This is only one of an engaging series in which the illustrious Sherlock Holmes takes on Mary Russell as his apprentice. In creating Mary, a woman who more than once apppears to be Sherlocks intellectual equal, author King has had to endure the wrath of some who couldnt bear the idea of anyone using the great man in this way. But Kings heroine Mary seems plausible, and Sherlocks character is left fairly intact. The story, beyond being an action packed yarn, focuses on the work of a womens rights archaeologist who has discovered a scroll with a letter written on it by Mary Magdalene. The documents find reflects the research of recent historians who have uncovered a larger role of women in leadership in the first decades of Christianity than has previously been recognized.
The adventures of Mary Russell in another book in the series, A Monstrous Regiment of Women, looks at the British suffrage movement in the early 1920s. This books title comes from the Protestant reformer John Knox who in his phamplet The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558), described women rulers as being repugnant to nature and good order. Our unit I Will Not Bow My Head includes a lesson about Englands suffrage movement.