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The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
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The Beekeeper's Apprentice (1994)

by Laurie R. King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Mary Russell (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,644None1,443 (4.14)332
Recently added bydjdavis, Macdiali1987, private library, Loriel143, CharlaOppenlander, moonlace, ExpatTX
20th century (24) British (30) crime (57) crime fiction (16) detective (70) England (131) fiction (417) historical (67) historical fiction (152) historical mystery (54) Holmes (53) Kindle (17) Laurie R. King (34) library (16) London (24) Mary Russell (221) mysteries (21) mystery (928) novel (31) own (28) Oxford (21) paperback (15) pastiche (34) read (48) series (80) Sherlock Holmes (472) suspense (18) to-read (105) unread (20) WWI (29)
  1. 50
    A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King (catpal1)
    catpal1: All of the books in this series are wonderful. It's such a fresh take on the Sherlock Holmes fiction: the give-and-take reminds me of the old Kate Hepburn/Spencer Tracy pairings.
  2. 40
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (clif_hiker, 47degreesnorth)
    47degreesnorth: Younger heroine and more precocious but similar
  3. 30
    The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer (markusnenadovus)
  4. 20
    A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley (47degreesnorth)
  5. 20
    The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley (47degreesnorth)
    47degreesnorth: No Holmes but younger more precocious heroine with a thirst to solve the case.
  6. 20
    The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Martin Harry Greenberg (Othemts)
  7. 10
    Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal (yonitdm)
    yonitdm: They both feature brilliant, strong women as main characters, plus mystery, intrigue, and many, many cups of tea.
  8. 10
    The Final Solution: A Story of Detection by Michael Chabon (laytonwoman3rd)
    laytonwoman3rd: This book also features an elderly beekeeper who does some detecting, and who we are meant to understand to be Sherlock Holmes, although his name is not mentioned.
  9. 00
    The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (dreamydress48)
  10. 00
    The Tale of Hill Top Farm by Susan Wittig Albert (dreamydress48)
    dreamydress48: Same time period; also a cozy mystery. Great series in general.
  11. 00
    Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (Sally604)
    Sally604: Mysteries set in the same era with a female detective - lots of fun to read.
  12. 00
    Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon by Larry Millett (Othemts)
  13. 00
    Chalice by Robin McKinley (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: To continue a bit of the bee theme.
  14. 00
    A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin (Othemts)
  15. 01
    Sherlock Holmes, Montana by Steve Hockensmith (clif_hiker)
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» See also 332 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
I was living my carefree, ignorant life until I decided to visit my best friend last November in Kansas. What do best friends do when they get together? We hunker down with slouchy pants, greasy processed foods, and keep that Netflix streaming, sugar!
I introduced her to “Flowers in the Attic” and other awful films, and on one cold Wednesday, she started me on Sherlock. Sometimes I don’t know whether I was better off before, when I didn’t have to wait for the next year to roll around for a new season. What kind of life is that? So for all of you who can relate, what do we do with all that time in between? We read Sherlock stories, of course!

I’m sad to say that I’ve never actually read any of Doyle’s original stories. I own them, but I just have no idea what to expect; I guess I am just a bit cautious, as with all classics. I wonder if the language will be too dense and over my head. When I heard about The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After all, Holmes coming out of retirement accompanied by a young, female apprentice seemed a bit farfetched. But boy was I wrong. I really, really enjoyed this.

I know the three star rating makes this review suspect, I really enjoyed the historical elements of this book. Set in 1915, and a little beyond that, I found the references to Post WWI England enlightening and so cozy! Holmes is very much his INTJ self, and I couldn’t help but picture Benedict Cumberbatch in his mid 50, though still as boyish as ever. I especially like Mary Russell’s character, and the intelligent duo they made. All the other characters are still present, too: dear, dear Watson and Mrs. Hudson.

While the mystery component of the book didn’t always hold my attention, I did still find this book worth the read. It put me in mind of The 39 Steps, The Tale of Hill Top Farm and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I am looking forward to continuing the series. ( )
  dreamydress48 | Mar 4, 2014 |
Okay… I have to admit, I was more than a little skeptical about the premise of this book when I first started reading it. It went against everything I thought I knew about Sherlock, his nature and his personality. It was good I didn’t judge this book by its back cover blurb or I would have missed the beginning of a series I can fall in love with! Looking forward to the next in the series, and in seeing how the character interactions develop.

Interacting with Holmes, not through Watson, but through Russell, was an interesting change, and you didn’t always know what he was up to, as their paths diverged often. You also see the beginnings of extraordinary changes in one quite unlikely to have them. I guess it puts paid to the notion that ‘an old dog can’t learn new tricks.’ Change might be harder, the older you get, but it is far from impossible! And the changes you begin to see in Sherlock are wonderful ones. I’m only hoping the author doesn’t take it too far and far remove Sherlock from who he really is. Abrupt changes can happen too, but I’d rather not see Sherlock turned into a Phineas Gage! ( )
  PardaMustang | Feb 10, 2014 |
Okay… I have to admit, I was more than a little skeptical about the premise of this book when I first started reading it. It went against everything I thought I knew about Sherlock, his nature and his personality. It was good I didn’t judge this book by its back cover blurb or I would have missed the beginning of a series I can fall in love with! Looking forward to the next in the series, and in seeing how the character interactions develop.

Interacting with Holmes, not through Watson, but through Russell, was an interesting change, and you didn’t always know what he was up to, as their paths diverged often. You also see the beginnings of extraordinary changes in one quite unlikely to have them. I guess it puts paid to the notion that ‘an old dog can’t learn new tricks.’ Change might be harder, the older you get, but it is far from impossible! And the changes you begin to see in Sherlock are wonderful ones. I’m only hoping the author doesn’t take it too far and far remove Sherlock from who he really is. Abrupt changes can happen too, but I’d rather not see Sherlock turned into a Phineas Gage!

-Cala Gobraith ( )
  Ravens_Bookshelf | Feb 10, 2014 |
A smart mystery set in WWI era England that features an intelligent young heroine who can match wits with the theoretically (but not actually) retired Sherlock Holmes AND there are lots of sequels already published--what more could you ask of the first book in a series? ( )
  Jaylia3 | Feb 8, 2014 |
As a devout Sherlockian (I re-read the Canon every November), I am always highly skeptical of pastiches. So I was wonderfully flabberghasted when I found myself completely immersed in this book.

Laurie King's Holmes has aged seamlessly and Mary Russell, with her youth, independence, and American upbringing is a perfect counterpoint for him. The dialogue, particularly Holmes', never seemed stilted or forced (as it often is when contemporary authors choose to resurrect him), Watson remains true to the best parts of his character, and even Mycroft is handled well.

Every setting in the book, from Oxford to Palestine, is beautifully painted with broad strokes. The narrative style pulls the reader in in a way that reminded vaguely of Chaim Potak or Steinbeck.

I was hoping to enjoy this book, though I did not expect to-- I knew my own purist, pedantic heart might not allow it (details, misquotes, false portrayals of character...they niggle at my brain so when reading Holmes pastiches). Instead I found myself loving it and eagerly awaiting the next Holmes and Russell adventure.

For more of my book reviews, please visit my blog at www.bodyonthefloor.blogspot.com. ( )
  Shutzie27 | Feb 2, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurie R. Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sterlin, JennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For another M.R., my mother, Mary Richardson
First words
I was fifteen when I first met Sherlock Holmes, fifteen years old with my nose in a book as I walked the Sussex Downs, and I nearly stepped on him.
Quotations
He said nothing. Very sarcastically.
My main passions were becoming theoretical Mathematics and the complexities of Rabbinic Judaism, two topics which are dissimilar only on the surface.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
U raskošnoj galeriji likova koju je za sobom ostavio Arthur Conan Doyle gdje središnje mjesto zauzima portret Sherlocka Holmesa, pored njega, osim slike dr. Watsona, ostao je prazan okvir savršeno podoban da udomi prkosni profil jedne gospođice.
Američka književnica Laurie R. King, dobitnica dviju prestižnih nagrada za najbolji kriminalistički roman godine, odvažno je odlučila ispuniti taj okvir likom mlade Mary Russell.
Jednog sunčanog dana u travnju 1915. nedaleko od svoje kuće u Sussexu Mary Russell umalo je nagazila na pognuta pedesetogodišnjaka potpuno zaokupljena promatranjem pčela. Drska i načitana, petnaestogodišnjakinja briljantna uma i zadivljujuće sposobnosti dedukcije, izmamit će od inače ženama nesklonog Holmesa iznenađen komentar. “Pa to zna razmišljati!”
Tako će početi naukovanje Mary Russell, buduće suradnice djelomično umirovljenog slavnog detektiva Sherlocka Holmesa. Njihove zajedničke avanture zabilježene su u pet dosad objavljenih romana i zacijelo predstavljaju najvjerniji nastavak književnog rada Arthura Conana Doylea.
Laurie R. King u svojim je djelima uspjela vjerodostojno dočarati ton, ugođaj i duh vremena, zadržavši izvornu cjelovitost Holmesova karaktera i pritom kao ravnopravnu protutežu stvorila potpuno samostalan, oštrouman, duhovit i zanosan ženski lik.
Roman Pčelareva naučnica Laurie R. King s engleskoga je, u ukradenom vremenu između dvije Patricije Cornwell, prevela Martina Gračanin, a ilustraciju na naslovnici izradio je Igor Kordej, uz napomenu da su oba crna lovca namjerno naslikana na bijelim poljima jer negativci uvijek igraju prljavo.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312427360, Paperback)

An Agatha Award Best Novel Nominee
 
Named One of the Century's Best 100 Mysteries by the Independent
 
Mystery Booksellers Association
 
From New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King comes the book that introduced us to the ingenious Mary Russell–Sherlock Holmes mysteries
 

In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees when a young woman literally stumbles into him on the Sussex Downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes--and match him wit for wit. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern twentieth-century woman proves a deft protégée and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective. In their first case together, they must track down a kidnapped American senator's daughter and confront a truly cunning adversary--a bomber who has set trip wires for the sleuths and who will stop at nothing to end their partnership. Full of brilliant deductions, disguises, and dangers, this first book of the Mary Russell--Sherlock Holmes mysteries is "wonderfully original and entertaining . . . absorbing from beginning to end" (Booklist).

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:49 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Chance meeting with a Sussex beekeeper turns into a pivotal, personal transformation when fifteen-year-old Mary Russell discovers that the beekeeper is the reclusive, retired detective Sherlock Holmes, who soon takes on the role of mentor and teacher.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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