I am a big fan of the first two titles in Laurie King's Mary Russell series. They are smartly written, and I adore the Russell and Holmes characters & their relationship to each other. Plot and a satisfying mystery has never been King's strongest point, but there is much to enjoy in spite of this shortcoming.
I don't know why I enjoy the series as much as I do, but I absolutely adore them! This is the second book in the series, and I can't wait to read more! I don't agree with the readers who are saying that this book isn't as fun as the first one; because I had an awesome time reading it and was laughing out loud at the sarcasm that was being thrown back and forth by Russell and Holmes. If you liked the Beekeeper's Apprentice, then you will adore this next one. I'm not, however, a big fan of Holmes and Russell's marriage. The age difference just makes me want to squirm, and I think that they are better off as close mentor/mentees, as they were in the first book.
The sequel definitely is much... edgier. I felt that Russell was slightly "out of character" in some instances and that in some context, the plot was vague. The queer Margery Childs kept me reading, and I have to say, it wasn't regretted!
The extraordinary minds of the Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell team that debuted in The Beekeeper's Apprentice, the first book in this series, aren't nearly as vividly displayed in A Monstrous Regiment of Women. That took away a lot of the fun so evident in the first novel. Monstrous Regiment got really interesting about two-thirds of the way through, but until then I was confused at all the time spent exploring the beliefs and oddities of Margery Childs and her entourage. I just didn't see the point. I'm still a fan of the Mary Russell series, but I hope the next book recaptures the fun of the first.
The second in the Mary Russell / Sherlock Holmes books, which began in The Beekeeper's Apprentice.
Like the first book in the series, this held my attention even through the sections with a lot of crypto-feminist subtext (the passages with overt feminist content weren't nearly as distracting).
Like the original Holmes stories, there were references to at least one otherwise unknown adventure taking place between the time frame of this book and the first one.
A nice homage to the old master, with some entertaining snark about Doyle's credulous acceptance of fairy pictures and other clap-trap.
Decent fiction on feminism during the post war in London centered on a newly minted Oxford Graduate who shared off-the-chart deductive powess as her soon to be husband Sherlock Holmes. Apparently published in 1995 well before my reading days of fiction. King's books are a much needed excursion from current crop of women mystery writers...more edgy and as daring as Sue Grafton.
2nd book in the Mary Russell Series
MADKC4Ever thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over
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