King, Laurie R. A Monstrous Regiment of Women. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995.
Reason read: to continue the series started in January in honor of Mystery month.
When we last left Mary Russell, she was a young woman on the verge of partnering with the incomparable Sherlock Holmes. She had a razor sharp wit, blistering fast powers of observation and deduction which rivaled those of Holmes.
Now in A Monstrous Regiment of Women Mary’s adventures as Holmes’s sidekick continue. She progressively hones her skills as a super sleuth while advancing her academic studies in Oxford. A chance encounter with an old friend leads Mary to Margery Childe, a enthusiastic leader of an organization called the New Temple of God, a bizarre combination of post World War I suffrage activities and feminist Christianity. Childe’s approach to feminism and religion draws Mary into the membership but when a series of murders claim the lives of wealthy female volunteers, Mary cannot help but wonder if she has stepped into a trap. She more than fits the profile of the previous victims: wealthy young woman dedicated with their minds, hearts and purses to the cause.
Best line to quotes, “I knew every movement and gesture of the man, the lines and muscles of his face that were more familiar than my own, the mind that had moulded mine, and I knew that when his thoughts returned from the contemplation of that particular gaze and with a few deft words unearth the topic I’d been trying so desperately to divert him from” (p 71), and “It is very difficult to think with the end of a revolver in one’s face” (p 243).
Author fact: King is still writing about Mary and Sherlock. You can check out her page here.
Book trivia: A Monstrous Regiment of Women covers a little over one month of Mary’s life with Sherlock.
Nancy said: Pearl lets readers know Mary Russell becomes Holmes’s partner in A Monstrous Regiment of Women.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Ms Mystery” (p 169).