Kathleen's Reviews > A Monstrous Regiment of Women

A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King
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's review
Mar 04, 2012

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bookshelves: fiction, read-in-2012, mystery
Read in March, 2012

It is natural, when seeking to continue the Sherlock Holmes story, that addiction be explored. After all, in the original works Holmes himself is very much addicted to cocaine, heroin, and difficult problems. In this series, we have a Sherlock who has kicked his habit--well except the occasional mystery--and is enthralled by drugs no longer. I believe that I have mentioned before that these stories are typical, well written, rose colored fanfiction. Anyway, in order to pay service to that aspect of the canon, older-but-wiser-Holmes must assist other addicts with the correction of their habits. I thought it was a very good way to handle that characteristic that might make a hero somewhat distasteful to modern audiences.

It is equally expected, when the original character is a self avowed feminist at the cusp of the '20s, that charitable women's organizations feature as well. Such feminism is clearly the larger theme and focus of the novel. This is very fitting when the purpose of this novel in the series is to establish Mary Russel firmly as an adult independent of Holmes, her family, and every other influence. A very necessary point for the continuation of the partnership as equals, and important in making the developing relationships palatable. Still, the mystery was not horseshoed into the work. It fit well, and was interesting enough in its own right. Overall a very fine novel.
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