Discover more from Paula's Pad of Inspiration
A Letter of Mary
Review of Book 3 in the Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell Series
Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell are married. An old friend of Mary’s comes to visit. She does archeological work in Palestine. She has in possession a first-century manuscript that claims that Mary Magdalene was an Apostle of Christ. When she ends up murdered, Mary and Sherlock must determine if the motive had anything to do with the shocking claim in the manuscript or was it something else?
As part of the investigation, Mary poses as a secretary to a sexist colonel who believes women should only get married and have children, which is interesting because he hires a woman to work for him. The colonel was friendly with Mary’s friend. The colonel’s devout Christianity and his traditional view of women leads Mary to question whether the colonel would murder Mary’s friend if she was about to make a controversial claim about the beginnings of Christianity. Since Mary is a feminist, this undercover assignment provides some challenging and humorous scenes.
Meanwhile, Sherlock is in a kind of a funk. He is bored and he ends up missing something about this case until the very end. Overall, it was a great novel, but the conclusion of the mystery was a little underwhelming. I hope in the next installment, Sherlock is not as bored. The next installment involves a character from The Hound of the Baskervilles, so I am looking forward to that.
As for the controversial manuscript, Mary seems more inclined to believe it than me. I respect her as a character and her intellect, but I disagree on this claim. As a Catholic, I believe all of the Apostles were men. However, it is important to note that Mary Magdalene did become a follower of Christ; she most certainly can be considered a disciple, but the idea she was an Apostle seems far-fetched to me. I do appreciate, though, how Laurie R. King engages in deep theological issues, even if I do not always agree with them. It gives the series more depth than other ones.
Next installment in series: The Moor
I will try to review this novel in April.