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A Monstrous Regiment of Women
Review of Laurie R. King's A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell Book 2)
Mary Russell is nearing her independence. She will turn twenty-one soon. At that point, she will be free from her aunt, and she will be able to have true independence. During this time, she reacquaints herself with her college friend, Veronica, who is struggling with her ex-fiancé’s drug problems. Veronica introduces Mary to a church that has helped her find purpose and meaning. The church is called the New Temple of God and is run by a charismatic mystique, Margery Childe.
Mary finds that her and Margery are feminists who both make the case God is depicted as Mother instead of Father in the Bible. This is based on a mistranslation of a Greek word. It is a theological argument I personally do not agree with, but you do not need to in order to appreciate the novel.
The point is that Mary starts to surround herself with female companionship. It raises the question: Does Mary need male companionship? As the novel progresses, it is obvious Sherlock Holmes and her are growing closer, even though both fight it. A series of deaths occur in the novel connected to Margery, which raises questions about her and the temple. Sherlock tries to give Mary space to solve these crimes on her own, but later in the novel, Mary finds herself in increasingly dangerous situations. This presents a difficult dilemma for Mary regarding being completely independent. She must decide how much she wants Holmes in her life.
I highly recommend this novel. The third novel in the series is titled A Letter of Mary. I will try to have a review of that novel in March.