Posted at 12:35 PM Dec 23, 2009
By Andrea Grimes
I'm pumped about seeing RDJ in Sherlock Holmes this weekend (anyone wanna send over some steampunk jewelry so I can get in the spirit of things?), but I'm frustrated nonetheless: whither the big-screen female detective leads? Surely intrigue and monocles and murder are not the exclusive domain of dudes with dapper facial hair?
In the movies, you win this time, boys--but oh, my dear, finding excellent female detective leads in fiction is far more elementary. Over this Christmas break, I'm immersing myself in the world of Mary Russell, the whip-smart feminist-minded accomplice (and more!) of one Sherlock Homes in a series of books by Laurie R. King.
The series begins with a teenaged Mary Russell meeting an aging and self-secluded Sherlock Holmes, who takes her under his tutelage. It is not long, however, before Russell's skills match the master's. Laurie King launches the pair into solving cases involving international politics, ancient religion, kidnapping, murder and other general mysteriousness. All the while, Russell maintains a strong, proud ladyhood, much to the approval of Holmes, who can only try to keep up. The books are as fun as they are feminist, and any mystery-minded lady is sure to enjoy them. Anyway, they're a hell of a step up from that Sookie Stackhouse crap.