Read between: 16th- 19th July
Number of pages: n/a
Review: I enjoyed the first novel, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series, and this novella retells it from Holmes’ perspective- not all of it. but enough to understand his feelings about the meeting. However, it jumped between first and third person which confused me. Was Holmes writing or was King?
Another thing I disliked was the random twitter conversation at the end. It was probably relevant to what was being mentioned in the conversation, but it wasn’t relevant to the actual story. (If you’re curious, Laurie R King tweets as Mary Russell.)
However, Holmes’ voice is very Arthur Conan Doyle. The romance between Holmes and Russell is not touched upon in this short novella, just Holmes’ fascination in her and his education of her. Beekeeping for Beginners is Holmes’ perspective on their meeting and the events thereafter- or as much as you can fit into the short space.
There are aspects of her he likes and he worries about her safety, much the way a father would look out for his daughter….or, if you go by what happens later….a husband looking out for his wife. At 55 though, I doubt he has any thoughts of wedding a 15 year old girl.He has other things to think about- like his bees.
Obviously, the worry is a natural thing. After all, he has taken her on as an apprentice, and not just in beekeeping…he’s also training her up as a detective. Could there be an element of training a protege on his mind? It is mentioned in various snippets that Holmes is suicidal.
I did enjoy it, but there is a part of me that feels that it wasn’t as well written as the novel was, maybe its the change in perspective, maybe it’s because it’s a novella- I don’t know. It was a nice little novella that added more background to the series. Holmes’ opinion of Mary really matters.
It was okay! (I can’t give a Holmes pastiche a lower rating I just can’t…)
Thanks for reading!