Mary Russell's War: A Journal of the Great War by Laurie R. King

govmarley's review

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Not one of my favorites in the series. I think I understand why she wrote it, but I was content to leave young Mary in the past with fuzzy details. And her constant references to Holmes before she knew Holmes didn't land for me. She didn't seem star-struck when they met in the Beekeeper's Apprentice, so I didn't feel it was necessary here. In fact, that's how I feel about this book. Not necessary.

I still adore the series - it's one of my favorites. Alas, I'm giving this one 2 stars.

frakalot's review

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This background story essentially leads right up to the very first time that Mary literally walked into Holmes. It's a good story showing Mary in that period between the naivety of youth and the maturity she would grow into. There's no case in this story although Mary does demonstrate much curiosity and persistence.

bjerz's review

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Terrific short story of Mary as a 14 year old when the first world war breaks out. Tragedies abound, yet Mary soldiers on...

tamaranr's review

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Loved the pictures and details of Mary Russell coming of age during World War I. I just love the intelligence of these stories. The time period pictures were an added touch.

morgandhu's review

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Laurie R. King's novella Mary Russell's War is a prequel to her Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, covering the year immediately preceding the first volume of that series. It takes the form of a personal journal kept by Mary during the run-up to, and first year of, the first World War.

The journal alternates between events in Mary's life - which include the traumatic accident in which her parents and brother died, and her decision to leave the custodial care of her paternal grandparents in Boston to return to her mother's home in England - and actual photos and news articles that appeared in various American and British publications during the tine period covered by the novella.

It's quite an introduction to Mary Russell, and plants the seeds of much that comes out slowly during the later books of the series. A quick but enjoyable read.

frannyarose's review

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Although this is only the second book I've read of the Mary Russell series I'm already tired of both her character and Mr. Holmes. After reading a few other reviews by bigger fans than me, it seems that this book itself isn't Laurie King's best. I couldn't wait until it was over and I wish I never read it. I think Laurie King was trying to be a feminist by creating a female character as smart as Mr. Holmes but instead she created a character who looks down on other women. Russell often only talks about other women's failings, prédisposition to housekeeping, and lack of intelligence, and she is only seen as strong because she matches a man's strength. If this character was a real person today she'd be one of those women who say she only has male friends because she doesn't have a lot to talk about with other women and probably thinks the only good literature is written by British men in the 1800s.