Publisher's Note:  

In 1915, long since retired from his observations of criminal humanity, Sherlock Holmes is engaged in a reclusive study of honeybee behavior on the Sussex Downs. Never did he think to meet an intellect to match his own–until his acquaintance with Miss Mary Russell, a very modern fifteen-year-old whose mental acuity is equaled only by her audacity, tenacity, and penchant for trousers and cloth caps.

Under Holmes’s tutelage, Russell hones her talent for deduction, disguises, and danger: in the chilling case of a landowner’s mysterious fever and in a kidnapping in the wilds of Wales. But her ultimate challenge is yet to come. Soon the two sleuths are on the trail of a murderer whose machinations scatter meaningless clues…but whose objective is quite unequivocal: to end Russell and Holmes’s partnership–and their lives.



The Beekeeper's Apprentice

by Laurie King

Review Date:
06/21/2011

Recommended Age:
16+

Overall Rating:
****1/2

Profanity / Language Rating:
**

Violence / Gore Rating:
***

Sex / Nudity Rating:

Overall Review:  

Meet Mary Russell.  Brilliant, lonely, and orphaned, she just happens to stumble onto someone while walking and reading a book.  That person is none other than the imitable Sherlock Holmes!  From that point on, these two are almost inseparable as Russell begins to learn at the feet of a master.  They pass through case after case where I admit to feeling bewildered at times by the things they can ‘see’ and wondering ‘whodunnit’--and we even hear those famous and enshrined words: “Elementary, my dear!”  What fun!  It has been many years since I’ve read a mystery novel, and even more since I read one as well written and clean as ‘The Beekeeper’s Apprentice’!  Ms. King has a thoughtful, profound and insightful writing style.  The story is inspiring as we see the inner workings of the mind, and fast paced enough to keep you turning the pages.  I loved the banter between Holmes and Mary Russell.  I enjoyed seeing many well-known characters again such as Watson, Inspector Lestrade, Mycroft, Mrs. Hudson, and even Moriarty makes a bit of a cameo.  This is written much in the same style and language as the original Sherlock Holmes series, so if you are a fan of those, it’s possible you will like this as well.  And if you’ve never read one, this is a fun place to start!  I’m looking forward to reading more of the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mysteries!


Content Analysis:  

There was some profanity scattered throughout.  It was never concentrated anywhere, but one mild word here and there every now and then. 

There is absolutely no sexual content. 

Since this is a mystery/thriller, there is some violence, but it is reasonable (can you say violence is reasonable?) and not overwhelming.  Nothing is written out in gory detail for shock value.  Some characters are shot.  Bombs are laid and characters are hurt or die.  There is a kidnapping.  Some characters die.  Some characters are held at gunpoint and that is pretty intense. 



Mature Subject Matter:  

I put the mature theme at moderate just because of the nature of the novel itself.  It is, after all, a mystery with a lot of action.  Much of it is purely psychological as the facts are revealed and we wonder who it could be and why.



Alcohol / Drug Use:  

***



Reviewed By Emily
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