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The Beekeeper's Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, Book 1 | [Laurie R. King]

The Beekeeper's Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, Book 1

In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees when a young woman literally stumbles into him on the Sussex Downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes - and match him wit for wit. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern 20th-century woman proves a deft protégée and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective.
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Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Laurie R. King comes the book that introduced us to the ingenious Mary Russell - Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees when a young woman literally stumbles into him on the Sussex Downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes - and match him wit for wit. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern 20th-century woman proves a deft protégée and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective.

In their first case together, they must track down a kidnapped American senator's daughter and confront a truly cunning adversary: a bomber who has set trip wires for the sleuths and who will stop at nothing to end their partnership.

Full of brilliant deductions, disguises, and dangers, this first book of the Mary Russell - Sherlock Holmes mysteries is "wonderfully original and entertaining...absorbing from beginning to end." (Booklist). Named "One of the Century's Best 100 Mysteries" by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.

©1994 Laurie R. King (P)2007 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

  • Agatha Award, Best Novel Nominee

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (867 )
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4.1 (781 )
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4.2 (784 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    F. Thompson 03-23-14
    F. Thompson 03-23-14 Member Since 2011

    h20

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    152
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    "Great revision of Sherlock saga."

    A female Sherlock! Look forward to the rest of this series. I love the sense of time and place.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherri 12-10-14
    Sherri 12-10-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    48
    2
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    "Odd sounding Sherlock"
    Any additional comments?

    I liked the book and would have given the performance 4 stars instead of 3; but I just couldn't get past the whiny voicing for Sherlock. It sounded too forced. However, it didn't destroy the listening for me and I plan to continue the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    spiderfroggy 10-25-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    15
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Boring"
    Would you try another book from Laurie R. King and/or Jenny Sterlin?

    Maybe


    What was most disappointing about Laurie R. King’s story?

    It was boring, and I had no idea what the story line was.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Occasional she made some weird mouth noises


    Any additional comments?

    I finished listening to this book only because I didn't have any credits left. I love mystery, but couldn't get into this book. I've never read any of the Sherlock Holmes stories so maybe that is why I didn't like it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 10-21-14
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 10-21-14 Member Since 2009

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just My Style . . . Loved it!"

    I'm not ordinarily a big Sherlock Holmes fan, I'm not addicted to the movies . . . but something about this book attracted me from the beginning . . . excellent writing, great sleuthing, and the relationship that develops between the "retired" Holmes and Mary is amazing . . . not sappy, not fake, not at all what you would expect. That's what makes this series so spectacular . . . what a team they make!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Dixon 09-20-14
    Mary Dixon 09-20-14 Member Since 2007
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    2
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    "Great story and love the interplay of characters."
    Would you listen to The Beekeeper's Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen again? Why?

    Would listen again to see how the clues unfolded that I missed the first time around. The Beekeeper's Apprentice


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Beekeeper's Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen?

    the moment Mary Russell meets Holmes sets up their partnership from the beginning is spot on. The Beekeeper's Apprentice


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana New Haven, CT 09-03-14
    Dana New Haven, CT 09-03-14 Member Since 2012

    Professional appreciator.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Warm nerd fuzzies"

    This one has it all for me. The premise is great, an extremely smart young woman stumbles upon and soon becomes the apprentice of the great, but now retired Sherlock Holmes. They have a really cool meet-cute and several adventures throughout the book that builds their working relationship and friendship and sets everything up for the future books.

    The narrator, Jenny Sterlin, is perfect; her distinct voices for the two main characters especially. I'm right now through the first 6 books in this series and I have to say, whenever they address each other as "Holmes" or "Russell" in that specific voice, I kind of just melt. I really do love them and Sterlin's characterization of them through her narration.

    Also, it's an intelligent series; when you're done you actually feel like you might have just finished a classic or something like that. I'm not an obsessed (not a negative connotation here) Sherlock Holmes fan. I have read a few of the Conan Doyle stories, seen a few of the movies, and I will say, I am in love with the BBC tv series Sherlock with Cumberbatch and Freeman. This book and series remind me of why I love the tv show so much, which is because it gives you a more human version of Holmes and all the characters that are associated with the original franchise.

    I would definitely recommend this book and also the series to anyone that just loves those warm, nerd fuzzies that come from reading/listening to a satisfying and intelligent book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Whieldon 07-08-14
    G. Whieldon 07-08-14
    ratings
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    17
    3
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    "Starts Strong, then Drags"
    Would you try another book from Laurie R. King and/or Jenny Sterlin?

    I don't think I would read any further books in this series, but Jenny Sterlin is a fine enough narrator. The plot for this book starts out strong, but rapidly reached the point where I wished that Sherlock Holmes had not, in fact, become part of the public domain.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Either "Queen of the Tearlings" (admittedly, young adult literature) or some David Foster Wallace stories.


    What does Jenny Sterlin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The attempt at various accents (Oxford vs. Romani-english) was passable, but I think I wouldn't either read or listen to the book again.


    Did The Beekeeper's Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen inspire you to do anything?

    Not read any more books on Sherlock Holmes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret 06-23-14
    Margaret 06-23-14 Member Since 2011
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    5
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    "Love this series"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! Great fun story about one of literatures favorite characters.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Beekeeper's Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen?

    I think when Mary first meets Sherlock.


    What about Jenny Sterlin’s performance did you like?

    Wonderful. Very good moving from character to character.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    At the end when the relationships begins to take a new turn


    Any additional comments?

    I love Laurie Kings books and this series especially.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blue Dragonfly 05-31-14

    BlueDragonfly

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    "Takes Sherlock Holmes one step further"
    What did you love best about The Beekeeper's Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen?

    I loved the evolving relationship between two brilliant people, regardless of age.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    In the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes novels, one can never tell what twist or turn the story will take next. The variety of settings and unique characters (even the villains) are very intriguing and take you where you aren't expecting to go.


    Have you listened to any of Jenny Sterlin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Jenny Sterlin is very accomplished in her portrayal of different types of voices. I've felt in this novel as well as others narrated by her, that she IS all the different characters and I am right there in the story with her.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I don't know if I could classify any feeling about this book as "extreme". More than anything I found the growing tenderness between the young Mary Russell and the aging mentor, Sherlock Holmes, very touching and I delighted in how they challenged each others' minds.


    Any additional comments?

    I really adore the early Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes novels enormously. They are such a different take on the old Conan-Doyle stories, which may annoy the avid Sherlock Holmes purists. However, as a female, I love the idea of a woman who can match "the Master Detective" clue by clue, experiment by experiment, observation by observation and be an essential part of a unique team.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Nyholt Houston, TX 05-27-14
    Adam Nyholt Houston, TX 05-27-14 Member Since 2011
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    "A great introduction to the series and characters"
    What did you love best about The Beekeeper's Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen?

    The reading was top-notch, and the story was interesting. I really enjoyed the development of the characters (particularly Mary), and the relationship between her and Holmes.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not quite. It was very good, but not one of the best. I think this is probably because this is an introductory novel, and as such a large amount of the novel was spent developing back story and chronicling the beginnings of Mary and Holme's partnership. All ground work that had to be laid before a good story could be told.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could have, yes.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall I high recommend it. It's my first holmes book, and I plan on going and reading the classics plus the next in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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