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A monstrous regiment of women
Laurie R. King
Adult Fiction KING

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From Publishers' Weekly:

King first teamed Mary Russell with Sherlock Holmes in the riveting The Beekeeper's Apprentice. Then Mary was a vulnerable, bright 15-year-old. Now, in 1920, Mary is a week away from her 21st birthday and has finished her studies at Oxford, and the relationship between these two forceful, eccentric and indelibly etched characters is charged with sexuality and issues of authority. A chance meeting with a friend in London introduces Mary to Margery Childe, leader of the New Temple of God, a burgeoning institution in which feminism powers both theological inquiry and programs of social activism. Skeptical, analytical Mary, who concentrated on theology at Oxford, is reluctantly drawn toward Childe and the temple's inner circle, most of whom are wealthy, educated young women. After one of them is murdered, Mary persuades Holmes to help in the recovery of the dead woman's brother, who became addicted to heroin while in the war. While Holmes is so occupied, Mary learns about other unexpected deaths of temple members and determines to investigate. Coming into her considerable inheritance, she displays her new wealth, leaps into temple activities and is soon in danger that threatens her soul as much as her life. King builds a riveting plot on the era's fervent feminism and crushing social order. Even more gripping, however, are the internal dilemmas faced by the deeply rational, fiercely independent Mary as she struggles to accept both Childe's possible mysticism and her deepening affection for Holmes. King's second Russell/Holmes tale lives up to all the accomplished promise of the first. Paperback rights to Bantam; author tour. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

King "found" this sequel to The Beekeeper's Apprentice (St. Martin's, 1994) in a trunk, presumably the property of narrator Mary Russell. Mary once again tells of her partnership with Sherlock Holmes, a juxtaposition of her youth (age almost 21) and Holmes's advanced middle age (59). Using disguise, guile, and ruse, Mary investigates murders in the inner clique of feminist preacher Margery Childe. Holmes assists, but the focus here is on Mary. The semiconvoluted, finely crafted late-Victorian prose is buttressed with exacting mots justes and surrounded by a nicely re-created 1920s London. A unique look at Holmes; for all collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Mary Russell
Female
Age: 20
Orphan
Completed her studies at Oxford; came into her inheritance; interested in the advancement of women's rights; Sherlock Holmes's protege; investigating a series of murders claiming members of a wealthy female suffrage organization.
Apprentice

Sherlock Holmes
Male
Age: 59
Retired
Mary's mentor; pursuing a drug smuggler.
Private investigator



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