Island of the Mad
A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock HolmesBook - 2018
With Mrs. Hudson gone from their lives and domestic chaos building, the last thing Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, need is to help an old friend with her mad and missing aunt.
Lady Vivian Beaconsfield has spent most of her adult life in one asylum after another, since the loss of her brother and father in the Great War. And although her mental state seemed to be improving, she's now disappeared after an outing from Bethlem Royal Hospital . . . better known as Bedlam.
Russell wants nothing to do with the case--but she can't say no. And at least it will get her away from the challenges of housework and back to the familiar business of investigation. To track down the vanished woman, she brings to the fore her deductive instincts and talent for subterfuge--and of course enlists her husband's legendary prowess. Together, Russell and Holmes travel from the grim confines of Bedlam to the winding canals and sun-drenched Lido cabarets of Venice--only to find the foreboding shadow of Benito Mussolini darkening the fate of a city, an era, and a tormented English lady of privilege.
Praise for Island of the Mad
"Superb . . . shocking . . . Come for the mystery, stay for the sightseeing, the gibes at fascism, and the heroine's climactic masquerade as silent film star Harold Lloyd." -- Kirkus Reviews
"[Laurie R.] 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." -- Booklist
"Well-plotted . . . This ranks as one of the better recent installments in this popular series." -- Publishers Weekly
From the critics
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From the Acknowledgements: "And guide Christine Gregorin (found at www.slow-venice.com) swept me from one end of the city to the other, talking politics and history. Not that this book is about politics: no, not at all."
"I was of course familiar with Dr. Freud's theory, that a claim of incest reveals the sex fantasies of an hysteric. But 'hysterical' is the modern's cry of witchcraft, its punishment incarceration instead of burning."
"And a few months later, in January of this year, Benito Mussolini stood before his nation to declare himself absolute ruler of his country, and to take proud responsibility for the violence that ha put him there. As he put it, 'Italy wants peace and quiet, work and calm. I will give it these things - with love if possible, with force if necessary.'
The trains would run on time.
"If one plays on fear, takes away any remotely complicated ideas, and offers people a sense of confidence and right, one's followers will beat to death any enemy they are pointed at."
"....as well as a rumour Mycroft had heard of an invention called 'radiovision' i America, which both men agreed sounded like a pipe dream."
"My habit was to remind myself that some men never got over the handicap of not being women,, and keep my mouth in a tight-lipped smile."
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