Summary and book reviews of Justice Hall by Laurie King

Justice Hall

A Mary Russell Novel

by Laurie R. King

Justice Hall
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2002, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2003, 448 pages

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Book Summary

A brilliant blend of traditional (Sherlock)Holmesian myth, startling originality, complex plotting, and unforgettable characters set against a fully realized early-twentieth-century world.

Dazzling readers and critics alike, Laurie R. King's bestselling mystery series featuring Mary Russell and her partner-in-crime Sherlock Holmes has been described by The New York Times as a "lively adventure in the very best of intellectual company."

Author of The Moor, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice,and O Jerusalem, King--the first writer since Patricia Cornwell to win the most prized mystery awards in both the United States and England for a debut novel (A Grave Talent)--brings back Russell and her famous mentor to solve a case that may prove their undoing.

Justice Hall

Just hours after Holmes and Russell return from solving the murky riddle of The Moor, a bloodied but oddly familiar stranger pounds desperately on their front door, pleads for their help, and then collapses. When he recovers, he lays before them the story of the enigmatic Marsh Hughenfort, younger brother of the Duke of Beauville, returned to England upon his brother’s death. .Not until Holmes and Russell arrive in the village of Arley Holt can they fully understand Marsh’s dilemma.

For Justice Hall is a home of dizzying beauty and unearthly perfection, set in a garden modeled on Paradise. Russell longs for what it represents: permanence, history, the kind of roots that reach back for centuries. But Holmes senses the burdens echoed in the family motto, Justitia fortitudo mea est. And as Marsh seeks to live by the words, "Righteousness is my strength," he is determined to learn the truth about the untimely death of Justice Hall’s expected heir...a puzzle he is convinced only Holmes and Russell can solve.

It’s a mystery that begins during the Great War of 1918, when young Gabriel Hughenfort, the late Duke’s only son, died amidst scandalous rumors that have haunted the family ever since. While Holmes heads to London to uncover the truth of Gabriel’s war record, Russell joins an ill-fated shooting party. A missing diary, a purloined bundle of letters, and a trail of ominous clues comprise a mystery that will call for Holmes’s cleverest disguises and Russell’s most daring journeys into the unknown...from an English hamlet to the city of Paris to the wild prairie of the New World. The trap is set, the game is afoot, but can they catch an elusive villain in the act of murder before they become his next victims?

A brilliant blend of traditional Holmesian myth, startling originality, complex plotting, and unforgettable characters set against a fully realized early-twentieth-century world, Justice Hall will delight readers with a mystery as intelligent as it is engagingly devious.

CHAPTER ONE

Home, my soul sighed. I stood on the worn flagstones and breathed in the many and varied fragrances of the old flint-walled cottage: Fresh beeswax and lavender told me that Mrs. Hudson had indulged in an orgy of housecleaning in the freedom of our prolonged absence; the smoke from the wood fire seemed cleaner than the heavy peat-tinged air I'd been inhaling in recent weeks; the month-old pipe tobacco was a ghost of its usual self; and beneath it all the faint, dangerous, seductive tang of chemicals from the laboratory overhead.

And scones.

Holmes grumbled his way past, jostling me from my reverie. I stepped back out into the crisp, sea-scented afternoon to thank my farm manager, Patrick, for meeting us at the station, but he was already away down the drive, so I closed the heavy door, slid its two-hundred-year-old bolt, and leant my back against the wood with all the mingled relief and determination of a feudal lord shutting out an unruly mob.

Domus, my ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

The Washington Post Book World

The great marvel of King's series is that she’s managed to preserve the integrity of Holmes’s character and yet somehow conjure up a woman astute, edgy, and compelling enough to be the partner of his mind as well as his heart.

Booklist - GraceAnne DeCandido

King breaks most of the rules of mystery narrative with voluptuous abandon, and we don't care. Pages of exquisite description of British stately homes, and what went on in them, propel rather than slow the tale; the accretion of detail mesmerizes.

Kirkus Reviews

The least successful of King's six Holmes pastiches is also the most accomplished--if you don't mind seeing the master detective sidelined.

Publishers Weekly

Though some Baker Street Irregulars may humbly beg to differ, King comes close to matching the fine intelligence and wit that informed Doyle's original adventures, providing irresistible entertainment.

Booklist - GraceAnne DeCandido

King breaks most of the rules of mystery narrative with voluptuous abandon, and we don't care. Pages of exquisite description of British stately homes, and what went on in them, propel rather than slow the tale; the accretion of detail mesmerizes.

Reader Reviews

Victoria Russell

This is a really wonderful book, especially if you've read the other books in the series. It's full of mystery, suspense, adventure, and a bit of romance.
Justice Hall has to be one of my favourite books ever, and the best book from the Mary ...   Read More

go2yourlibrary

Best of the series, best book I have read in a while!

Here's the challenge: take two Arab characters from a previous book and change them completely into English gentlemen. Laurie R. King does a magnificent job, interspersing flashbacks from Mary ...   Read More

jack


This installment in the saga was quite good, to me much better than the book that formed the prequel. I was a fan of Holmes for many years before I found this series and I find it as good as the original. The style of this story has ...   Read More

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