PW’s love for ISLAND

The Publishers Weekly review for Island of the Mad– might offer you a tantalizing taste of what’s to come your way in June…

Island of the Mad

Set in 1925, Edgar-winner King’s well-plotted 16th Mary Russell novel (after 2016’s The Murder of Mary Russell) finds Mary helping Ronnie Fitzwarren, an old friend of hers from her first year at Oxford, with what Ronnie calls an emergency. In 1922, Ronnie’s eccentric Aunt Vivian was confined to Bethlem Royal Hospital (aka Bedlam Asylum) after several violent outbursts, including the attempted murder of her half-brother Edward, for whom she “always demonstrated a particular antipathy.” Now Vivian has disappeared, along with her nurse, while on leave from the hospital to celebrate Edward’s 50th birthday. Mary’s search for Vivian takes her first to Bedlam and later to Venice, accompanied by her husband, Sherlock Holmes, who has been sent by his brother, Mycroft, to monitor fascism in Italy. There they have an unpleasant encounter with Edward, an admirer of Mussolini, and befriend composer Cole Porter, who assists them in revealing what’s behind Vivian’s animus toward Edward. This ranks as one of the better recent installments in this popular series.


  1. Kathryn Lloyd on April 10, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    A tantalizing taste for sure! Can hardly wait. Thanks so very much for writing it. Hope there will be more to come. 🙂

  2. C Stern on May 20, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Can’t wait!!!!!!!!! Never can; somehow do.

  3. Shoshanna Balatow on May 31, 2018 at 1:40 am

    This looks to be a splendid read!
    Thank you again for sending my prize Atlas Obscura~ it is fascinating.
    Warm regards,

    • Laurie King on May 31, 2018 at 8:57 am

      Isn’t it fine? I hope you enjoy many hours or perusal–and enjoy Island of the Mad when it comes out, too!

  4. Robert Wise on June 20, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Island of the Mad … Finished my first reading.
    Thanks Laurie, wonderful story telling and writing! I got tears each time you mentioned Mrs. Hudson.
    And … Miss Russell teasing Archie Bunker’s Grandfather … “So tell me, my Lord, what’s the political situation hereabouts?” … marvelous!
    I often wonder, after all their years together, what are Holmes’ feelings about the absence of The Dr. and Mrs. Hudson? The tale seems incomplete to me … without their participation, and I fear for their health without Mrs. Hudson’s cooking.
    The women on Poveglia, isolated in the bay, the ugly tide of fascism creeping in… I wanted them to flee to safety, or was there none?

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