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3.0 out of 5 starsLong-awaited Mary Russel/Sherlock Holmes short stories in a paperback-only edition.
Reviewed in the United States on July 11, 2017
This is a marvelous and long-awaited collection of short stories published in magazines and e-book anthologies of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, including ''The Marriage Of Mary Russell.'' Sure to be popular with anyone who, like myself, has been entertained by the other 10-12 books in this series. Unlike King's earlier books in this series, ''Mary Russell's War'' is not available in hardback. Some of the stories have pictures/illustrations of E-book materials that are reproduced too small, and which also suffer from pixilation; I'm over 55, I could not read most of these easily, this is a flaw of the publishers, not the author's, but it is a flaw in the book for which I'll subtract one star, and the other star subtraction is, as other reviewers have critiqued, for the author insinuating in one of these stories that Holmes lived to 125-130.
2.0 out of 5 starsMary Russell's War a hard reading road
Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2019
Mary Russell's War by Laurie King is an uneven piece of work, a series of stories, journal entries penned by Mary Russell, Laurie King's fictitious heroine who marries Sherlock Holmes. The actual story of Russell's losing her parents fills in much needed details not available in the King novels, but as the book moves on the work gets bogged down in overly long short stories. For example, the Christmas story at the end of the book is tedious and boring----far too long. That work lacks the bite of the Green Man story---a tightly written piece that it's worth a better location in the book instead of hiding towards the end. While I have read all of Laurie King's Mary Russell books in the series, I was disappointed with this one. Stick to the series and forget about this book---some parts are just so unevenly written that they could be excised from the book and no one would even notice.
5.0 out of 5 starsMary Russell's War is a good read!
Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2016
A great Laurie R. King book, with one exception. In the story where Mary claims to be 92, Sherlock is still living. They met Mary was 15 and Holmes was 55. That's a 40 year difference. So if she was 92, that makes Holmes 132 years old. I understand suspension of disbelief, but that one is asking a lot . Loved the rest of the book.
A collection of short stories including one never before seen anywhere with a Christmas setting. I don't really enjoy short stories but will read them as they pertain to my favorite series to fill in the fun gaps. In that respect this did not disappoint. The WWII diary was my least favorite more given its duration and lack of meat. The Christmas tale though more than made up for it. The wedding of Russell and Holmes as well as the first meeting as told by Holmes was also great. Wouldn't recommend for non series fans, more gap filling than self sustaining. Fun treats await for long time readers
5.0 out of 5 starsDelicious Small Morsels to Savor for the Series Fan!
Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2017
I love the Mary Russell series and was ecstatic to discover that the author had pulled together all the shorts and novellas into this volume and included a never before published story at the end. The author's Sherlock Holmes, other familiar characters, and her own original characters come to life once more in these short pieces that give the reader more details about off-scene events from the series or even heretofore unmentioned accounts.
The first two bring in childhood stories for Mary Russell, then there is the meeting of Russell and Holmes from his perspective, the details of the wedding, a case for Russell and Mrs. Hudson, a few short vignette mysteries, a couple stories explaining how Russell's memoirs ended up with Laurie R. King, and then yes, a Holmes and Russell Christmas mystery.
I was tickled to find that two of these stories- Mary Russell's War and A Case in Correspondence included fun picture memorabilia inserted into the story.
I do think this is best read after The God of the Hive to get the full benefit of all the stories and to avoid spoilers and it most definitely isn't a good place for newbies to the series to begin. There wasn't a dud in the batch and it made me want to go back and re-read all the books in the series. Definitely a great collection for series fans.
Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2016
I found young Mary’s war journal fascinating and the short stories great fun, especially “Stately Holmes.” That said, I wish I had not read “My Story” and “A Case in Correspondence.” When Ms King first described the postcard showing the punt with the clothing neatly stacked in an earlier novel, it touched me deeply. The romance of Holmes and Russell was, in my imagination, bittersweet, since I knew she would outlive him by decades, and I surmised she knew that, too. I imagined her in her later years immersed in her studies, perhaps delving into a mystery now and then, a strong, intelligent woman ageing defiantly. To have Holmes so unrealistically be a hundred thirty-one years old turned two characters who have become very real to me into a parody, some sort of nonsensical mockery. There is, of course, what an old professor called “the willing suspension of disbelief,” but here, it seems merely incomprehensible.
Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2016
I did not find all the stories in the collection to be equal. Like another reviewer the 92 year old Mary with Sherlock still around was a little hard to accept. There were a few places where I felt Mary was not quite the character I have come to so love over the years. And then I made it to Stately Holmes and all was well. There were the Sherlock and Mary and their relationship that I have come to love and that makes them so readable. If I rated the book only on this section I would give it 5 stars.
5.0 out of 5 starsMary Russell's journal and other stories
Reviewed in the United States on September 9, 2018
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the ten short stories brought together here. As I have already read the first two Mary Russell stories, I had enough background on the characters and the relationships to appreciate the "extra". My favorites were "Mary's Christmas" and "The Marriage of Mary Russel" and I learned a lot about the adolescent Mary in her war journal and adventures. She stopped writing the journal at the time that she meets Holmes and a new adventure begins. I'm looking forward to reading more Mary Russell stories.
An interesting book. It is amusing, but has less to do with Holmes than readers may assume. The heroine is brave, but historians may disagree with certain facts described in the text and the presentation of the lead character. It all depends on what the reader knows about women in 1915.
I love the Mary Russel series of adventures and have read every one avidly. Most are really well written and if you love Holmes then they are a delight. This collection is quite varied however and doesn’t appear to have been written with the same rigour. Such a shame.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 26, 2018
Mary Russell's War arrived promptly and very well wrapped. As always it was a book that roamed over a huge diversity of interesting subjects and was presented in an interesting way. I am a firm fan of Laurie King's Mary Russell.