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Riviera Gold

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Set in the South of France during the 1920s, Riviera Gold is jam-packed with mystery.  Mary Russell, wife of Sherlock Holmes, strives to clear her dear friend of murder.
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I received an ARC of this book pre-publication, but I wanted to listen to the audio, read by Jenny Sterlin. I’ve listened to all of the previous books in the series, and didn’t want to miss the pace and voice that I’ve come to love!

Riviera Gold picks up where Island of the Mad left off.  Mrs Hudson has been exiled/released from her long service as Holmes’ housekeeper, and she makes a casual reference to the Riviera as she leaves.  Mary Russell is not completely surprised by her appearance, then, when Russell sails up on a yachting jaunt with her friend the Honorable Terry.

King weaves in a host of the characters of the day, including Lillie Langtry, the Fitzgeralds and Picasso.   But the relationships between Mary, Sherlock and Clara Hudson are the centerpiece of the story, and it is just pure fun!

I received an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Those who have been fans of the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series throughout its inception, will enjoy this setting of the French Riviera for our two sleuths.  Russell shows a seeming new-found independence of Holmes, a freeing of her spirit in a sense.  She is largely influenced by meeting Americans Sara and Gerald Murphy who have established a haven for artists.  It's a historical glimpse into the Jazz Age and the gathering of such famous talents as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald and Pablo Picasso..  But, it is the connection to Mrs. Hudson that Russell is most interested in from this group.  Holmes shows up, too, but Russell is quite adept at navigating this paradise on the seal, a paradise that is equal parts playground and danger.  When Mrs. Hudson comes under suspicion for murder, Russell and Holmes must keep their wits about them amongst the distractions in order to save their beloved friend from herself and from the law.
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Riviera Gold, Laurie R. King’s 16th novel in the series proves so difficult to review. For longtime fans, this is a five-star gem. It remains so even for those who have only read The Murder of Mary Russell, No. 14 in this wonderful and wonderfully researched series. (view spoiler)

But I fear that those who stumble onto this novel as their only foray into an alternative universe where Sherlock Holmes takes on a clever, liberated but much-younger wife and partner will be confused by the references to brother Mycroft and Clara Hudson’s antecedents. For them, it will probably be a middling and puzzling three-star read. For those who come along for the ride, King peppers this fun novel with real-life characters, such as Gerald and Sara Murphy. Readers, you can judge if this clever, suspenseful novel is for you. In consideration, I average the five- and three-star ratings into a solid four.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley, Random House Publishing – Ballantine and Bantam in exchange for an honest review.
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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.

The mystery has plenty of clues, suspects, red herrings, action, suspense, twists, and turns that all lead to a life and death conclusion. The characters are well developed, believable, and they each have their own characteristics and quirks that make them all realistic. The author makes Monte Carlo in 1925 come to life with her vivid and detailed descriptions. 

I  have enjoyed seeing how Mary has grown up from the sad, upset, smart, and withdrawn 15 year old in book one to the self-confident, independent, mature, intelligent, and caring woman that she is in this book. I have also enjoyed getting to know more about Mrs. Hudson and about the secrets in her past. I would have liked to have seen more development in  Mary and Sherlock's relationship it almost seem like they have gotten themselves into a rut.  I look forward to reading Castle Shade to see what kind of adventures Mary and Sherlock find themselves tangled up.

I received an ARC of this book from Random Hose through NetGalley for my honest review.
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I really enjoyed reading this book, the characters were great and I really enjoyed the plot and mystery. I look forward to more in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series.
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This is the 16th book is the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series.

This book is set in 1925 on the Riviera where Mary has traveled to after solving a missing-person-case in Venice. Mary’s life is in flux – she has no idea where her husband, Sherlock Holmes, is nor where their beloved housekeeper of many years, Mrs. Hudson is. She expects to see both in Monte Carlo.

King’s descriptions of the Cote d’Azur and its wealthy residents who seem content to party the nights away and to spend their afternoons on the beach are so well done you almost feel like you’re there feeling the heat of the sun on your skin and the feeling the tipsiness of having drunk too much champagne at night. Added to that is the issue of the missing bullion allegedly smuggled out of Russia by the Romanovs as the Russian Revolution began and now missing. Rumors have it may have found a home in or near Monte Carlo. Mrs. Hudson’s whereabouts is another mystery for Mary to solve. Shortly before leaving for Venice, Mary found out that staid and steady Mrs. Hudson had been a con artist in her youth stealing money from the wealthy in cahoots with her father. When Mrs. Douglas left Holmes’ employ, she refused to tell anyone where she was going. The only clue she gave was she had once found Monte Carlo intriguing. She no sooner finds her former housekeeper than a young man is found dead in Mrs. Hudson’s front room. 

This is another well-written outing for Laurie King. Her descriptions leave nothing to be desired and her characters are charming even as they keep their secrets close to their vests. This is a fast read and one that may keep the reader reading into the wee hours of the morning. While this is the 16th book in the series, you need not to have read the first 15 books to enjoy this outing. However, you might want to read at least the first book in the series, “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice,” to see how this all began.

My thanks to Bantam Books and NetGalley for an eARC.
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I have been reading the Mary Russell books since they first came out. The first few books were magical - you were drawn into the world and the characters. The later books were missing something, I'm not sure what but they didn't have what the first books in the series had. This latest one has come closer to what the first books had - more character development and less mystery. I know that the mystery is important in a book featuring Sherlock Holmes but what made these different were the characters and how they grow and change over time - even Holmes himself. A word of caution - it helps to read The Murder of Mary Russell before this one.
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The latest installment in the Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell series does not disappoint.  Mary is vacationing off season on the Riviera where she meets a young American couple, Sara and Gerald Murphy who include her in their parties that include famous Jazz age celebrities like Pablo Picasso and F. Scott Fitzgerald as well as local dignitaries.  To her surprise, she sees that the last minute nanny for the children is non other than her own Mrs. Hudson, who had fled England under suspicion of murder and has disappeared.

Mrs. Hudson has been hiding in Monte Carlo but soon becomes a suspect when a handsome young Greek is found dead in her lodging.  Mary is convinced of her innocence but Holmes who shows up to join Mary is not.  Can Mary find the real killer and free Mrs. Hudson from this current predicament and youthful liaisons with dangerous men from her past?
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After reading Riviera Gold, I have one question. Why am I just now discovering Laurie R King? This book was fabulous. I am scrambling looking for the previous books from the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series. 
Five stars.
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Riviera Gold is the 16th book in the Mary Russel/Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie R. King. Released 9th June 2020 by Penguin Random House on their Ballantine imprint, it's 368 pages (print edition) and available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.
This entry in the series is set in the Riviera in 1925. Mary Russel has accompanied a friend on a sailboat and winds up in Monte Carlo and is soon mixed up with arms smuggling, crime, murder, and the long shadow of Mrs. Hudson's past. Holmes does make a significant appearance later in the book.

I liked that the narrative is worked around a framework of actual historical events, people, and occurrences. The author is skilled enough that it's sometimes difficult to distinguish where one ends and the other begins.

This is an enjoyable (but not quick) read. Fans of the series will find more of the same to like here. More rigorous fans of canonical Holmes will spend this book grinding their teeth. (Holmes and Mary Russel are married, she's the focus of the mysteries, and a lot of the action and the denouement stretch the bounds of suspension of disbelief to the limit). I did enjoy it a lot though. Highly recommended. Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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It's April 1877 and Clara is in London. I liked the characters but got overwhelmed by how many there were. I also got overwhelmed by the descriptions. The dialogue was okay .
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A fabulous entry in this series. A gripping page turner! Loved it.
Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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Laurie R. King is a masterful storyteller, always a pleasure to read. I love the way she interweaves accurate historical data with her always-intriguing storyline. The surrounding characters breathe and interact with the main characters (Mary Russel & Sherlock Holmes) in realistic and delightful drama and humor.

I always have to slow down my reading speed so I can make the joy last longer.

I never thought anyone could capture the essence of Doyle's Holmes outside of his books, until I read Laurie R. King.
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I'm very fond of these book and have read the whole series so far.  While not as good as the original Sherlock Holmes mysteries they are still some of the best mysteries out there. I highly recommend for all mystery lovers
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I loved the setting for this story.  The tale itself was very intriguing with multiple points of interest. The adventures of Russell and Holmes  were great to tag along on. 
Many thanks to Ballantine Books and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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The redoubtable Mrs. Hudson reappears in RIVIERA GOLD, alive and well and living in Monaco, where Mary has come in hopes of finding her. But not long after Mary’s arrival, Mrs. Hudson is arrested for the murder of a young man. In their efforts to clear her, Holmes and Mary are drawn into an investigation which ultimately involves a Riviera art colony, smugglers, an infamous arms dealer, and White Russian emigres. Ms. King weaves these disparate elements together with historical figures including Sara and Gerald Murphy, the Jersey Lily, and several famous artists and writers, and ties in a lingering mystery from THE MURDER OF MARY RUSSELL.

I thoroughly enjoyed RIVIERA GOLD. Mary and Holmes both seemed more themselves than they did in Island of the Mad (when, admittedly, they were both shaken by the events and revelations of the previous book.) The overall tone of RIVIERA GOLD is nicely balanced between the warmth and gaiety of the Riviera and the darker hues of danger and suspense. The pacing, too, is excellent: slow and leisurely at the beginning, as befits summertime on the Riviera, but ratcheting up steadily before taking off in a literal race to the finish. The dual mysteries are well-plotted, too, difficult but not impossible to unravel. King provides clues for the reader all along the way, not just through Mary’s first-person narrative, but via occasional third-party conversations between Mrs. Hudson and other people — mostly unnamed, though their identities become clear eventually.

As enjoyable and well-crafted as the novel is, however, I can’t in good conscience recommend it to anyone unfamiliar with the Mary Russell canon. Much of the thread involving Mrs. Hudson will be hard to understand if you haven’t at least read THE MURDER OF MARY RUSSELL. And honestly, the series as a whole is so well-written and so engaging that I can’t imagine jumping in mid-stream. If you’re new to the books, I highly recommend you start at the beginning with THE BEEKEEPER'S APPRENTICE. (See my series review, here.) If you are a long-time fan, you might wish to reread THE MURDER OF MARY RUSSELL first, so the details of Mrs. Hudson’s past are fresh in your mind… but as long as you remember the gist, you should find no difficulty, and much pleasure, in following the events in RIVIERA GOLD.
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Another solid addition to a great series. I just finished it and I already want to read it again. Loved having Mrs. Hudson involved again and learning more of her past.
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RIVIERA GOLD by Laurie R. King is another mystery novel in her series that features Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (beginning with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, and including titles like Dreaming Spies and The Murder of Mary Russell).  Mrs. Hudson, having left Holmes' employ and settled in the Monte Carlo area, is a central figure in this latest work of suspense. In fact, King dedicates the book to "all the grey-haired ladies out there, filled with wisdom and mischief. And yes – to some of the men." With cameo appearances by Lillie Langtry and Pablo Picasso, King conveys the opulence of the 1920s. Russell and Holmes try to solve a murder of which Mrs. Hudson is suspected; even soliciting information from Mycroft Holmes who responds, "A professional beauty, an arms merchant, a Russian Count, and a Blackpool forger. Does this cast of disparate characters actually have anything to do with one another?" Read RIVIERA GOLD to find out! Given a starred review by Library Journal; this title could certainly be enjoyed as a stand-alone work and readers familiar with the excellent series will appreciate its references to past events even more.
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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.
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