Another richly entertaining Sherlockian romp for Oxford chemist/theologian Mary Russell (The Beekeeper's Apprentice, 1994), whose former housemate Lady Veronica Beaconsfield draws her into the circle of charismatic feminist preacher Margery Childe of the New Temple of God. The suffrage movement has just won women the vote, but Margery eloquently urges her followers on much further, toward full social and economic equality. Meantime, though, there's a cloud over the Temple: the murder of Iris Fitzwarren, sister of Ronnie Beaconsfield's heroin-addicted former fiancâ€š. As she continues to instruct Margery in the Hebrew and Greek she needs to make a stronger case for the complex androgyny of the scriptural God, Russell, assisted by Holmes, links Iris's murder to several fortuitous deaths that also benefitted the Temple. Now that Russell's 21st birthday is approaching, along with her financial independence, will she become the next of Margery's followers to make the ultimate sacrifice? less brainy and original than Russell's debut, but the sharply etched 1920 feminist background and the poignantly developed friendship between Russell and Holmes rather disarm criticism. Enchanting.