A Monstrous Regiment of Women

A Monstrous Regiment of WomenBuy the Book:
Bookshop Santa Cruz
Poisoned Pen Books
Barnes & Noble
Amazon UK

Series: Russell & Holmes #2
Published by: Picador
Release Date: 1995
Pages: 304


It is 1921 and Mary Russell—Sherlock Holmes's brilliant apprentice, now an Oxford graduate with a degree in theology—is on the verge of acquiring a sizable inheritance. Independent at last, with a passion for divinity and detective work, her most baffling mystery may now involve Holmes and the burgeoning of a deeper affection between herself and the retired detective. Russell's attentions turn to the New Temple of God and its leader, Margery Childe, a charismatic suffragette and a mystic, whose draw on the young theology scholar is irresistible. But when four bluestockings from the Temple turn up dead shortly after changing their wills, could sins of a capital nature be afoot? Holmes and Russell investigate, as their partnership takes a surprising turn.

Discussion Guide

Download A Monstrous Regiment of Women reading group guide


Nero Wolfe award winner

“… The relationship between these two forceful, eccentric and indelibly etched characters is charged with sexuality and issues of authority.”
—Publishers Weekly

“I read Laurie R. King because I am in love with Mary Russell, a young woman of spunk and…independence.”
—Boston Globe

A review on Oprah.com


Read Laurie’s thoughts on writing Monstrous Regiment on her blog Mutterings.


Holmes came in, in one great shake shedding his overcoat, stick, hat, scarf, and gloves onto Master’s arms, and began to thread his way through the tables towards me. His bones were aching, I thought as I watched him approach, and when he came closer, the contrast between my mood and the gaunt grey exhaustion carved into his face hit me like a slap.

“Holmes,” I blurted out, “you look dreadful.” “I am sorry, Russell, that my appearance offends,” he said dryly. “I did stop to shave and change my shirt.” “No, it’s not that; you look fine. Just…quiet,” I said inadequately.  Only profound exhaustion, not just physical but spiritual, could so dim the normal nervous hum of the man’s movements and voice. “Ah, well, we cannot have that. I shall assume an air of raucous and disruptive behaviour, if it makes you happy. However, I should like to eat first, if I may?” I felt reassured. If he could be rude, he was reviving.

Read the full excerpt