Island of the mad : a novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes / Laurie R. King.

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    • Publication Information:
      First edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes untangle the slippery threads of insanity and deadly secrets as they investigate a disappearance in the New York Times bestselling series that Lee Child called "the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today." A June summer's evening, on the Sussex Downs, in 1925. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are strolling across their orchard when the telephone rings: an old friend's beloved aunt has failed to return following a supervised outing from Bedlam. After the previous few weeks--with a bloody murder, a terrible loss, and startling revelations about Holmes--Russell is feeling a bit unbalanced herself. The last thing she wants is to deal with the mad, and yet, she can't say no. The Lady Vivian Beaconsfield has spent most of her adult life in one asylum after another, yet she seemed to be improving--or at least, finding a point of balance in her madness. So why did she disappear? Did she take the family's jewels with her, or did someone else? The Bedlam nurse, perhaps? The trail leads Russell and Holmes through a lunatic asylum's stony halls to the warm Venice lagoon, where ethereal beauty is jarred by Mussolini's Blackshirts, where the gilded Lido set may be tempting a madwoman, and where Cole Porter sits at a piano, playing with ideas.."-- Provided by publisher.
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Booklist Reviews 2018 May #1

The saga of Sherlock Holmes and his young wife, Mary Russell, continues. It is 1925, and Mary and Holmes are looking forward to some downtime after the shocking revelations in the previous book, The Murder of Mary Russell (2016). Then Mary receives a call from an old friend, detailing how her Aunt Vivian has disappeared after a visit home from Bedlam, the asylum where she's been living, despite questions about her mental state. The hunt takes the sleuthing couple to Venice, where the glittering parties are juxtaposed against the uneasy Italian political situation, now that Mussolini and his Blackshirts have come into power. This is not one of the pivotal books in Russell's saga—there is little about her compelling backstory here—and, as a mystery, it's more glamour than grit, with the answer to the book's central question apparent to readers before Russell figures it out. But King's storytelling is always a pleasure, full of lush details and clever twists. Cole Porter, who is an integral part of the book's LGBTQ story line, adds an unexpected and welcome star turn. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

PW Reviews 2018 April #1

Set in 1925, Edgar-winner King's well-plotted 16th Mary Russell novel (after 2016's The Murder of Mary Russell) finds Mary helping Ronnie Fitzwarren, an old friend of hers from her first year at Oxford, with what Ronnie calls an emergency. In 1922, Ronnie's eccentric Aunt Vivian was confined to Bethlem Royal Hospital (aka Bedlam Asylum) after several violent outbursts, including the attempted murder of her half-brother Edward, for whom she "always demonstrated a particular antipathy." Now Vivian has disappeared, along with her nurse, while on leave from the hospital to celebrate Edward's 50th birthday. Mary's search for Vivian takes her first to Bedlam and later to Venice, accompanied by her husband, Sherlock Holmes, who has been sent by his brother, Mycroft, to monitor fascism in Italy. There they have an unpleasant encounter with Edward, an admirer of Mussolini, and befriend composer Cole Porter, who assists them in revealing what's behind Vivian's animus toward Edward. This ranks as one of the better recent installments in this popular series. Agent: Zoe Quinton, Literary Strategist. (June)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.