Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes #1), by Laurie R. King (author), Jennie Sterlin (narrator)

Macmillan Audio, January 2014 (original publication January 1994)

In 1915, the aging Sherlock Holmes meets teenage Mary Russell, and is taken enough with her that she becomes a student and apprentice. There's war in Europe, old social rules and barriers are breaking down at home, and life is never going to be the same.

Mary Russell won't have to waste her energy, intelligence, and the education Holmes is giving her.
This is an episodic novel, as Holmes and Russell have their first adventures together, first small, local mysteries, and gradually larger and more momentous cases. We see both Russell and Holmes growing and changing Russell more than Holmes, of course, but as Russell becomes a more capable assistant and partner, Holmes has to deal with his own misogynistic attitudes towards women.

It's an interesting take on the Holmes canon, and despite initial skepticism,  I found it an enjoyable and satisfying one. Familiar names crop up, too, sometimes attached to their original owners; sometimes to their offspring.

I wasn't entirely satisfied with the narrator's handling of some of the voices, but not unhappy enough that it detracted much from my enjoyment.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.