I seem to be on a binge with the Mary Russell series, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon! I have to say this book is the series standout. In many of the books we get to see Mary and Sherlock travel across the world to solve cases, in this instance we get to see them at home. They are actually returning to their cottage after a year abroad, and they immediately encounter a new case- the missing bees. Before they can even get in the house, Sherlock is off to investigate the disappearance. Priorities, I guess.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book in particular was the addition of Holmes’s son, Damian. I was not expecting him, and the thought that Sherlock Holmes has a long-lost son was a brilliant addition to the Holmes universe, making certain that Irene continued to haunt him throughout his life.
Also, the original Sherlock Holmes novels were kind of a love letter to the city of London, and this novel carried on that tradition. From Oxford University to the seedy underground, we get to see many sides of London, and you get a sense of what a multi-layered city it was and is. Cities are like that, of course, but each one is kind of unique, and London is no exception.
What I did not enjoy so much was the fact that for most of the book Holmes and Russell were separated. Usually, they work as a team, and in this novel they seemed to be working through their own problems. I suppose that’s only natural, given the nature of the plot, but I much prefer it when they work together. However, one of the beauties of their relationship is that it thrives even though they are both very independent people.
Overall, I would say that if you have already been enjoying the Mary Russell series, this will probably be no exception. I have enjoyed all the ones that I have read, and while it can be redundant to comment on an ongoing series like this, I still find that I have opinion about different elements of each book. I’m looking forward to the next one!
Jarad is the co-administrator and writer for Sacred Chickens, attends college at MTSU, loves tea, and tries to spend every spare second reading. Jarad is an English major. Bless his heart! Let's all light a candle for him and send him happy thoughts!