The Community of ISLAND

So, it’s three weeks since Island of the Madwas published; did you enjoy it?

Now that you’ve read Ms Russell’s 15thmemoir, have you revisited the background images of her London and Venice? There’s a Pinterest page here, with a few others on Instagram.

Perhaps you’d like to talk about Island of the Mad?  You’re in luck, since it’s the topic this month of the Virtual Book Club, over here.

What about the video—have you watched that? Still humming it?

Of course, there are the previous Island of the Mad blog posts, here.

And finally, if the book brought you pleasure, I hope you’ve mentioned it to your friends?  Word of mouth is the only really effective publicity, so you might like to do so—and we even made an image for you to post, if you so wish….

I truly appreciate all your support, with this and all my previous books.  Yes, you’ve put my name onto bestseller lists all over the country, but more than that, you give me the awareness of a community of friends.  Thank you.


  1. Chris on July 6, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Been wonderful to read and share. Oh, and to buy the extra copy to gift, but recipient won’t receive it for another month, upon her 89th birthday!

  2. Loretta on July 7, 2018 at 10:05 am

    One of my favs. I couldn’t put down this book down. I am rereading it so I can “savor” it.

  3. Mary Beth on July 7, 2018 at 11:08 am

    This was absolutely one of your best Mary Russell stories!!! I loved it from start to finish! I even laughed out loud when I saw Holmes’s fake passport name! I was a librarian and my teacher friends always ask me for recommendations for their summer reading. This one was number one on my list.

  4. Barbara Walls on July 7, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    I was so excited that your book arrived the “first day of being published” by my local library that delivers books. I had requested your book as soon the publication date was announced. I’ve read all your books since I picked up one of the Mary Russell sagas about five years ago, going back and reading them all in order. I have been a Holmes fan since I was about 9 or 10 and this series originally played havoc on my mind to first move into the 20th century and for Holmes to have a partner, who was a young woman, but more importantly, she was the kind of woman I envisioned myself being when I was a girl in the 1960s. Now, I can’t imagine Holmes having every lived without Russel in his life!

    The plot in Venice was intriguing, and I was both weary and contemplative as she encountered Mussilini’s henchmen. Obviously, the parallels to growing acceptance to fascist leaning policies in certain places in Europe and here at home, were often hard to deal with, but since I just finished all of Allen Furst’s books which showed the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s and the horrors of the War the last couple of months, I wasn’t too overwhelmed by certain actions and phrases and appreciated thinking about the trials and tribulations that Venice went through in the 1920s. When I visited the city a couple of decades ago, I was so focused on ancient history, I never even thought to try and find out how the city had fared under Mussolini. Thank you for opening my eyes to new interpretations. Thank you for Russell and I look forward to more adventures.

  5. Carol Reid on July 8, 2018 at 9:57 am

    As a librarian, I dont buy many hardback books–except yours! I have also listened to all the books on audio. It’s your subtle story arcs and juxtaposition that draw me in, the vivid settings and character’s humor and intelligence that keep me reading. And I tweet with Mary Russell herself!
    And I brag on you both all the time!
    Keep going!

  6. Thomas Zappe on July 26, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Dear Ms. King,

    I just finished ISLAND OF THE MAD. It is “D’lovely” and all the rest of those D’Porterian words.

    As with many of your tribe I have been a Holmes [along with Mark Twain] fan since grade school. Both have seriously influenced the way I think and speak, especially through the efforts of Basil Rathbone and Hal Holbrook. I have always felt that your stories [all of which I have read and often re-read] are part of the whole fabric of Holmes, not just some casual embroidery for a buck.

    I also have a special affection for the historical elements of these stories. I felt the fun you had doing the research for this book more than for any of your others. I have always been puzzled by authors [who seem not to know better words] that feel the need to create monsters, dragons and dungeons that could not exist while there have been so many who could and did such as Mussolini and his modern day descendants.

    And before I hear any objections from the Peanut Gallery, with all the stories, books, movies, TV shows and learned commentaries on Holmes extant, I must conclude that he is more knowable and consistent than most of the people running for public office this decade.

    In the words of another of my favorite 20th Century composers, “We love you, madly.”

    Tom Zappe/St. Louis,MO

    • Dave Ross on May 22, 2020 at 10:23 pm

      Well, Tom, here’s something else we have in common! The interweaving of the Porters and the Holmes by Ms. King is sheer brilliance. I just hope she lives forever and keeps writing!

      Dave Ross
      Portola Valley, CA

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