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.
In 1914, a spirited American girl named Mary Russell meets a retired Sherlock Holmes in the English countryside. Instantly realizing that Mary is gifted with astonishing deductive powers, the Great Detective emerges from retirement to join her as she tracks down a fiendish assassin. Download and start listening now!