cover image Mary Russell’s War and Other Stories of Suspense

Mary Russell’s War and Other Stories of Suspense

Laurie R. King. Poisoned Pen, $15.95 trade paper (324p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0733-4

Fans of King’s Mary Russell novels, which starting with 1994’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice chart her relationship with Sherlock Holmes, will welcome this collection, which includes extracts from the novels, short stories, and the diary that Mary kept as a teen during WWI. Readers will learn about Mary’s wily Uncle Jake, Holmes’s marriage proposal, the couple’s eccentric wedding, and Mycroft Holmes’s political activities. The one selection original to this volume, “Stately Holmes,” is a Christmas tale, complete with a gaggle of children. The heart of the book, however, is Mary’s wartime diary, punctuated by headlines announcing war casualties and zeppelin attacks and interspersed with Mary’s not always kind assessment of the periodical installments of The Valley of Fear, the last Holmes novel. The text is richly illustrated with period photos. Admirers of Mary Russell will be pleased with what amounts to an autobiography of her early years, but those expecting the “suspense” promised in the subtitle may feel misled. [em](Oct.) [/em]