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The Beekeeper's Apprentice: 12/24/11
The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King when it was the only book in the series. I read it during a train ride between Los Angeles and San Diego and back. After that book I was hooked and I have continued to keep up to date with the series (something I rarely do).
In January I was reading The Canary Trainer by Nicholas Meyer and about five pages into the first chapter I was struck by how much it reminded me of The Beekeeper's Apprentice. Knowing full well that Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain I came to the conclusion that both books must be derived from the same source material. I quick search online (something not as easy to do the last time I read this book) I realized I haven't read the last two Holmes stories: Sherlock Holmes Returns and The Last Bow. I also got the hankering to re-read the first book in King's series.
In 1915, fifteen year old Mary Russell literally stumbles over Sherlock Holmes as he's studying his bees and she has her nose in a book. It takes her less than minute to figure out who he is and to put him in his place. Thus begins their friendship and her apprenticeship.
When I read the book the first time, it seemed to fly by. This second time I realize the book has three distinct parts that are almost like connected novellas than a single novel. The first piece is Russell's meeting with Holmes and their early friendship. Next comes their first case together and a scene that feels like foreshadowing of the a similar rescue in The Language of Bees. The final part is the real case where Russell's life is in danger. It's also the piece that introduces the next pair of books in the series.
On the second round through the book lost a little bit of its magic for me but I still enjoyed it. I hadn't appreciated the first time how much of the series must have been planned at the writing of this book. But I was impatient with young Russell having seen her grow and learn her skills as a detective.
Comment #1: Monday, December, 26, 2011 at 15:47:22
I recently added this to my Audible collection. I am planning on listening to it in a month or so.
Comment #2: Monday, January 2, 2012 at 22:00:54
Tell me how the audio version is after you're done. I'm curious.