Fiction Book Reviews

Crime | Island of the Mad | Laurie R King

Jera's Jamboree receives compensation for affiliate advertising. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

We’re delighted to be sharing Laura’s thoughts about Island of the Mad by Laurie R King.

Island of the Mad Laurie R King (book cover)

Following the revelations of Mrs Hudson’s past and a commission of murder in the spring of 1925, Mary Russell receives word that one of her university friends-a devout feminist-has been committed to Bedlam mental hospital. Russell herself is feeling less than balanced, and the last thing she wants is to deal with the mad. However, she agrees to look into it-when her friend escapes. The pursuit leads her across Europe to Venice and finally to the Poveglia Island, a lunatic asylum built on the bones of centuries of plague victims. Russell takes a deep breath, and follows-only to find that the lunatics may be in charge of the asylum, and nothing is quite as it seems.

Island of the Mad by Laurie R King is published by Allison & Busby and is available to purchase in digital, paperback, hardcover and audiobook formats.


Island of The Mad is part of a Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mystery series. As my first one I didn’t feel I had missed any detail as Laurie R. King is a great writer. I will now look to find more in this series as immensely enjoyed this one.

Set in 1925, Rusell and Holmes follow a lead to Venice. I loved the gorgeous descriptions of this beautiful city, and as I enjoy history thought this held wonderful historical detail of the time.

Russell is on the hunt for a friend’s missing aunt, Lady Vivian. Holmes accompanies her while observing the Blackshirts, due to the rise of Fascism in Italy.

I found the story interesting starting with a trip to Bedlam, an asylum and enjoyed the inclusion of Cole Porter and his wife in Venice.

Intriguing, well written and a great mystery. A great read.

Jera's Jamboree

Laurie R King Author Photo

Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of 27 novels and other works, including the Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes stories (from The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, named one of the 20th century’s best crime novels by the IMBA, to 2018’s Island of the Mad).  She has won an alphabet of prizes from Agatha to Wolfe, been chosen as guest of honor at several crime conventions, and is probably the only writer to have both an Edgar and an honorary doctorate in theology. She was inducted into the Baker Street Irregulars in 2010, as “The Red Circle.”

Connect with Laurie R King


Twitter @LaurieRKing



Sharing is caring!

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *