"A holiday from the holidays", with Mary Russel, "following the enforced merriment"
This time, Mary Russel comes of age and into a bit of a fortune. She is actually described as "the richest woman in Sussex". Which must be nice to be. She is also preparing for her final exam at Oxford, where she has studied theology and chemistry. And, the emotional tension between her and Sherlock is growing into something definately more sexual.
Plot-wise, she gets entangled in a kind of sect, a religious/feminist movement, a "temple" of women doing good deeds, with a charismatic leader who puts her spell on Mary. It soon becomes apparent that this woman has her secrets and then women start to die suspiciously...
I was not just a little bit apprehensive about the emotional elements (that I knew would come) in this story. How would King manage to retain the dignity of the characters, their rationality and cold-headedness, and at the same time illustrate their passion? She does it very imaginatively and impressively and I would love to quote it to you, but it would be such a massive spoiler and I do prefer that you just read the book, why don´t you?
Yes, if you´re looking for a good sleuth-story, make an effort and seek out Laurie R King.