"A library doesn't need windows. A library is a window." – Stewart Brand

Mar 6, 2014

Read Something! THE BEEKEEPER'S APPRENTICE by Laurie R. King

Laurie R. King

[First in a series]

Fifteen-year-old Mary Russell is out for a walk on the Sussex Downs when she literally stumbles into one of the greatest minds of her time. Sherlock Holmes, retired to a quieter rural life, is irritated and then intrigued to find sharp observational skills and an intellect to rival his own in this orphaned young woman. With that moment begins an apprenticeship that eventually becomes a partnership as Russell and Holmes confront cunning adversaries in their first cases together. In this series opener, King deftly brings Sherlock Holmes out of the gaslight and into a world on the cusp of the modern era while creating a thoroughly modern young woman as a new foil for the legendary detective.

Three descriptors: woman-focused (i.e. lots of strong female characters, basically all important characters who weren't in the Holmes canon are women), well-written, witty

  • the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Julia Quinn romances - feature strong women, British setting, light, witty writing; perhaps not a good readalike for people who enjoy the intellectual/suspenseful elements of The Beekeeper's Apprentice
  • For those who enjoy the new perspective on Holmes, modern TV adaptations/re-envisionings of Holmes stories that maintain the intellectual/problem-solving feel, including the BBC series featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, "Elementary", possibly "House"
  • possibly the Flavia de Luce books (The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, etc.) by Alan Bradley? Both feature a young, smart female amateur detective coming into her own in the English countryside