On a cool, sunny day in early April, a 15-year-old girl named Mary Russell stumbles across a much older gentleman as she is walking across an English meadow, her attention more intent on the Latin phrases in the book of Virgil she is reading than on the curious, 50-ish and grey-haired man sitting in her path.
Mary ascertains instantly that he is interested in tracking the bees he is watching intently and promptly saves him a lot of trouble by telling him precisely where the bees are from and which nearby farmer each group belongs to.
Mary's intelligence and reasoning abilities further pique the man's interest, and before long, he is caught up in learning more of what she has to say.
The man is none other than the Great Detective, Sherlock Holmes, and in this novel, he comes out of retirement to join forces with Mary to track down a murderer.
"The Beekeeper's Apprentice" follows the pair in their joint detective adventure. Holmes shares many of his tricks of the trade with his young apprentice and ends up learning as much from her insights as he does from his own experiences. By the time the book ends, Mary is 19 years old and their journey together has been as rich and rewarding as that of Huckleberry Finn and Old Jim in their time.
Although this entertaining, well-crafted work is ideal as a young adult novel, many colleges and book clubs are adding it to their reading lists. Writing classes, too, find a place for it in their course syllabi.
American author Laurie R. King is well known for her detective fiction, most notably her Mary Russell series of novels. Her writing has garnered her numerous prestigious literary awards. King was born in in Oakland, CA in 1952 and now resides in Watsonville, CA with her family.
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, The Beekeeper's Apprentice.
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). Download and start listening now!