Customer Reviews for

The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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(112)

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(17)

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(7)

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(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Highly Recommend - Book 1 of a great series.

I highly recommend the Laurie King series of Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes novels. I already owned all of these physical books, but bought them again for my Nook. The story itself is excellent. However, I was a little surprised by the number of typos that appear in the N...
I highly recommend the Laurie King series of Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes novels. I already owned all of these physical books, but bought them again for my Nook. The story itself is excellent. However, I was a little surprised by the number of typos that appear in the NOOKbook version. Little things like "1" or "7" appearing where it should be "I" and some problems handling text with different fonts (such as letters or notes embedded in the story).

posted by MC45 on December 7, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Mixed Bag

I consider this book a mixed bag. The main characters were well drawn, but the reader was left wondering about the wicked aunt --who would make a great character-- and the near absence of Watson, who is described as little better than an idiot. The plot was intriguing--...
I consider this book a mixed bag. The main characters were well drawn, but the reader was left wondering about the wicked aunt --who would make a great character-- and the near absence of Watson, who is described as little better than an idiot. The plot was intriguing--after it got going. The first 100 pages were spent attempting to dispel any possible objection the reader might have to the young girl's situation: In 1910s London how could she have access to money? How could she have so much freedom? How could she live with Holmes? How could she have access to schooling reserved for males? Etc. One final criticism, the trip to Israel was a huge, unnecessary aside. It seemed that the author had taken a trip recently and wanted to include her travelogue in the book. If the heroine's Jewishness had been important to the story, their voyage to the homeland would have been more appropriate. As it was, there was only a slight mention that she was Jewish before the trip and no real significance shown afterward. This author has won many prizes so I guess I shouldn't argue with success, but I was not satisfied that aspects of the novel were sufficiently explored or tied together.

posted by 4512833 on September 17, 2012

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  • Posted January 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Holmes pastiche Great!

    This first novel of the Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series hits every note just right. The aging great detective Sherlock Holmes takes on Mary Russell, a brilliant 15 year old girl as his apprentice, who is our narrator. Although King takes a few liberties with Conan Doyle's cannon - Holmes is a little younger - she gets the characters exactly right. She also brings Holmes into the "real world" by having Conan Doyle be Watson's literary agent. The voices of the characters ring true, from Holmes' sardonic laughter, to Dr "uncle John" Watson's bumbling good heartedness. The best non-Conan Doyle Holmes out there by far. I've read this book more times than I can tell you.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2011

    highly recommended

    This was one of our book club books, and I must admit to not being interested, Once starring it, could not put it down. and have already read a couple more in the series. Even a Brit can be anti Sherlock Homes and while it's not really about Sherlock Holmes he is an important part of the story, Mary Russell is the lead character and that fact is quite clear from the outset. All I can add is, try it, you will absolutely love it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The infamous Holmes continues with new adventure-throught the heart and mind-and a new partner

    I love this book. If you love Holmes and those types of mysteries that you become completely ensconced in, then this series is for you. I never want to put down any of Laurie R. King's books because they're so amazingly written with such minute details and enthralling characters and twisting plots that leave you wanting more as you turn page after page of pure mastery in the art of writing.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Laurie R. King┬┐s tale more than just a well done homage

    In 1915 fifteen year old expatriate American orphan Mary Russell meets retired detective Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs. The sleuth finds the feisty intelligent heiress much more refreshing than the bees he normally communicates with. He decides to make her his apprentice in the science of detecting on the condition she keeps her studies at Oxford up. When she is at her new home, her aunt¿s house, and he on a case, he will train her.------------ She works a few minor cases for Holmes when they are asked to investigate the kidnapping of American senator Simpson in Wales. They quickly conclude that a genius is behind the abduction of Jessica. After Russell proves her worth by rescuing Jessica, someone tries to kill her, Holmes and Dr. Watson. The sleuths believe the same criminal behind the kidnapping wants to destroy Holmes.------------- This is a reprint of the first Russell-Holmes collaboration and though over a decade old with several subsequent sequels since, THE BEEKEEPER¿S APPRENTICE retains a freshness. The story line grips the audience from the moment the precocious teen meets the beekeeper partly because of the terrific rendition of the lead characters as Homes seems Doyle like and more and partly because England in WW I comes alive. The mystery is clever, but it is the meeting of the minds that makes Laurie R. King¿s tale more than just a well done homage.-------------- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011

    Pure chicken

    This chickeny book was fasinating yet confusing for i am a 3 year old girl with a mind rather exrordinary concidering the fact that im already in 3rd grade and read at a 6th grade level. I hope to become a chicken some day and this book i think laurie r. King deffinetly put an outstanding level of reading for me. My grammer might not be the best but i highly encourage you to read this book. I loved much of it

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    Give it a try, trust me.

    I'm a big fan of Doyle's original Holmes stories, so I was a little skeptical. This story was a wonderful homage to Sherlock Holmes, though King's presentation of him is unique, she makes it her own while respecting tradition.
    Part of why it is successful is that King makes her protagonist the original character of Mary Russell, a modern girl with a gifted mind and a troubled past. The audience gets to experience Doyle's characters through her and it it thoroughly enjoyable. A great adventure with an intruiging mystery, danger and friendship.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wow!

    I was very impressed! Laurie King has resurrected Sherlock Holmes not by adding yet more improbable adventures with Watson in his heyday, but by bringing him another confederate in his "retirement years". He was supposed to have moved from London to the country to study bees, so enter 15-year-old Mary Russell, parent-less and living with a detested aunt, possessed of a keen, observant mind very like Holmes himself. They hit it off and Holmes tutors Russell in observation and reasoning, and shares esoteric research with her. I really enjoyed the book, and was happy to learn that there are, so far, 7 sequels. I am on book 5 now, and just as impressed !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2014

    Alro

    Alro is A.J. in my weird school

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    Highly Recommend that you read!!

    A well written mystery that needs to be read! Captures you from the beginning - you won't want to put it down!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    REALLY GOOD!!!!

    At the beginning it starts kind of slow but once you get to the 2nd part it gets better. It is a mystery even though it doesn't really seem like it at first. You do need to read the first section in order to understand the rest of the book so tough it up and read it.

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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    Excellent book- a wonderful take on Sherlock Holmes!

    This is the first in a series of Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes books written by Laurie King. I've read them all, and eagerly await the newest installment (The Bones of Paris). The Beekeeper's Apprentice is carefully-crafted, intelligent, and well researched. I recommended this book to a book club I belong to, and it's the first book we've read that everyone loved! If you're a Sherlock Holmes aficionado, or you love a good mystery, this book (and series) is for you!

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  • Posted October 5, 2012

    So worth the read.

    I was delightfully surprised by this new find. Was intrigued by the cover and the story line concept. What a truly wonderful decision to meander down this path and now I am on the 3rd book in the series. Totally hooked and look forward to many nights of enjoyment to come.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Loved it!

    I was skeptical that Sherlock Holmes could be brought into a new book successfully, but was delighted by this one! Highly recommend for Holmes fans and for those who just like a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Pure turky

    Turky!!!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    A pure joy to read

    I have not had so much fun reading a novel in many years. Faithful to the Holmes tradition, yet finding its own voice in a female perspective during and after the first World War, this book stayed true to the original characters but also moved them forward in thier lives. I look forward to the rest of the series.

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  • Posted October 30, 2011

    A great read.

    Highly recommend. I will read all in the series, I am sure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2011

    Better than the originals!

    I'm a Sherlock Holmes fan. I quote him at least once a week. So when I heard of this series, I was skeptical. But oh! is it good!

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  • Posted July 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    My favorite mystery ever

    This is my favorite mystery ever. I have loved Sherlock Holmes ever since I watched the old black-and-white Basil Rathbone movies when I was a kid (well, more of a kid anyway), and from there I read the books. I thought it was the coolest thing that when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tried to kill Holmes, there was such a protest from fans that he was forced to bring him back. I think Laurie King would have been one of those fans.


    In The Beekeeper's Apprentice, the author respects the original story and characters while making them all her own. What if Holmes' adventures were recorded by someone who could act as a full partner to him? Someone who understood his plans as he made them, rather than when they fell into place? That partner is Miss Mary Russell. Clever, young and neglected, she is the one to draw Holmes out of his dull retirement and bring his mind back to life. There are not enough words to describe how much I love the character Mary Russell. She is brilliantly logical with an impressive breadth of knowledge and insatiable curiosity as well as just a touch of youthful naivete. I found her to be realistic and easy to relate to.


    Holmes...well, everybody knows the great Sherlock Holmes, but in this book you see a different side of him. Along with the famous detective, you see the man, who is more complicated and intense than ever before. The conversations he has with Russell on a variety of subjects are well thought out and fascinating. His words and actions reveal a tightly controlled passion. You also see his protectiveness of those he loves and his deep fear of making mistakes. This Holmes is more human than the original in the best sense of the word.


    I loved the writing and the dialogue, both of which have a wry sense of humor winding through them. Drama and danger walk side by side with domesticity and ordinary life. The plot and mystery are almost secondary to the beautiful writing and intelligent conversations, but not quite. The plot was designed perfectly to fit Holmes and Russell as they evolve from teacher and student to equal partners. The difficulties they face test them on every level, giving the reader an opportunity to truly get to know them. The ending is far less important than how they get there.


    This is a must-read for lovers of mystery, Sherlock Holmes and wonderful writing. I have probably read this book 5 times since I first discovered it 4 years ago.

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Must Read!!

    I loved this book. It was a suspenseful, mysterious thrill that sucked you into its pages. I felt like I was there; a third character unmentioned. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted December 3, 2010

    Love this book!

    Brilliant A must reac for anyone who has ever enjoyed a Sherlock Holmes story

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