2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 6 books toward her goal of 240 books.
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Book Review: Riviera Gold by Laurie R. King

I love this series!! Mary Russell is a delight and I really enjoy the way King has developed the relationship between Mary and Sherlock – they are equals, even though their experience levels are so different, and I enjoy watching them work together and separately as they resolve the myriad situations they stumble (or find themselves thrust) into… This time the focus is on Mrs. Hudson, and I quite enjoyed seeing her backstory finally fleshed out. I’ve long felt that she was (deserved to be) a more complex character than she is often presented to be, and in Riviera Gold King played out my suspicions in a way more grandiose (in a good way) than I would have imagined. It made for a fascinating peek behind the curtain into a central player in the Holmes/Russell mythology that has developed over the course of this series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

I love that the setting for each of these novels is so, well, novel. The early development of the summer season on the French Riviera was a marvelous place for this one, allowing it to be populated by fascinating real-life characters like Picasso and the Murphys. It was fun trying to figure out who the ancillary characters mentioned at the Murphy parties were (Dos Passos, the Fitzeralds, etc) and entertaining to see how easily Mary and Mrs. Hudson fit into that world. I’ve read a modest amount about it in the past, and enjoyed the added fictional layer here. This one built up slower than some of the others; I wasn’t sure where things were going to go for some time, and the interludes with Mrs. Hudson’s past were teasers more than plot generators for a good portion of the book, but once things started rolling they generated steam quickly and I was as engrossed in the mystery and the tale as ever.

This is a marvelous series populated by strong, independent women who exist as counterparts to Sherlock Holmes, rather than foils or supporting characters. It adds an excellent weight to the Holmes mythology as a result, and I cannot wait for the next installment!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

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