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 fiancés, 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!