekeeper.
I’ve always been interested in her backstory in the many interpretations of Conan Doyle’s novels, but this is the first time I remember having her life laid out so completely.
We discover that Mrs. Hudson (Clarissa in her younger days) has quite a past, including a flim-flam operation with her father that infiltrated some of Europe’s most polite societies.
Taking place in Australia and Europe, we follow Clarissa’s life from infancy until her fateful meeting with a very young, very green private detective named Sherlock Holmes.
The pact she makes with Holmes probably saves her life, but it does not come without sacrifice.
While this book is meant to stand alone, I recommend reading King’s series in order, beginning with “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice” (1994).
You have a chance to really get to know two of fiction’s most interesting characters. While, most of us are familiar with Holmes; becoming acquainted with Mary Russell, his equal in every way, and watching her match wits with him is such delicious fun.