Monday, June 29, 2020

Sophia Rose Reviews: Riviera Gold by Laurie R King

Today Sophia Rose reviews a historical mystery #16 in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series, Riviera Gold by Laurie R King.

Riviera Gold by Laurie R King

#16 Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes

Historical Mystery

Publisher:  Bantam

Published:  6.9.20

ISBN:  0749025689

Pages:  320

Rating: 4

Format: eARC

Source:  Net Galley

Sellers:  Amazon /Barnes and Noble /Kobo

Add To: GoodReads  


GoodReads Blurb:

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes turn the Riviera upside-down to crack their most captivating case yet in the New York Times bestselling series that Lee Child called “the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.”

It’s summertime on the Riviera, where the Jazz Age is busily reinventing the holiday delights of warm days on golden sand and cool nights on terraces and dance floors. Just up the coast lies a more traditional pleasure ground: Monte Carlo, where fortunes are won, lost, stolen, and hidden away. So when Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes happen across the Côte d’Azur in this summer of 1925, they find themselves pulled between the young and the old, hot sun and cool jazz, new friendships and old loyalties, childlike pleasures and very grownup sins…


Sophia Rose's Review:

Following the events in their Venice investigation, Mary Russell decides to accept a friend's invitation to join him crewing a sailboat to the French Riviera, Monte Carlo, to be exact.  Before she walked out of their lives, Mrs. Hudson mentioned this exact city so Mary takes a chance and, naturally, a dead body, smugglers, an evil arms dealer, and Mrs. Hudson are all tangled up in a new case for Russell and Holmes.


Riviera Gold is the sixteenth mystery in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series.  The case itself is standalone, but the story threads tie in with two previous books so it works best read in order.


What a brilliant summer read!  It was fun to vicariously visit the little country of Monaco and the sleepy towns and coasts of the area when the glitz is tarnished and the resurrection to glamour hasn't come back yet.  Mary encounters several famous faces of the Jazz era in the course of her visit and investigation.


I found the murder to take back seat to all the other shadowy goings on in this book.  It gets rolling slowly and the reader might be tricked into drowsily paging through the backdrop, introductions, and early set up including several brief scenes that Mrs. Hudson narrates.  My antenna went on the alert when the mention of a lost fortune came up and a Russian Czar's treasure.  There was just so much intrigue going on.  The big mystery was the tension surrounding Mrs. Hudson herself.  Mary and Holmes are at odds over whether Mrs. H is up to her old tricks or happened to end up in the mess.


One of the biggest draws to this series is both the juggernaut detecting team that is Russell and Holmes, but also the fascinating marriage they share.  Holmes might be Victorian in many ways and much older while Russell is also a product of her age, but there is a warm glowing spark between the ill-sorted pair that makes it all work.


In the end, the climax had me flipping pages madly and I appreciated the denouement that tied up all the threads neatly.  Oh, and hinted about their next case of vampires in Romania...  I can recommend this series to Sherlock fans and also historical mystery lovers.


I rec'd this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.


Author’s Bio:

Edgar-winning mystery writer Laurie R. King writes series and standalone novels. Her official forum is
THE LRK VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB here on Goodreads--please join us for book-discussing fun.

King's 2018 novel, Island of the Mad, sees Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes travel from London's Bedlam to the glitter of Venice's Lido,where Young Things and the friends of Cole Porter pass Mussolini's Blackshirts in the streets. The Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series follows a brilliant young woman who becomes the student, then partner, of the great detective. The Stuyvesant and Grey series (Touchstone; The Bones of Paris) takes place in Europe between the Wars. The Kate Martinelli series follows an SFPD detective's cases on a female Rembrandt, a holy fool, and more. 

King lives in northern California, which serves as backdrop for some of her books.



Sophia’s Bio:

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

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  1. Oh this sounds really good Sophia Rose something to put on my list for when I want to delve into another long running series. Great review!

    1. I think you'd really enjoy these. They start off slowly and then get so exciting. :)

  2. I do enjoy Sherlock inspired mysteries!

  3. Replies
    1. I think he's in his sixties and she's in her twenties. The relationship is strictly platonic and non-romantic when they first meet. But, yeah, huge gap. :)