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A Monstrous Regiment of Women [Paperback]

Laurie R. King
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Oct 2007
The sequel to "The Beekeeper's Apprentice", this is the second book in Laurie King's new crime series featuring Mary Russell, apprentice to the retired Sherlock Holmes. When a series of murders claims members of the "The New Temple of God" movement, Mary begins to investigate.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Picador USA; Reprint edition (2 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312427379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312427375
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.1 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,335,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘Crime fiction’s most unlikely but utterly credible romance… Laurie King is the most interesting writer to emerge on the American crime fiction front in recent years’
Val McDermid

‘Brilliantly written’
T. J. Binyon, Evening Standard (of The Birth of a New Moon)

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

In 'A Monstrous Regiment of Women', the riveting sequel to 'The Beekeeper's Apprentice', Mary Russell (able apprentice detective to the great but ageing Sherlock Holmes)is becoming a skilled sleuth in her own right.

After a tedious visit from relatives, Mary is looking for respite in London when she comes across a friend from Oxford. The young woman introduces Mary to her current enthusiasm, the strange and enigmatic Margery Childe, leader of 'The New Temple of God'. It appears to be a charismatic sect involved in the post-World War movement. One suffrage movement, with a feminist slant on Christianity. Intrigued and curious, Mary begins to wonder if the New Temple is a front for something more sinister.

When a series of murders claims members of the movement's wealthy young female volunteers and principal contributors, Mary, with Holmes in the background, starts to investigate, but events spiral out of control as the situation becomes even more desperate, and Mary's search plunges her into the worst danger she has yet faced…

'A Monstrous Regiment of Women' is a fascinating and beautifully observed novel from the award-winning writer Laurie King.

"One of the most literate and gifted writers the mystery world has seen for some time".
Val McDermid

"If there is a new P.D. James…I would put my money on Laurie King".
'Boston Globe'

'The Bee Keeper's Apprentice' by Laurie R. King

"A carnival of sheer delight…the novel builds to a rousing climax, riveting and suspenseful".
'Chicago Sun Times'

"A tantalising novel, both for the intelligence and charm of the flirtation as well as for the intrigue of the plot".
'San Francisco Chronicle'

"Delightful…King has created a fitting partner for the Great Detective".
'Publishers News'

"Worthy and welcome, with power to charm the most grizzled Baker Street Irregular".
'New York Daily News'

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Apprenticeship is over; Mary comes of age 18 Aug 2006
Mary Russell is more or less on her own in this second adventure. At the ripe age of 21, Mary comes into her inheritance and through a friend, is introduced to the New Temple of God and its mystical leader, Margery Childe. Her feminism and theology fascinate Mary, but when a series of murders claim the lives of some of the Temple's wealthy young women, Mary begins to suspect something more is afoot. With Holmes' aid, Mary confronts a cunning and vicious killer. Nevertheless, the mystery plot is really secondary to story of Mary's coming of age after the events in King's superb Beekeepers' Apprentice. Mary must come to grips not only with her academic aspirations, but her relationship with Holmes. I can't help but be enthralled with King's smart writing and the unique voice of Mary Russell. But what I like most is that King knows when to make her heroine take charge, without making her an unrealistic action hero.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not an award winner, but wonderful anyway 28 Oct 2004
This book is never going to win any literary awards, but I adored it. The characters were adorable, the plot is pacey and interesting, and the scene at the end makes all the tension between the two main characters, Holmes and Russell, utterly worth the wait. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a mystery, a bit of Victorian society stuff, and of course a little bit of romance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb sequel to "A Beekeeper's Apprentice". 14 May 2004
This great sequel to King's first Sherlock Holmes pastiche, "A Beekeeper's Apprentice" combines a heady mix of drama, crime, romance and suspense.
The novel starts with sizzling sexual tension between Holmes and his young protege Mary Russell. Mary runs away from Holmes and meets the mysterious Margery Childe, leader of The New Temple Of God. This charismatic woman is preaching a new feminist Christianity and is building an army of wealthy females volunteers. But is it just coincidence that so many of these women die after leaving Childe all their money ? Mary is suspicious.
This book is action packed and features many of my favourite Holmes escapades. Lots of questions are raised in this tale and the plot races to a highly satisfying conclusion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent alternative literature 31 Dec 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is Laurie R King's second Mary Russell book- a great followup to The Beekeeper's Apprentice wherein we are introduced to Mary and re-kindle our acquaintance with Sherlock Holmes.
I started rather at the wrong end of the series- picking up The Language of Bees in Kirkwall Library- because the story involves Russell and Holmes making a visit to the Standing Stones at Stenness. So I have had the infinite pleasure of filling in the gaps as the books arrived by post, to my Kindle and via Audible ( Jenny Sterling is an excellent narrator) to my Pod.

I am addicted and I'm not sure whether I want to be Mary Russell because she is such a wonderful female or because she is so fortunate as to be involved with Sherlock Holmes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biblical Scholar Takes on a Religious Mystic 5 Feb 2006
A Monstrous Regiment of Women is the second novel in a series that features the female detective Mary Russell. In this volume Russell, who is an Oxford theology scholar, meets Margery Childe, a natural religious mystic, who is the charismatic leader of the Temple of God in 1921 London. Drawn together by their feminist leanings, and attracted to each other by their different approaches to the spiritual, these two women become close. Yet Mary becomes even more involved when rich women start dying in suspicious ways, and their wills show they are leaving large sums to the Temple.
Mary has been a close friend to the retired Sherlock Holmes. Their meeting and early years together are described in the first volume of the series: The Beekeeper's Apprentice. He has been teaching her his skills as a detective. The Temple deaths become her first case.
There is a subplot of romance as Mary and the elderly Holmes develop a sexual attraction towards each other. How they deal with it and how it transforms their professional and personal relationship is quite interesting.
I have been a fan of another set of feminist mystery novels that features a female detective working with Sherlock Holmes, the Irene Adler series by Carole Nelson Douglas. Both series feature a feminist and assertively brilliant American woman with a strong personal career. While Mary Russell is a biblical scholar, Irene Adler is an opera singer. While Laurie King pits a teenage girl against a retired older Holmes, Douglas lifts right out of A Scandal in Bohemia a woman of his own age that Holmes was attracted to and weaves her novels around the existing Arthur Conan Doyle stories. Where Mary Russell is serious and Tom-boyish, Irene Adler is flamboyantly female. Yet both feel comfortable donning a male disguise in their work.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is the second book in the series of Mary Russell novels and although I hadn't read the first book, 'The Beekeeper's Apprentice', it didn't really seem to matter.

Mary Russell is about to turn twenty-one and gain her inheritance and her freedom. She seems to follow a fairly unconventional life for a woman in Victorian England; frequently dressing as a young man and striding fearlessly into dangerous situations. She also has an unlikely friendship and working relationship with Sherlock Holmes who makes appearances throughout the book.

Mary is in London when she runs into an old university friend who takes her to 'The New Temple of God'; an organisation run by women who do charitable works for children and deprived women. It is there that she meets the charismatic Margery Childe. However, Mary's involvement becomes an investigating role, when several of the women involved with the temple are murdered.

I enjoyed this novel, it's light and atmospheric but I was hoping the Holmes would feature a bit more than he does. Still worth a read though.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Hooked and hoodwinked (SPOILERS!)
I am hooked on the Mary Russell series and currently borrowing them all in sequence from the library. King is an American author who (mostly) gets 1920s England right. Read more
Published 24 days ago by saltor
2.0 out of 5 stars Battered
This one is quite badly battered and the postage cost loads. I don't think I will buy any more used copies as they are so unpredictable.
Published 2 months ago by Jennie Mechti and Raphael Mann
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book in a great series
I've always loved the Holmes books, and this series is a great take on how things might have been several decades after his prime. Read more
Published 20 months ago by snowqueen01
5.0 out of 5 stars Book 2 of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes.
Time has moved on from the previous book by two years and Mary Russell is nearly 21 and this time the novel focuses very strongly on Russell. Read more
Published 24 months ago by gwenalop
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Comes of Age
In this second Mary Russell story Mary really grows up- she handles a complex and dangerous case and does it well. Read more
Published on 14 Oct 2011 by Mrs. M. Spotswood
4.0 out of 5 stars Mary Russell Volume 2
Another enjoyable story. Not so much a detective story more a study in developing characters and relationships. Read more
Published on 4 Oct 2011 by John in hampshire
2.0 out of 5 stars A Monstrous Regiment Of Women
Mary Russell investigates a religious organisation which helps the poor but seems to lose a lot of its inner circle to murder. Read more
Published on 3 Oct 2011 by Rich
3.0 out of 5 stars A Monstrous Regiment Of Women
Despite the rave reviews on the book's cover, I thought this is the least interesting Mary Russell novel of four which I have so far read. Read more
Published on 18 Feb 2011 by A. Willmett
5.0 out of 5 stars From the back cover...
Whilst in London, Mary Russell, apprentice detective to the great Sherlock Holmes, comes across a friend from Oxford. Read more
Published on 5 April 2007 by Angel Silver
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