Wednesday, October 11, 2017
The Beekeeper's Apprentice
Posted by JaneGS
I had heard good things about The Beekeeper's Apprentice, by Laurie R. King, but had a few reservations--the combination of which meant I got a copy for my TBR pile but kept finding other books that I wanted to read more. Thank goodness for the R.I.P. reading challenge and my decision to read a bunch of mysteries from my pile, because it was great and I'm eager to read more in the series.
The basic idea is that Sherlock Holmes has retired to a quiet country life in Sussex, keeping bees, and we find him in 1915 in his early 60's pottering around the countryside. Enter Mary Russell, age 15, who is basically a younger, female version of the great detective. They strike up a friendship and he takes her under his wing, teaching her to use her logical brain, acute powers of observation, etc.
Holmes is the beekeeper, Mary (aka Russell) is the apprentice.
Mary grows up, attends Oxford, and the pair team up to solve a wonderful mystery--someone keeps on trying to blow up Holmes, Mrs. Hudson, Watson (aka "Uncle John" to Mary), and, of course, Mary herself.
The story has everything--a bit of London, a bit of English countryside, a side trip to Palestine, Oxford, Moriarty (dead though he is), baffling clues, an endearing child, clueless Americans, lots of tea and sandwiches and pipe smoking, a touch of opium, chess, a good intriguing backstory for Mary.
The premise has plenty of room for a good series, and the chemistry between Holmes and Russell is strong, believable, and complex.
A thoroughly enjoyable romp with a pair of enjoyable, interesting characters.
There's some fun fan art out there featuring Holmes and Russell. Here are a couple of my favorites.
That's number three in the R.I.P. reading challenge for me so far!