A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell, #2) - Laurie R. King This is the second book in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, of which I have read the first and eighth. Luckily, the books do not need to be read in order, although things from prior books are alluded to in the later books. As with the other two in the series, I enjoyed this book. I am giving it 3 stars as it was a good, but not great or exceptional read. In this volume, Mary Russell comes of age and receives her inheritance. In addition, she meets up with an old friend from Oxford, who gets her involved in a church headed by a charismatic woman leader. What transpires is a tale of deceit, double-cross, mayhem, and murder. Of course, in the end, Mary and Holmes solve the crime.

I like the character of Mary Russell that Laurie King has developed. She is a strong, independent woman with a quick mind. The perfect companion for Sherlock Holmes, who also has a quick mind. In addition, I am really enjoying the slight shift that Ms. King is giving to Holmes' personality, and the inclusion of "Uncle John" Watson and Mycroft Holmes. In addition, I like the larger ideas that Ms. King includes in her stories. In this case, the ideas explored concern the question of faith vs. reason, in both religious/secular life and in love.

Most of all, though, I enjoy the type of suspense and mystery story that Ms. King weaves. I love trying to figure out "who dun it" and am not always correct in my first few guesses. This coupled with the interplay between Russell and Holmes make the stories delightful, and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.