The dawn of 1921 finds Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmes's brilliant young apprentice, about to come into a considerable inheritance. Nevertheless, she still enjoys her nighttime prowls in disguise through London's grimy streets, where one night she encounters an old friend, now a charity worker among the poor. Veronica Beaconsfield introduces Russell to the New Temple of God, a curious amalgam of church and feminist movement, led by the enigmatic, electrifying Margery Childe. Part suffragette, part mystic, she lives quite well for a woman of God from supposedly humble origins.
Despite herself, Russell is drawn ever deeper into Childe's circle. When Veronica has a near-fatal accident--and turns out to be the fourth bluestocking in the group to meet with misadventure after changing her will--Russell and Holmes launch a quiet investigation. But the Temple may bring the newly rich Russell far closer to heaven than she would like...
Utdrag ur boken:
Outside on the pavement, [Holmes] seemed oddly reluctant to part.
''You'll have that [injured] arm looked at in a day or two?''
''I said I would, Holmes.''
''You're certain you don't want me to...''
''Holmes, [...] I'm already entrenched in the Temple. I don't want you to dress up as a cleaning woman. As soon as I've finished with the presentation, I'll come back to work.''
''I don't like it,'' he burst out.
''Holmes, hands off! You said yourself, this is my investigation–this side of it, at any rate. See what luck you have with solving the two other deaths. That should be a challenge even for you, deaths classified as accidents months ago. I give you a week, and then we can both tackle the Temple in an all-out effort.''
His narrowed eyes followed a brewer's dray negotiating a turn into a narrow alleyway. He shook his head.
''I've never taken orders, from anyone,'' he muttered, almost too low to hear.
''High time then, Holmes,'' I pronounced with asperity. ''I may be in town Tuesday or Wednesday; otherwise , I'll see you on Saturday morning at the flat.'' I turned and walked away.