Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4.5
( 184 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(113)

4 Star

(42)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 113 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 2 of 6
  • Posted June 11, 2010

    Best Book I have Read This Summer - Couldn't Wait to Get the 2nd Book

    What would it be like to match wits and intellect with the Great and Legendary Sherlock Holmes? To be mentored by and to be become a best friend to him as a young woman? To be respected and treated as an intellectual equal and to have you own great insights and moments of bravery when you save the day? Whether it is verbal sparring, dressing up as a gypsy and disguising yourself, or traveling to Palestine with him, "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" is an entertaining, stimulating, exciting, fun, and a fantastic book. At first, just reading the description and looking at the picture, I only thought it might be okay but I wasn't feeling that excited about reading it. Within the first chapter, I was having fun. A few more chapters, I was already looking forward to reading the second book. I stayed up every night to read until 1:00 am and looked forward to leaving work to read some more.

    If you like mysteries, strong women, a match of wit and the mind, and want some fun entertainment with adventure, thrill, drama, and roller coasters, this is a great book! I had bought the Complete Sherlock Holmes series on the Nook for the $1.99 and wasn't sure if I was ever going to read it. After reading this book, I do want to go back and read about Sherlock Holmes and read about some of the characters they mention in this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    My New Favorite Author

    Laurie R. King is my new favorite author. I was introduced to her Mary Russell Mysteries when I read "A Monstrous Regiment of Women" which is the second book in the nine-book series. When I finished that book, I immediately went to Barnes and Noble to purchase "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" in order to discover how this unexpected resurrection and reinvention of the beloved Sherlock Holmes began. Imagine! Sherlock Holmes as a beekeeper in Sussex, and the friend and mentor to 15-year-old orphan, Mary Russell. For anyone who reads this series of books, "The Beekeeper's apprentice" is essential, and delightful. Laurie R. King's writing style is Intelligent, witty and imaginative. I appreciate her attention to detail in the history, vocabulary, style and culture of the early 20th century. I plan to add all of the Mary Russell Mysteries to my book collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 5, 2009

    Bringing the Feminine to Baker Street

    The Beekeeper's Apprentice looks at Sherlock Holmes' post-career in an inviting and interesting way, introducing Mary Russell as a more capable foil to the irascible Holmes, but by making Russell the central character and Holmes the foil. Well done! There's just enough sexual tension (quite spare actually) to keep the reader wondering. The storylines are well-written and the characters are faithful to Doyle, yet give additional dimension to Holmes through Mary Russell's connections. Russell is a great additional to the genre, showing the more human side to Holmes with all of the doubt and questioning that we missed with Holmes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 25, 2009

    New Take on Classic--Pulled Off Well

    Though Holmes has been done half to death even in Conan Doyle's esteem King has proven there are still some tricks up his sleeve. King has produced wonderfully new plot lines while remaining loyal to Conan Doyle's writing style, but the master stroke in this book is The Apprentice herself. Our new view-point character is a brilliant and liberated women who still manages to entertain instead of annoy. She is very like Holmes himself in this and most other ways.

    This book is a joy to read and easy to recommend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 27, 2009

    Meershaum and the Maiden

    The title of The Beekeeper's Apprentice gives away the basic premise of the story: that the title character has met the retired Sherlock Holmes and become his pupil. But there's a twist.

    Mary Russell is square peg in a round hole. She is nearing adulthood and does not fit in the rustic Sussex countryside. It is suffocating her, intellectually and emotionally. By chance, if you can call it that, she finds herself at the home of an eccentric neighbor whose principle avocation is beekeeping, but who disappears from time to time. This is none other than Sherlock Holmes, enjoying semi-retirement in the care of Mrs. Hudson, who has followed him to the countryside as his housekeeper.

    Russell and Holmes find they enjoy working together, and the story hints at a long future for the pair. Holmes is not so old as Dr. Watson's accounts made him seem. Nor has he completely abandoned his links to London.

    The improbable premise works, in part because Russell boths embraces her blossoming womanhood and chafes under it. There are also hints of trouble in her past, including old scars that cover deeper wounds.

    Laurie King has a winner in this series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Beekeeper's Apprentice

    The first of the Mary Russell series featuring Sherlock Holmes sunk it's hooks into me and wouldn't let go! If you are a Sherlock Holmes fan, it's a natural - Laurie R. King captures Holmes as a living, breathing "he actually lived" character that stays true to the original. I was captivated by the story and the atmosphere that was drawn around me as I read. I was involuntarily immersed in the plot, the characters are rich, and Mary Russell is definitely a captivating heroine that is Holmes' true match who manages to remain original and true to herself. Read the entire series!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Bee Keepers Apprentice

    My wife gave me this book for a Christmas present, and it is a good thing that she did. I was somewhat aware of the fact that an author had written a new Sherlock Holmes mystery, however being a "purest" at heart, I doubt seriously that I would have bought this book for myself as it was not written by Conan Doyle. However, I have been proved wrong in supposing that a new story could not be as good as those of the master. This was a fantastic read and I went through the book in a couple of days. This is book #1 of an 8 volume series...and I am now reading the 4th, if that will give you an idea of how well I regard this book. The author, Laurie King, has done a superb job with Sherlock Holmes and the character of Mary Russell. In fact, if you are a fan of the late, great Jeremy Brett and his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the Granada television series, then you will instantly recognize his impact on the author as she wrote the book. Jeremy Brett's incomparable style comes through the books story and is a pure pleasure to read and, even more amazingly, the book is written through the eyes and pen of the other main character, Mary Russell. The introduction of Mary Russell, and how they meet, I will leave to your enjoyment...with a small clue: pay attention to the authors introduction and Mary Russells own preliminary introduction before the story begins, and you may pick up on a vital bit of information as to how this story, and the following series,will evolve. The game is afoot!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2007

    Beekeeper's Apprentice

    Written by Laurie R. King, this book was on the Battle of the Books list for high school this previous year. The story takes place in 1915, and is about the life of an incredibly smart fifteen-year-old girl, who becomes an apprentice to the famous Sherlock Holmes who was retired at the time. Miss Mary Russell and her mentor, Holmes, embark on an adventure that takes them from their home in the Sussex Downs, to Wales, and eventually Palestine. The book is wonderfully written, and contains everything a person could want for a good read. The characters are unexpected and intriguing, as well as deeply mysterious. The combination causes an intimate relationship between reader and characters, and continues to surprise as the book develops. The book is the first of eight, and the themes are written at a level best understood by young adults and older readers. Laurie R. King has done a magnificent job, and the book should be read by all those who love an interesting and often odd mystery.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2006

    Grandma Knows Best!!

    I have never, ever liked mystery novels and I have to admit that I have never read the original Sherlock Holmes series. Most of the books I've read favor detailed clues over the actual pursuit of the bad guys & the lives of the detectives. However, my grandmother sent me 3 of the Mary Russell series and I have not stopped reading them. I love the interplay between Holmes & Ms. Russell. Ms. King is very talented at painting an environment for her characters. I do have one complaint however. For those of us who like to have a story develop throughout the series, Ms. King essentially crammed the entire interactions of her characters into the first book and then used the rest of the series to expand on points she mentioned in the first book. By the middle of The Beekeeprs Apprentice, I knew the future of Mr. Holmes & Ms. Russells relationship & at least 4 or 5 cases the worked on together sometime in the future that are not part of the first book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2006

    One of my favorite series!

    I love historical mysteries, and this series is one of the best. Intelligent, humorous, and interesting. Engaging characters, rich settings, and great stories. You won't be disappointed!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2005

    Top Flight

    The first in a series, this tells the story of a retired Sherlock Holmes, rusticating in an apidiary on the Sussex Downs, and a spunky teenager with an intellect and deductive quality equal to his own. Mary Russell is a delightful young lady and the byplay between the two is excellent, the plot itself unfolds almost completely naturally, and the writing itself is clear and concise. Highly recommended, as is the series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2005

    Infuriatingly Good

    I have always found the idea of pastiches repulsive--a character belongs to the author who created it, and I find attempts to 'fix' small inconsistencies or, worse, completely change a character insulting to author, character, and reader. Imagine my dismay when, wandering bored through my school library, I picked up this book. . . only to turn it in, completely read, the next day. Within the week I found time to run to the book store to buy the next book in the series. King does EVERYTHING I hate, stealing a character beloved to me, changing whatever does not suit her, correcting the author, and (SPOILER!) adding a love interest, one who is LESS THAN HALF THE CHARACTER'S AGE! Nor do I agree with her politics. Yet I love these books, in spite of myself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2003

    The Best Book Ever!

    I am completely blown away by this whole series. I have read The Beekeeper's Apprentice at least a dozen times, and it never gets old. The characters are so tangible, and the setting so real, that after you finish the book, you'll miss them. Start reading this series and you'll never put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2002

    Outstanding reading!!

    I had never read a book about Sherlock Holmes before reading "The Beekeeper's Apprentice". This is the BEST book I have ever read. It will keep you intrigued from beginning to end and wishing there was more. Everyone should read this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2002

    A female partner for Sherlock Holmes?

    I was hooked after the first page of this fantastic book. If anyone had told me that 'The Beekeeper's Apprentice' would be a 15 year old girl, I probably would have laughed and not read the book. But Laurie R. King has done a phenominal job of preserving the original Arthur Conan Doyle character of Sherlock Holmes and still creating a girl/woman who could believably become his apprentice and partner. This is a must-read for anyone who loves Sherlock Holmes!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2002

    Great read!

    I'm not a big mystery fan, but I loved 'The Beekeeper's Apprentice'. King writes with a bite. The story is wonderful, full of complex characters, dangerous situations, unexpected twists and turns, and a stinging cleverness. I highly recommend this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2001

    One of my favorite books!

    The Beekeeper's Apprentice is a great book. Laurie King's characters are so well developed that you feel that they are real people. I loved this book so much that I didn't want it to end. Read it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2000

    Simply Marvelous

    I love this book, and all of the others that follow it. Mystery stories have always been my favorite; and these are so interesting, intelligent, and well written that I am able to read them over and over again. My copy of The Beekeeper's Apprentice is creased so the book falls open easily to some of my favorite parts. I become so involved in the narrative that Mary Russell is like a friend, Sherlock Holmes is like my own mentor, and their various adversaries become my own enemies.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2000

    ...I'm speakless...almost...

    I first read this book 2 years ago and I loved it so much I brought a hard cover copy and brought it to school to read again in a stocking cap because I was afraid of damaging it, even though it had plastic cover on it.-No, I'm not crazy, I just loved the hardcover's cover-Anyway after having read all the orginal Sherlock Holmes stories I was looking for something else. I found it in this book. Holmes is so human, but at the sametime he is still himself, a reclusive mastermind. Mary Russel, the main character, is so fresh and orginal. The story revealed within it's page is as fresh as Russel and never allows you to breath long before something interesting or exciting happens. This book would not only be a treat to Holmesians but also to people who never read the original stories or have only watched Disney's The Great Mouse Detective.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 113 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 2 of 6