I discovered this series many years ago after I had read the entire Conan Doyle canon of Sherlock Holmes stories and books. I discovered Holmes pastiche and read everything my library had. Some were good, some were bad, but even before I read The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, the first book in this series, I was doubtful that the premise would work. Boy, was I wrong.
Riviera Gold: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes is the latest book in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. There was a time when I couldn’t wait for the next one, Then, The Pirate King ruined it for me. For many fans, you either loved it or hated it. I hated it, and found the following two books just okay. The Murder of Mary Russell and Island of the Mad brought me back to the series. I anxiously anticipated this book.
When Holmes is absent, I find the story drags. I feel that about every book, and I know they are Mary Russell books, not Sherlock Holmes books, but every time he’s missing, it isn’t as interesting to me. In Riviera Gold, Holmes doesn’t show up until you are 25% into the book, and then the story takes off. Before that, I didn’t care about Mary’s holiday and hanging out with Zelda and her un-named yet obviously F. Scott Fitzgerald on the French Riviera and all her other posh friends. It was so very un-Mary like, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the scenes.
The mystery was good, but kind of predictable with a cast of characters straight out of Central Casting. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the murderer, but it is still an enjoyable ride to get to the end. Riviera Gold reminded me of the best Agatha Christie novels, and I like Agatha Christie novels.
It was also a treat to run into Mrs. Hudson again and see what her life was like after she left Sussex. I would say that most readers would get more out of the book if they had previously read the first few books of the series.
I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest opinion of the book.
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