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384 pages

Picador; Reprint edition


Stumbling upon a book by an author with which you are unfamiliar and having a great read only to later discover that the book is one of some note in the mystery world is as much a pleasure as it is an embarrassment. The Bee Keeper's Apprentice by Laurie King has been in print for fourteen years.

A book remains in print only if there is a market for the book. Publishers are merciless in shelving authors and books that do not perform. Laurie R. King has penned a brilliant homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes while simultaneously creating a new “Holmes” in the character of Mary Russell an heiress of sharp mind, sharper tongue and genial disposition despite her ill treatment in the house of her aunt. While out tromping the fields one day Mary almost steps on Sherlock Holmes who is engaged in contemplating some bees on which he has painted blue or red spots. In a moment Mary discerns what he is about and advises him on a course of action without having the slightest knowledge to whom she is speaking.

The characters in The Bee Keeper's Apprentice are everything a fan of Doyle could want. Characters are well drawn, articulate and smart. The style of writing is definitely of English influence with a love of language, ideas and conversation. If there was anything more wonderful that The Bee Keeper's Apprentice it was discovering that there are seven more Mary Russell novels into which a reader can immerse themselves.

Add The Bee Keeper's Apprentice to you library it deserves a spot there.