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The Beekeepers Apprentice: or, On the Segregation of the Queen Audiobook, by Laurie R. King Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Laurie R. King Narrator: Jenny Sterlin Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Mary Russell Mysteries Release Date: January 2014 ISBN: 9781427251497
3.803 out of 53.803 out of 53.803 out of 53.803 out of 53.803 out of 5 3.80 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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The Twentieth-Anniversary Edition of the First Novel of the Acclaimed Mary Russell Series by Edgar Award–Winning Author Laurie R. King.



An Agatha Award Best Novel Nominee • Named One of the Century's Best 100 Mysteries by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association



In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees in Sussex when a young woman literally stumbles onto 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. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern, twentieth-century woman proves a deft protégée and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective. They are soon called to Wales to help Scotland Yard find the kidnapped daughter of an American senator, a case of international significance with clues that dip deep into Holmes's past. Full of brilliant deduction, disguises, and danger, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, the first book of the Mary Russell–Sherlock Holmes mysteries, is "remarkably beguiling" (The Boston Globe).

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Quotes & Awards

  • Rousing . . . Riveting . . . Suspenseful. Chicago Sun-Times

  • Enchanting . . . The Beekeeper's Apprentice is real Laurie R. King, not faux Conan Doyle, and for my money, it's better than the original. San Jose Mercury News
  • A fascinating and often moving account of a friendship so unusual and so compelling that one almost accepts it as being historically real. The Denver Post
  • “Wonderfully original and entertaining . . . absorbing from beginning to end. Booklist

  • King has stepped onto the sacred literary preserve of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, poached Holmes, and brilliantly brought him to life again. The Washington Post Book World
  • Remarkably beguiling. The Boston Globe
  • A 1994 Agatha Award Nominee for Best Novel
  • An ALA Notable Book

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 JxnzBooks | 2/2/2019

    " I've listened to a number of series audiobooks and this series remains my favorite. I've always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes stories but these - with the addition of Mary Russell's character - take on a life of their own and they're thrilling. This book introduces Mary and sets up her relationship with the formidable Holmes, who although older than the young Mary, often finds himself evenly matched and even outwitted at times as they (and Mary inadvertently) are drawn into danger and a mystery that takes both of them to solve. Mary's character is smart, insightful, and exquisitely performed by the narrator/reader Jenny Sterlin. She is an amazing reader and one of the joys of this series is her voice and characterizations - her voicing of Holmes is terrific. You can almost see his facial expressions just through her reading alone. I've recommended Laurie R King's books to many people and I highly recommend this particular series of books as audio performances. The writing is top notch, but combined with the narration, it's an incredible experience. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly | 2/11/2014

    " I loved the perspective of Mary Russell on the great detective. She is intelligent, articulate, and a fascinating person herself. She becomes Sherlock's apprentice after his retirement to Sussex Downs. Highly recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dawn | 2/5/2014

    " Great series written from the perspective of Sherlock Holmes' wife. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Autumn | 2/4/2014

    " To be honest, I got halfway through the book and couldn't finish it. The prose was good but the characters were flat. The pace was excruciatingly slow and the other elements of the story didn't provide enough to keep me entertained. It was all exposition. Boring exposition. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kacey | 1/25/2014

    " Well written, Mary Russell is a thoroughly likable character. I love an intelligent heroine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 1/18/2014

    " Kinda long intro but then gets into the cases and interesting stuff. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bo | 1/10/2014

    " A clever re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes. There's a lot of early 20th century gender stuff going on here, since the narrator, Holmes's sidekick is (1) a woman and (2) maybe smarter than he is. Very cool. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christine | 1/7/2014

    " Tried but gave up.... I think you have to be a Sherlock Holmes fan, or at least more knowledgable about him than I am, to enjoy this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 12/25/2013

    " Fun... Sherlock Holmes takes on a woman as an apprentice. I look forward to more! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 12/22/2013

    " This started out slow for me, but got more interesting about 1/2 way in. I must say that the connection of who the villain was, is kind of predictable, but I still enjoyed it and like a good mystery. Might try reading the next one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 12/19/2013

    " I give this book a 3 and 3/4. Parts of it were a little long for my liking. It did get me to start reading the first Sherlock Holmes book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Larry | 12/14/2013

    " This is a series of short stories that is helpful to read before other books in the Mary Russell series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trude | 12/5/2013

    " Loved how King fleshed out the relationship between Russell and Holmes and really made it reasonable and wholly believable. Absolutely loved this! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frankieharley | 8/13/2013

    " Was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. Must read the series! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 3/27/2013

    " If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, then you will enjoy reading his further adventures as told from his friend and eventual partner, Mary Russell. The Beekeeper's Apprentice is an introduction to that partnership. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelie | 3/14/2013

    " listened to this one, reader was ok, really liked the adventures once I got into them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lacie | 3/1/2013

    " Possibly one of my favorite books of all time. I've read it over and over, and it remains timeless for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brandi | 12/30/2012

    " Enjoyable and clever at times but I didn't find it gripping. I might consider reading the next one in the series when I head to the beach this summer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevlyn | 6/8/2012

    " Love this book! Mostly because I have a Sherlock Holmes / intellectual guy crush... The also love well done mystery novels with a good twist at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachelle | 12/2/2011

    " I really enjoyed reading this book! I'm definitely going to read the next books in the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chelsea | 8/20/2011

    " I would really rate this 3.5 stars. It is always fun to see Sherlock Holmes in a new setting when he is well rendered. I must admit, I did picture him as Robert Downey Jr, which made the book that much more enjoyable! I will definitely pursue this series further. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 5/23/2011

    " Mary Russell is a teenage girl who meets Sherlock Holmes after he has retired from public life -- in her he finds a mind equal to his own and she becomes his apprentice, then partner. This is a great mystery and I'm glad it's a series! I'll definitely be reading more of these books! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sheryl | 5/20/2011

    " I found the book too predictable and boring. The characters are OK. I did not finish it. I read about a 1/3 and just didn't see a story developing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Biskin | 5/8/2011

    " just delightful. a great adventure story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Candice | 5/8/2011

    " Very clever concept to continue the Doyle stories. King does a great job in maintaining the tone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kahea | 5/4/2011

    " This was SUCH a great start to an amazing series. Totally unexpected. I fell in love with the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 5/3/2011

    " Fun mystery. Fun to have Sherlock Holmes back. Now I need to reread Conan Doyle to see how they compare. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela | 5/2/2011

    " Loved this series about a woman who meets Sherlock Holmes and falls in love with him. Love the historical details. Great read, with many plot twists. The type of book you hate to finish. "

About the Author

Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books, including the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes stories. She has been nominated for a multitude of prizes, and her fiction has won the Edgar, Creasy, Nero, and Macavity awards. She has been guest of honor at several crime conventions, and she was inducted into the Baker Street Irregulars in 2010.

About the Narrator

Jenny Sterlin, winner of several Earphones Awards, has more than ninety audio titles to her credit, including Laurie R. King’s popular Sherlock Holmes / Mary Russell series. Before beginning her narration career, she helped found England’s experimental Living Theatre.