Good, fun book. This is the continuing story (although it stands alone) of a young woman who is a friend of Sherlock Holmes. I enjoyed the mystery and romance, although perhaps hard core Holmes fans may not be as interested.
I thoroughly enjoyed this first of King's book that I have read. it won't be my last. It's intelligently written with likable characters in the setting of London in the early 20's. It features Sherlock Holmes and a much younger woman who is a love interest but she is studying at Oxford while learning the tricks of Holmes' trade.
My infatuation with Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes continues in this second book in Laurie R. King's series. First of all, A Monstrous Regiment of Women is a marvelous title that sticks in the mind like a burr. The title comes from Bible thumper John Knox, the equal opportunity hatemonger. (From what I've read, I doubt the man ever cracked a smile.) Knox was notorious for his misogyny, and King has rounded up quite a collection of quotes from Knox and other men with similar beliefs to head each chapter in the book. It wasn't unusual for me to read the quote at the beginning of a chapter and have some unladylike response to it before diving headfirst back into the story. Furthermore, the quotes aren't there just for decoration or to cause blood pressure spikes-- they follow the narrative of the story, and I soon became quite eager to see what the next quote would be.
Mary is now a young woman who's about to come into a very large sum of money, and she struggles a bit with the burden of responsibility this places upon her. She also has a newborn sense of freedom and begins to think about the relationship she has with Holmes. This book (as well as the first one, The Beekeeper's Apprentice) is so much more than a recitation of facts about cases the two detectives have solved, and this is all due to Mary's narration. She focuses on personal matters and on the people involved, so readers can really get a sense of whom the characters are and why they are involved.
Mary has the lion's share of the scenes in this book, but Holmes' presence is felt throughout. Never once did I forget that this man is "the world's greatest detective," but it is refreshing to see him in a totally different light. Mary is his equal in mind and in heart, and I love watching the relationship between these two growing into something very, very special.
Just in case you get the impression that A Monstrous Regiment of Women is a mere character study, think again. The case is an intriguing one that is difficult to sort out, and Mary is in very real danger towards the end. In fact, I think I was reading so fast that my eyeballs almost caught fire.
I love the world that Laurie R. King has created. I now have all the books, and I fully intend to savor each and every one. If you have yet to sample this series, you have a wonderful treat in store for you. In order to achieve the greatest amount of enjoyment, I would suggest that you read the books in order. The way the relationship between Holmes and Mary Russell unfolds is a delight.
I liked book one enough to snag up books 2 and 3. Book one was a great book but it wasnt a fast read. I agree with another reviewer here that this book moves along at a much faster pace. It was superb in every way and just as delightful and well written as book one. On to book THREE!
There are many many books in this series. Yes, read them in order.
The dawn of 1921 finds Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmess brilliant young apprentice, about to come into a considerable inheritance. Nevertheless, she still enjoys her nighttime prowls in disguise through Londons grimy streets, where one night she encounters an old friend, now a charity worker among the poor. Veronica
Beaconsfield introduces Russell to the New Temple of God, led by the enigmatic, electrifying Margery Childe.
Despite herself, Russell is drawn ever deeper into Childes circle. When Veronica has a near-fatal accidentand turns out to be the fourth bluestocking in the group to meet with misadventure after changing her willRussell and Holmes launch a quiet investigation.
This is one of the best Sherlock Holmes pastiches I've ever read; on a par with Carole Nelson Douglas series! Don't start it unless you have free time, or you'll be up all night unable to put it down.
From back cover: The dawn of 1921 finds Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmes's brilliant young apprentice, about to come into a considerable inheritance. Nevertheless, she still enjoys her nighttime prowls in disguise through London's grimy streets, where one night she encounters an old friend, now a charity worker among the poor. Veronica Beaconsfield introduces Russell to the New Temple of God, led by the enigmatic, electrifying Margery Childe. Part suffragette, part mystic, she lives quite well for a woman of God from supposedly humble origins.
Despite herself, Russell is drawn ever deeper into Childe's circle. When Veronica has a near-fatal accident -- and turns out to be the fourth bluestocking in the group to meet with misadventure after changing her will -- Russell and Holmes launch a quiet investigation. But the Temple may bring the newly rich Russell far closer to heaven than she would like...
I added the Laurie King book because I have enjoyed the entire series of the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes books. They're well-written, interesting, and great by the fire in winter. They're worth your time!
It is 1921 and Mary Russell has just turned 21 and come into her inheritance. She has not lost her taste for wandering London's streets in disguise the same way her mentor, Sherlock Holmes, still does. During one of her prowls she encounters her old Oxford classmate, Veronica Beaconsfield, who introduces her to the New Church of God and its founder, Margery Childe, a feminist who has political ambitions. Despite her unease, Mary finds herself drawn to Childe's good works for women and becomes involved in the movement. But when her friend almost dies in a suspicious accident, her investigations turn up several rich women who met similar, fatal misfortunes after leaving their money to the Church. Determined to uncover the truth, Russell uses her inheritance as bait to lure the perpetrator out, but finds herself in deeper water than she bargains for.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that this second volume of the series moved along at a much brisker pace than the previous. Mary's character has come into her own and is no longer a mere shadow beside Holmes, and this bodes well for the rest of the series, which I look forward to eagerly
Laurie King has done it again. Her heroine Mary Russell, apprentice to Sherlock Holmes has come into a considerable inheritance in 1921. Still she enjoys her nightime prowls in disguise through London's grimy streets, where one night she encounters an curious combination of religion, mysticism and suffragette movements and murder. Russell and Holmes launch a quiet investigation, but soon Russell finds herself closer to heaven than she would like ...