ISLAND of the MAD By LAURIE R. KING

Island of the Mad (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #15)

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are back in the New York Times bestselling series that Lee Child called “the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.”

A June summer’s evening, on the Sussex Downs, in 1925. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are strolling across their orchard when the telephone rings: an old friend’s beloved aunt has failed to return following a supervised outing from Bedlam. After the previous few weeks–with a bloody murder, a terrible loss, and startling revelations about Holmes–Russell is feeling a bit unbalanced herself. The last thing she wants is to deal with the mad, and yet, she can’t say no.

The Lady Vivian Beaconsfield has spent most of her adult life in one asylum after another, yet he seemed to be improving–or at least, finding a point of balance in her madness. So why did she disappear? Did she take the family’s jewels with her, or did someone else? The Bedlam nurse, perhaps?

The trail leads Russell and Holmes through Bedlam’s stony halls to the warm Venice lagoon, where ethereal beauty is jarred by Mussolini’s Blackshirts, where the gilded Lido set may be tempting a madwoman, and where Cole Porter sits at a piano, playing with ideas..

It didn’t take much to have a woman parked in an insane asylum back in 1925. Standing up for yourself, would be called hysteria. Being gay or wanting to be independent or a million other reasons that showed just how few rights women had.

When Vivian, the aunt of Mary’s friend, goes missing after a week-end at her half-brother and guardian’s home, it becomes a race to find Vivian before her greedy and mean brother can.

From the dark gloominess of Bedlam to the beauty and freedom of Venice, they follow their clues. Sherlock and Russell are so good because they have entirely different ways of investigation and those two ways gel quite nicely.

With a lot of help from some famous and even not so famous people they may have come up with a plan that will protect Vivian and let other women live their lives on their own terms.

Very well Done!

Netgalley/ Bantam  June 12, 2018

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond Releasing Tomorrow

The Marriage Pact
Newlyweds, Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . . Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples. And then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare. 

The title of the book was intriguing.

Jake, a therapist and Alice, a former semi-famous band member, now an attorney, are getting married. When her boss asks to attend, Alice thinks it’s a kind gesture. It is not.

Marriage is hard enough without having a third-party involved in it. While I was still intrigued for the first third of the book, after that it became tedious and hard to believe.

We’ve seen a lot of books like this lately. Books that show super smart people behaving in ways that you know is just not believable. And that was my problem with the book, it made me not like any of the characters, especially the main two.

It was just unbelievable that two highly educated people, one a therapist even, were this dumb.