Island of the Mad (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Series #15)

Island of the Mad (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Series #15)

by Laurie R. King


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Island of the Mad (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Series #11) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Ms. King has wisely chosen her subject matter attract current tastes and woven her story between her two main characters' personalities with admirable skill. Her descriptions of Venice and it's history are remarkably noteworthy as she builds her plot through the novel. Beautifully written and true to her characters, it is a memorable addition to this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always Laurie R King's writing is brilliant storytelling that stays true to the Holmes legacy while broadening the world in which he lives. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the setting and the fun turn of characters, and their predilections.
RRatliff More than 1 year ago
This is true to fashion Laurie King. Good stuff. I was pleased to see that there were enough snippets of Holmes's investigation away from Russell that I didn't feel like he got lost. As always, the sense of time and place is immersive - I now feel like I've seen Venice. And, I always love Laurie King's inclusion of real historical figures on Russell and Holmes's adventures. The cover of this book is just gorgeous, and the descriptive scenery in the book certainly lived up to the beautiful cover.
Neesie315 More than 1 year ago
I am a longtime fan of Sherlock Holmes and have come to love the Mary Russell series as well. The latest book, "Island of the Mad" is another great entry in this series. This time, we find Russell and Holmes in Venice, trying to find the "mad" aunt of Russell's college friend. Veronica has been troubled and has spent a lot of time in Bedlam, an insane asylum. The last time Russell saw her, she said that she felt safe there. If that is true, then why has she disappeared? On just a slim clue, Russell and Holmes delve into the world of Venice in the 1920's, complete with high society partiers, Fascists black shirt militia and Cole Porter. The author, Laurie King, has once again written a very detailed book, describing the sights of Venice, the nightlife of the rich and famous, and the way that Russell and Holmes solve the mystery of this disappearance. I love these books and hope that Ms. King continues to write them for a long, long time. Always entertaining, always informative and always fun!
CheliD More than 1 year ago
Mary Russell is asked by her university friend to try to find an aunt that has gone missing after visiting the family estate while on leave from Bedlam. Yes, Bedlam - the asylum for the insane. Mary manages to infiltrate the establishment and deduces that Aunt Vivian, apparently sane all along, has now opted to escape her prison to live a reclusive existence elsewhere - presumably Venice. Planning her travels, Holmes is reluctant to accompany her until Mycroft persuades him to look into the "Fascist" situation while in Italy. Their efforts to uncover the truth had some interesting links to historical figures, I'm not sure they were true or not. I have adored the Mary Russell series since it first was published in 1994 and have faithfully awaited each new installment of the adventures of Mary Russell with the mature Sherlock Holmes. However, this one fell a bit flat for me. It seem to lack the tension that all the other stories have elicited when danger seem to be in the offing. It seemed a bit too predictable. The situations and characters seemed a bit stale this time.
PatD More than 1 year ago
I totally enjoyed Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes on their latest case. Mary agrees to find a college friend's "mad" aunt when she and her nurse disappear on an asylum-approved family visit home. Husband and wife eventually end up on Venice, navigating the social and political waters. Elsa Maxwell and Cole and Linda Porter make delightful cameo appearances in the story. The Fascisti and blackshirts lend a real air of menace as Mussolini heads the government. It is fun to read how the Holmes's plan and carry out their investigations to find the aunt and avoid discovery.
diane92345 More than 1 year ago
Mary and Sherlock are back to work in Island of the Mad. Mary’s old friend Ronnie’s “mad” Aunt Vivian has disappeared. Returning early from a home visit to Bedlam, both Vivian and her caregiver never arrive. After a search fails to find her, Mary and Sherlock are enlisted into the search. Mary enters Bedlam undercover as a patient. Lady Vivian has reason to believe Bedlam is a safe harbor and her lifestyle before entering comes into question. The search continues among the rich internationals in Venice. This is the first book in the series I’ve read and it works as a stand alone. However, some of the teases to what happened to Watson and Mrs. Hudson make me look forward to reading some of the earlier entries later. I selected this series because of glowing references to it in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series by Vicki Delany. This book is highly recommended to Sherlock Holmes fans. It is also great for historical fiction fans interested in the build-up to World War II in Europe. It’s 1925 and the fascists are afoot! I thoroughly enjoyed the well-researched Sherlock Holmes references along with all the characters. Mary, being a feminist, was especially enjoyable. 5 stars! Thanks to the publisher, Bantam Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
lostinagoodbook More than 1 year ago
I’ve been a fan of Ms. King’s Mary Russell series from the beginning. Hmm, actually it goes back further than that … I’ve been a fan of Sherlock Holmes since I was a teen. He was one of my first book boyfriends. Not the nicest of boyfriends to be sure. He can be cold and aloof, but I loved him all the same. When I first heard of a book called The Beekeeper’s Apprentice which promised a story about Holmes in his later years I was intrigued. It follows the story of a young woman who becomes an apprentice of sorts to the older, retired Sherlock Holmes. The book was, of course, a mystery. With a strong young woman in the lead role, and a hint of romance between the two?? Oh I was hooked. The series is 15 books strong now and I have to admit that I dropped off somewhere around #11. Not because the quality of the books suffered, I simply changed the genre I was focused on. Ms. King’s books are always interesting, meticulously researched and a lot of fun. You can be sure of a history lesson to go along with your whodunnit making the settings engaging and well developed. In this book, the couple are contacted by an ex-school buddy of Mary’s. A mad Aunt (oh so gothic) has gone missing from Bedlam Asylum. The search for her will lead them into pre-war Italy. Does the Aunt have connections to Mussolini and his Blackshirts? Why did she run from the Asylum? Why has she not contacted her family? Ms. King touches on political controversies of that time (and ours?) by delving into the surprising support of fascism by some of the British upper class. She also spends time with the lavish parties of the Lido and American songwriter Cole Porter, a staple of society in Venice at the time. The issues surrounding the homophobic attitudes of their day (and ours) become apparent and Ms. King is ready to address them. Don’t let me make you think this is all dry and boring history. Life for Mary in Venice is by turns glamorous, harrowing, gothic and madcap. In the midst of all this she still has to solve a mystery. I enjoyed the book but it doesn’t hold the same interest for me as earlier books in the series. I’m not sure when I will pick up another Mary Russell book, I’m really more into fantasy at the moment, but I’m happy to find that the game is afoot and continues apace. Song for this book: Anything Goes by Cole Porter Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
This is yet another fabulous book by Laurie R. King. She keep Russel and Holmes fresh and exciting. The setting, pre-WWII, is portrayed as the slowly creeping presence of fascism. The historical reality of who finds that option desirable is fascinating. Add to that the central question of where the missing woman went and why. As that unfolds, we get another chilling aspect of societal norms of the time. Thank goodness for the creativity and tenacity of Russell and Holmes (and Laurie R. King's amazing research and imagination)!