Review by Elizabeth Marsh
Each fantastic storyline starts with a basic “what if” question. What if … Peter Pan grew up? What if … children of feuding families fell in love? What if … Sherlock Holmes really existed? What would he do after he retired? Can you really picture the best deductive mind in history raising bees? Laurie R. King’s first Beekeeper novel addresses these questions from the eyes of his accidental apprentice, fifteen-year-old Mary Russell, an orphaned, English-American who happens to (quite literally) bump into Holmes shortly after arriving in England.
Holmes takes the orphaned Russell under his wing, teaching her the art of analytical thinking and preparing her for whatever may come. Unfortunately, what comes is a ghost from Holmes' past, and one that he may no longer be able to defeat ... with or without the assistance of his new apprentice.
As an avid fan of anything Sherlock Holmes, I’m shocked it took me so long to find this book. King is a masterful author, fully immersing the reader in the world of Russell and Holmes, while injecting new life into a classic character—without changing the essence of Holmes. She even pokes fun at the Doyle novels through Holmes’ disparaging remarks as to their publication. Thrilling, suspenseful, and good-humored, this has quickly become one of my favorites. Be warned, this is the first in a series of nine. I was reluctant to read the second book, fearing that it couldn’t measure up to the first, but I was pleasantly surprised. What’s more, these books are shockingly clean – something that is becoming more of a rarity than one would suppose.