Customer Reviews for

A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Series #2)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes- Expanded

This second in the Mary Russell series gives the reader even more insight into the WWI era of Britain, in this case in particular the attitudes pertaining to and about women of the time. I found the mystery wrapped around the female "preacher" to be a great contrast to ...
This second in the Mary Russell series gives the reader even more insight into the WWI era of Britain, in this case in particular the attitudes pertaining to and about women of the time. I found the mystery wrapped around the female "preacher" to be a great contrast to the murders that were happening around her. Laurie King's sense of timing enhances the relationship between the characters of Russell and Holmes. Anticipating the next repartee between these two is half the fun. I was reluctant at first to place Sherlock Holmes anywhere else but between the pages of Conan Doyle. Since reading three other books in the series I have found the partnership between Holmes and Russell to be an enhancement of Conan Doyles' masterpieces.

posted by Cher58 on April 11, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Not for Everyone

If you are a Sherlock Holmes purist, I'd stay clear of this one. While it is well-written enough, its focus was clearly not on the science of deduction or the mystery itself (Which wasn't all that difficult for the reader to solve). Didn't Holmes often complain to Watso...
If you are a Sherlock Holmes purist, I'd stay clear of this one. While it is well-written enough, its focus was clearly not on the science of deduction or the mystery itself (Which wasn't all that difficult for the reader to solve). Didn't Holmes often complain to Watson about deviation away from the science of the crime for the sake of sensationlism? Anyway, this yellow back novel is entertaining for the less strict fans who may not notice the out of character qualities in Holmes, and delightful for fans who've always had a crush on him. But for the most part, purists (Like myself) should just read Beekeeper's Apprentice and be done with it!

posted by Anonymous on August 25, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2014

    I was severely disappointed by this second outing in the "B

    I was severely disappointed by this second outing in the "Beekeeper's Apprentice" series. There's much less of Holmes and much more of Mary Russell, who comes across very much as a "Mary Sue", a stand-in for the author's wish fulfillment fantasies, jammed into a Sherlock Holmes pastiche.

    While the first novel had a very Conan-Doyle type mystery to sustain its heroine's failings, this second novel really doesn't have much of a mystery at all, and the denouement is painfully obvious from about halfway through the book.

    As every "Mary Sue" must be, our Mary Russell is adored by all, and superhuman in intelligence, endurance, and in overcoming obstacles that lay low the laity. The other characters seem to be stock characters by comparison; her flighty but good-hearted friend Veronica, Veronica's battle-weary addict of a boyfriend, and the supposed antagonist of the piece, a feminist cult leader.

    There's some beautifully efficient writing in this book, but all too often in service of stock scenes that seem like bad Merchant Ivory movie footage that was wisely left on the cutting room floor.

    This period of time in world history was a fascinating breathing space between WW1 and WW2. In the midst of it, Fitzgerald gave us "The Great Gatsby". Looking back through the eyes of her "Mary Sue", King gives us a boring and pedantic look at Biblical scholarship, and avoids Women's Suffrage, the disruption to British life caused by the loss of millions of young men, and the beginning of the end of the British Empire itself.

    Instead, we focus on a female biblical scholar at Cambridge who magically and wholly unrealistically never encounters any chauvinism or boorishness at study. In reality, she probably would have been mooned at her dissertation.

    Conan Doyle succeeded by making Doctor Watson our stand-in, a man of intelligence, but not one who upstaged Holmes. Here Holmes is little more than romantic fodder for our "Mary Sue".

    Blah!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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