Fiction: “A Monstrous Regiment of Women” by Laurie R. King

So hey. I’ve been busy, okay? I’ve actually got two reviews stored up because a) I couldn’t figure out how to write them, and b) I was busy with work and class and other stuff that I haven’t found the time to update. Which is really sad. So. This is the first of the two reviews that I’m behind on. I’m currently reading another mystery and Little Women, so we’ll see which one I finish first. (Hint: it won’t be Little Women.)

A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King: The Second Mary Russell novel.

This is the last book I read while I was on vacation. I nearly read the entire thing on the flight from Vegas, but I kept putting it down because I wanted to savor it.

The story picks up three or so years after the end of Beekeeper’s Apprentice; Mary Russell has now come to her majority – she has kicked her aunt out of her house, reclaimed possession of her inheritance, and is looking forward to rekindling her friendship with Holmes as a true adult. The budding relationship between Holmes and Russell is the B-plot, if you will, of the story – will it remain platonic?

The main story is thusly: Russell runs into an old acquaintance from Oxford, Veronica “Ronnie” Beaconsfield, after being rudely rebuffed by Holmes. Ronnie draws her into a society for women, led by a charismatic woman who intrigues Russell. Russell is easily made a member of Margery Childe’s inner circle, and they begin a dialogue about the early Hebrew bible. But then Russell learns that a few members have died in the past year, all giving a good portion of their assets to the Order upon their death, she begins to investigate – without the help of Holmes.

The story barrels along – it is a bit slower in the middle than Beekeeper’s was, but it is still satisfying. The climax is even more horrific for Russell based on her past –

I don’t want to get into details, because I heartily enjoyed this book, and I don’t want to ruin anyone else’s enjoyment. Read Beekeeper’s first, but I highly recommend having this one on your to-be-read pile for immediately after.

Grade for A Monstrous Regiment of Women: 5 stars

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