The Beekeeper's Apprentice
or, On the Segregation of the Queen
By Laurie R. King
(Picador, Paperback, 9780312427368, 384pp.)
Publication Date: October 2, 2007
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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
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).
Laurie R. King is the Edgar Award-winning author of four contemporary novels featuring Kate Martinelli, eight acclaimed Mary Russell mysteries, and four stand-alone novels, including the highly praised A Darker Place. She lives in northern California.
- In an Editor's Preface, King playfully discloses the "true" origin of the story at hand: that what follows will be the actual memoirs of Mary Russell, which were mysteriously sent to her out of the blue, along with a trunk full of odds and ends. Why does King begin with this anecdote, essentially including herself in the story? Does it bring the world of the novel closer to our own? Have you read any other books (Lolita, for example) which begin with a false-preface, and what effect does this device have on the rest of the novel? Were you fooled?
"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 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
"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
"Rousing . . . Riveting . . . Suspenseful."—Chicago Sun-Times