Book Review: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

October 27, 2014

The Beekeeper's Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen
by Laurie R. King
Audible audiobook read by Jenny Sterlin
Adult, Mystery
You might like this book if you are a fan of the Sherlock Holmes oeuvre, like mysteries, or enjoy stories that provide a new take on a familiar theme. Or if you like stories where a female is a strong lead character.

I read this a while ago on the recommendation of my good friend Janis, but just read it again for book group and realized I never reviewed it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this fresh imagining of the continuing saga of Sherlock Holmes. In terms of this book, he's a real person, and the story is constructed in such a way that it's hard to remember that he's actually not. I loved that. I loved falling into the story right from the get-go and being transported to another world. It's why I read, you know.

Mary Russell meets Sherlock Holmes and it seems they are meant to enter each other's lives at just that time. She's young, he's old, but somehow the relationship (part mentorship, part father-daughter, part...??) works. She's bright, as bright as Sherlock, maybe; he comes around to realizing that and she becomes involved in the cases he takes on, because even in his retirement, his fame is intact and his colleagues in law enforcement still call on him occasionally.

I love how the characters develop in this story (Amazingly, yes, there is still room for character development in the well-documented Mr. Holmes). I love how the relationship between Mary and Sherlock evolves. I love how room is created for both of them to learn from each other.

It's also good, skillful mystery writing, with twists, subplots, villainy and alter-egos around every corner. So fun.

This is the beginning of a series, and I look forward to sharing my reviews of some of the other books as well.

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