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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

4.2 (1106 )
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Performance
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  •  
    G. Whieldon 07-08-14
    G. Whieldon 07-08-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    2
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    Story
    "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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 2012
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    13
    2
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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
  •  
    Buzz 05-18-14
    Buzz 05-18-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "Annoying"
    Any additional comments?

    After listening to this, you will understand why Sherlock Holmes never married and why his sidekick was Dr. JOHN Watson and not Dr. JOAN Watson.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Franklin, TN, United States 05-14-14
    Patricia Franklin, TN, United States 05-14-14 Member Since 2012
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    3
    3
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    Story
    "Charming perspective!"
    Would you listen to The Beekeeper's Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen again? Why?

    The story is cleverly crafted and well presented. I enjoyed it greatly.


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

    This book is actually a series of plots presented over a period of time as the narrator grows from teenage to young adulthood.


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

    This was my first opportunity to hear Jenny Sterlin. She did a fine job presenting the story and the first person perspective.


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

    No,


    Any additional comments?

    As one who has read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, I felt this was one of the 'sequels' most faithful to the original characterization.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CK Clayton, IN, United States 05-01-14
    CK Clayton, IN, United States 05-01-14
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    "A good old Sherlock Holmes story, but better!"

    I've always like the Sherlock Holmes character with one caveat. He was always so rude to Dr. Watson. That changes, in a way, in this story. It was very entertaining and engaging. Jenny Sterlin did an outstanding job! I'll be getting book 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PeachPecan South Georgia, USA 04-30-14
    PeachPecan South Georgia, USA 04-30-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Well..."
    Which character – as performed by Jenny Sterlin – was your favorite?

    I enjoyed Jenny Sterlin's performance for all characters, and suspect that when I listen to the next book in the series (yes, it is in my cart awaiting an Audible credit!), I will be truly disappointed if Ms. Sterlin is not the narrator. Like Barbara Rosenblat for Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody, Kate Forbes reading Rita Mae Brown's Mrs. Murphy series, and Justine Eyre giving voice to Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce, it will be Ms. Sterlin that I hear whenever I think of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't like it when other authors take liberties with a beloved character created and brought to life by another author. Most often, the other author brings very little to the table and I can see clearly that the book is riding on the coattails of the original author, that the book used the familiar character just to make money. I did not expect to really like this book- I am listening to it 20 years after it was first released in print! - but the tale is enjoyable and I did not figure out who was the bad guy until nearly the end. That makes a good mystery in my book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Mechanicsburg, PA, United States 04-28-14
    Elizabeth Mechanicsburg, PA, United States 04-28-14
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    "Slow and slower"

    I previously couldn't imagine why Audible had the ability to speed up the playback. Now, I know why! This narration was so ... very... very... slow. I almost gave up after about 10 minutes. Nothing if not determined, I upped the speed to 1.25. That still seemed a bit too slow at times so I even tried1.5. The latter was just a bit too fast and, not being able to set the speed to 1.4 - which probably would have been perfect - I went back to 1.25. Even with that, I wasn't able to finish the story.

    Book narration is a mixed blessing in that it can really enhance a story or really detract from it. I'm going to give the story the benefit of the doubt and say I got bored because of the narration. On the other hand, the story didn't intrigue me enough to give it another shot in print form. I kept thinking it would get better so I ended up listening to over half, but eventually, I moved on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence D. Clayton Colorado Springs 04-27-14
    Lawrence D. Clayton Colorado Springs 04-27-14

    Boomlarry

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    "Dyed in the wool Sherlock fan loves this"
    If you could sum up The Beekeeper's Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen in three words, what would they be?

    Very true to the Doyle form. What you'd expect from Sherlock later in life.


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

    Sherlock doesn't keep me on the edge of my seat...But the cases are also summed up logically and well.


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

    Jenny is superb...I will be watching for more of her work.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    At the feet of a master.


    Any additional comments?

    Great listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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