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Laurie King's "Mary Russell" series

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blueemerald
Reader
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Laurie King's "Mary Russell" series

Postby blueemerald » Fri August 28th, 2015, 1:34 am

I am typically not a mystery reader but thought I'd give Laurie King's "The Game" a try. My interest was piqued by the historical tie to place (India), time period (1924), and British-Russia "Great Game". However, I am struggling to enjoy the book and struggling to keep plugging away at it. Unfortunately, I can't really put my finger on why it's just hasn't grabbed me.

So I am wondering of those who have read King's "Mary Russell" books, what did you think? Do you recommend them for a rabid historical fiction reader but novice to historical mystery? What about "The Game"? Should I stick it out? (Time was when I would never abandon a book once I had started-no matter how much I didn't like it. However, gone is that compulsion. But that is another chat.)

Thanks for your thoughts.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Re: Laurie King's "Mary Russell" series

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri August 28th, 2015, 4:26 am

I was given the first Mary Russell book, the Beekeeper's Apprentice, as a Christmas gift. I dutifully finished it, and it was not-awful, although since I confess to never have read any Sherlock Holmes story at all, many of the references left me scratching my head. I found the 'criminal mind' reasoning pretty antiquated.

And then, forgetting the name of the main character, I recently picked up Mary Russell's War as a WWI memoir. I realized pretty quickly that I had met the protagonist before. I finished it, although it wasn't the WWI memoir I was expecting. Meh.

Kim by Rudyard Kipling was one of my favorite childhood reads. I'm not sure I could bear having it butchered, although King does a workmanlike, if rather plodding, job.

But if you enjoy fiction from that era and in that vein, I'd go for the Victorian San Francisco mystery series by M. Louisa Locke. The first one is Maids of Misfortune. I'm not a mystery reader either, but her HF credentials are excellent, and she spins a good yarn.

User avatar
blueemerald
Reader
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Re: Laurie King's "Mary Russell" series

Postby blueemerald » Sun August 30th, 2015, 2:36 pm

Thanks for your opinion and recommendation MLE. I abandoned "The Game". I think for now historical mystery will not be a deliberate focus. May tip toe into on occasion around my other reading.

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
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Re: Laurie King's "Mary Russell" series

Postby Margaret » Tue May 24th, 2016, 2:50 am

I love the Mary Russell series. What attracts me to the series, I think, is the relationship between Mary and Sherlock, an unusual May-December romance, which is based more on the intellectual sympathy between the two characters than on sexual tension (though that quality does exist in Mary's attraction to Sherlock's high level of brains and competence). The series is definitely for mystery fans, because a crucial element of the fun is the opportunity for the reader to match wits with the detectives and try (and hopefully fail, because it's no fun to be smarter than the detectives in a mystery novel) to figure out whodunnit and how.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info


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