A Monstrous Regiment of Women

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Monstrous Regiment of Women
by Laurie R. King

This is the second in a series (the first is The Beekeeper’s Apprentice) and while I loved the first one, this didn't quite measure up for me. Mary Russell has followed in Sherlock Holmes' footsteps and has become a private detective. I really like her character and it was fun to see her develop. She came into her inheritance in this book, which dramatically changes her circumstances.

The plot focuses on an often over-looked piece of history. The young women who were left behind when WWI began had to build new lives for themselves and many joined the war effort or workforce. So many of their fianc├ęs, sweethearts, brothers, etc. were sent off to war and many of them never returned. Those that did were often broken and so altered by PTSD as to be unrecognizable. When the war ended those same women were expected to step back into their “places”. The case in this book deals with that group of women, many of whom have joined a cult-like religion. The plot feels very secondary to Russell’s development as a character.

I've got to say, the Russell/Holmes romantic relationship just doesn’t click for me. I see them as a great meeting of the minds. They challenge each other and make a great mentor/mentee, but they met when she was a kid and he was an old man. It just creeps me out and that whole element just through me for a loop.

BOTTOM LINE: I love the writing and the characters, but the romance didn't sit right for me.

“‘What is it you want of me, Russell? I agree this is all very interesting, from the point of view of the human mind, but why bring it to me?’

‘I don’t know. I suppose I thought that telling you might help me clarify it in my own mind.’”

Also, this is my 12th and final book for the TBRChallenge!  

Wordless Wednesday: Veterans Memorial

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Veterans Memorial in Columbus, Ind.  
Wordless Wednesday
Photo by me.

Book Club

Monday, October 5, 2015

I love my book club. For years I tried to find a good one, but every time I joined a new one I would once again be disappointed. Each time I quickly discovered that “book club” was mom code for “get out of the house and hang out with people.” Which is great except, I didn’t know those people well enough to want to talk about their kids for 30 minutes, I wanted to talk about the book! We rarely even got around it, which is just not cool.

So time and time again, I realized that every book club made up of 20 and 30-somethings was not for me. Believe me, I have nothing against sitting around and drinking wine or coffee and chatting. It’s just I’d just rather do that with my friends than with a group of people I don’t know well.

In 2009 a woman I'd met in the United We Read program I used to participate in invited me to her book club. I've been a member ever since. During my first meeting they showed me a list of books they’d read and rated over the past decade and the vast majority were ones that I either loved or had on my TBR list.

I’m the youngest member in the group by about 30 years and it’s perfect. It’s a small group, but one that’s very committed to reading the book and showing up for the meetings. If someone can't make it we normally move the meeting around. They are almost all retired and have wonderful stories about places they've traveled to and things they've experienced. Our difference in age and personalities allows for a diverse reaction to books and great discussions. Each year we try to read at least one mystery, nonfiction and classic in addition to various fiction.

Tell me about your book clubs? What do you love about them or what would you change?