The Beekeeper's Apprentice: or, On the Segregation of the Queen (A Mary Russell Mystery)

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9780312104238: The Beekeeper's Apprentice: or, On the Segregation of the Queen (A Mary Russell Mystery)

What would happen if Sherlock Homles, a perfect man of the Victorian age--pompous, smug, and misogynisitic--were to come face to face with a twentieth-century female? If she grew to be a partner worthy of his great talents?

Laurie R. King, whose very different first novel,. A Grave Talent (SMP, 1993), drew rave reviews, read the Conan Doyle stories and wondered about such an imaginary encounter. And following through, she has written The Beekeeper's Apprentice.

1914, a young woman named Mary Russell meets a retired beekeeper on the Sussex Downs. His name is Sherlock Holmes. And although he may have all the Victorian "flaws" listed above, the Great Detective is no fool, and can spot a fellow intellect even in a fifteen-year-old woman.

So, at first informally, then consciously, he takes Mary Russell as his apprentice. They work on a few small local cases, then on a larger and more urgent investigation, which ends successfully. All the time, Mary is developing as a detective in her own right, with the benefit of the knowledge and experience of her mentor and, increasingly, friend.

And then the sky opens on them, and they find themselves the targets of a slippery, murderous, and apparently all-knowing adversary. Together they devise a plan to trap their enemy--a plan that may save their lives but may also kill off their relationship.

This is not a "Sherlock Holmes" story. It is the story of a modern young woman who comes to know and work with Holmes, the story of young woman coming to terms with herself and with this older man who embodies the age that is past.

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From the Publisher:

Edgar Award-winning author Laurie R. King

Sherlock Holmes meets his match in a formidable new enemy--
and his surprising new partner

"Rousing...riveting...suspenseful." --Chicago Sun-Times

"The Beekeeper's Apprentice has power to charm the most grizzled Baker Street Irregular." --Daily News, New York

"If there is a new P. D. James... I would put my money on Laurie R. King, whose A Grave Talent kept me reading deep into the night."
--The Boston Globe

"Amazing first novel with intelligence, intrigue, and intricacy...This work exhibits strong psychological undertones, compelling urgency, and dramatic action. [Laurie King is] a writer to watch." --Library Journal

"Wonderful: an intelligently and imaginatively crafted novel that's also great fun." --The Drood Review of Mystery (Editors' Choice of 1994)

From the Inside Flap:

Edgar Award-winning author Laurie R. King again proves her flair for tantalizing mystery in this first novel of an acclaimed series. 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 expect to meet an intellect to match his own--until he made the acquaintance of a very modern 15-year-old girl whose mental acuity is equaled only by her audacity, tenacity, and unconventional taste for trousers and cloth caps. Under the master detective's sardonic instruction, Miss Mary Russell hones her talent for deduction, disguises, and danger--in the chilling case of a landowner's mysterious fever, and in the kidnapping of an American senator's daughter in the wilds of Wales. But her ultimate challenge is yet to come. A near-fatal bomb on her doorstep--and another on Holmes's--sends the two sleuths on the trail of a villain whose machinations scatter meaningless clues and seem utterly without motive. The bomber's objective, however, is quite clear: to end Russell and Holmes's partnership...and their lives.

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