Island of the Mad is one of the most cohesive and well-plotted entries in King's series full of gems. Russell is asked to look into the disappearance of her friend Ronnie's aunt. From the hallways of Bedlam to the Cole Porter's rented Venetian Palazzo, the couple use their wits, and their street informants to find out the truth. King takes another look at the sexism and political upheaval of the time.
In the Acknowledgements she writes, "...Christine Gregorin (found at www.slow-venice.com) swept me from one end of the city to the other, talking politics and history. Not that this book is about politics: no, not at all." It's safe to say that the previous statement is sarcasm at its finest. And if one reads passages such as: "If one plays on fear, takes away any remotely complicated ideas, and offers people a sense of confidence and right, one's followers will beat to death any enemy they are pointed at," and thinks that, just maybe, King is taking a swipe at the current political landscape, I don't think he or she would be far off. But whether you are interested in political allegories or are just looking for a fast-paced adventure, this episode of Russell and Holmes is not to be missed.