Island of the Mad

by Laurie R. King
Random House, June 2018, $28

The latest Mary Russell, aka Mrs. Sherlock Holmes, mystery is not only entertaining, it’s informative as well. Here, the odd-but-well-matched couple are asked by one of Mary’s best friends to discover what happened to her beloved aunt, who had spent most of her adult life in asylums for the mentally ill and has recently gone missing from Bedlam. Apparently the aunt, Lady Vivian Beaconsfield, was deemed well enough to attend a party at her ancestral home, accompanied by a nurse.The following day, she, her nurse, and a very valuable piece of jewelry were no longer in attendance, much to the chagrin of Lady Beaconsfield’s penny-pinching half-brother, Edward, who has title to the full estate.

After determining that the pair may have gone to Venice, one of the aunt’s favorite places as a young girl, what follows is a tour de force exploration, steeped in both history and mystery, of that wondrous location circa 1925. Can the odd couple detectives discover the whereabouts of the missing pair before the avenging Edward can locate and possibly harm his half-sister? Will the rise of Benito Mussolini and his black-shirted thugs not only interfere with the duo’s search, but put them in mortal danger as well? And how does an incongruous combination of Cole Porter on the piano and Sherlock Holmes on the violin help bring the case to a successful conclusion?

In this latest Mary Russell novel, we learn more about this unusual-but-successful marriage, and how the pair’s individual talents complement one another in solving the case and in strengthening their life partnership. If you like learning more about one of the most fascinating places in the world, along with an intriguing mystery, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this entertaining novel.

Joseph Scarpato, Jr.

The latest Mary Russell, aka Mrs. Sherlock Holmes, mystery from King hits all the right notes.

Teri Duerr
June 2018
Random House