A Letter of Mary by: Laurie R King

Book: A Letter of Mary
Author: Laurie R. King
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Picador
Date Published: Oct 30, 2007


The third book in the Mary Russell–Sherlock Holmes series.

It is 1923. Mary Russell Holmes and her husband, the retired Sherlock Holmes, are enjoying the summer together on their Sussex estate when they are visited by an old friend, Miss Dorothy Ruskin, an archeologist just returned from Palestine. She leaves in their protection an ancient manuscript which seems to hint at the possibility that Mary Magdalene was an apostle–an artifact certain to stir up a storm of biblical proportions in the Christian establishment. When Ruskin is suddenly killed in a tragic accident, Russell and Holmes find themselves on the trail of a fiendishly clever murderer. Brimming with political intrigue, theological arcana, and brilliant Holmesian deductions.

Why did I read this Book:

This was the third book in an absolutely delicious series.


The first book deals with Marry and Holmes apprenticeship.  The second their uncharacteristic courtship.  The third, with them as a couple who work together.  This book is about balance.  How to be oneself in a relationship without loosing yourself, and maintaining those things that are all your own, and also about being together and sharing interests.

And to give us our cat and mouse game and red herring mystery is a murder of a friend of theirs they had met in book one.  This is the device which drives the story.  Their relationship is what glues it together.

While I loved this book, I think I was getting a little exhausted of her voice.  I think I was having too high of an expectations.  Perhaps a little overdose.  What Laurie R. King does, she does it well.  So well in fact that ones expectations reach a different level, and so when she continues to live up to them, you wonder when the bar raises.  And when it does not but maintains quality, one is disappointed like being dunked into water because one desires that next level, even if the author has already reached absolutely soaring heights.

This is not to say that this wasn’t an absolutely wonderful installment to the series.  Simply to say that I have been overexposed and need a break.  A chance to re-cooperate and read other materials before I come back to the quality which this is, and be able to fully appreciate it.

What I absolutely love about Laurie R King is that she has voice.  She has absolutely 100% mastered it.  And it is kind of like eating a rich five course meal and feeling completely satiated but a little bloated.  And for that reason, is why I have stalled in reading her and am now trying to pace myself with her Mary Russell series.  It’s like Terry Pratchett.  There is just so much of him to go around and he needs to be rationed.  And if I eat too much of it then I no longer am able to enjoy the marvelousness that is him.  Laurie R King has just moved into that category with her Marry Russell series for me.  I must ration, and not gobble or else I fear a bellyache again.

Final Thoughts:

Nathan Bransford has an article on voice that absolutely 100% made me think of Laurie R King.

Rating: 8/10

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