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November 29, 2012 5:01 am  #1


The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Hello everyone!
So, as I've already joked in fun in the other threads I began in about the unspoken subtle 'nod' my name was created for (and unfortunately forgetting about the more obvious Russell Tovey, ha!), after someone deduced a certain pastiche, thought it about time to create a thread for it.  ;)
It's so easy to feel like a mixed fan, when you've enjoyed Doyle's creation for so long in just light passing, but never even realized how dang MUCH there was out there, besides the obvious shows and movies, inspired by it!  I mean, of course such a popular creation would inspire a slew of works, but even just coming across this compilation of published works - http://www.diogenes-club.com/shlibrary.htm never even heard of most of them.. maybe a little silly to feel cluelessly overwhelmed, and the point is not to be an expert or have seen it all but all share in the enjoyment of it?  Just crazy had no idea there was so much.  Heard little comments here and there over the years that quite a few fans praised the quality of  'The House of Silk' by Anthony Horowitz, Michael Chabon's 'The Final Solution', Mitch Cullin's 'A Trick of the Mind', and Caleb Carr's 'The Italian Secretary', in particular, if any of you familiar?  I'd like to add another series to that list I haven't seen mentioned on here that's been around for a while, but somehow only discovered lately, with the renewed interest in Sherlock.

Saw someone else mention a certain Miss Laurie King, but just with the story collection she helped edit.  She also wrote an entire series of mysteries that I was quite pleasantly surprised by, that focus on the adventures of Mary Russell (starting, of course, with The Beekeeper's Apprentice).  As an orphaned 15-year-old in the early 1900's, Russell comes to live with her aunt in the Britain Sussex countryside, and promptly runs into a sharp, retired infamous detective, now a beekeeper (and occasional case-solver), just like Doyle wrote him.  Impressed by the equally intellectual teenager, Holmes take her under his wing as an apprentice, thus spurring a deep friendship and dangers just like he had with Watson.  She keeps the language and feel of the time perfect, and while some of the book's mysteries are a little slow, and purists may argue with this later-years style of Holmes, it's also hilariously entertaining at times as we get a new aspect of Holmes seen through Russell's eyes, and watch them tackle each case and interact with old, familiar friends.  Any other fans, here? 


_________________________________________________________________________

We solve crimes, I blog about it, and he forgets his pants.  I wouldn't hold out too much hope!

Just this morning you were all tiny and small and made of clay!

I'm working my way up the greasy pole.  It's… very greasy.  And…  pole-shaped.
 

November 30, 2012 6:50 pm  #2


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

That sounds pretty good. I've always wondered what Holmes would be like in his beekeeping years. I'm a bit of a beekeeper myself actually...we have 3 hives where we live. 


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November 30, 2012 8:13 pm  #3


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Oh it is!   And you do?  Huh... cool.
Yeah... there's just a few moments where I was mixed about the way some things were portrayed, and the pacing, but the feel of the entire times it is in and the fullness of the characters is great, and if you love to lose yourself in the imaginative speculation of what happened to Holmes once Watson quit writing his stories, Russell picks up with her 'own' memoirs about all the adventures she had with her dear friend, mentor, teacher, comrade-in-arms, and then partner, as she grows into her own from the orphan stumbling across the retired beekeeper, to being almost his equal as they tackle new cases together.  And some of the sharp banter and things she's put through as a result of working with the infamous detective are hilarious...  ;)   Hmm...  based on responses, I guess I'm not the only one who hadn't heard of it before!


_________________________________________________________________________

We solve crimes, I blog about it, and he forgets his pants.  I wouldn't hold out too much hope!

Just this morning you were all tiny and small and made of clay!

I'm working my way up the greasy pole.  It's… very greasy.  And…  pole-shaped.
     Thread Starter
 

February 16, 2013 8:55 pm  #4


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

I discovered it only today when I stumbled upon a great quote from it, and ordered a second-hand copy. Sounds quite interesting 


Eventually everyone will support Johnlock.   Independent OSAJ Affiliate

... but there may be some new players now. It’s okay. The East Wind takes us all in the end.
 

February 16, 2013 10:20 pm  #5


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

I've read the Mary Russell books from the first, actually long before I became obsessed with Sherlock Holmes. I love this series, not all books are as good as the first few, but I always enjoy them (there's only one I didn't read, the pirate one). I was really surprised when I read the first one, that she could make a 60 years old Sherlock believably, if subtly, sexy, and that I could really get into his story with Mary. Of course Mary is a very interesting character herself as well. I also like Laurie King's other books.

 

February 16, 2013 10:24 pm  #6


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Why didn't you read the pirate one? That sounds so interesting for a Sherlockian 


Eventually everyone will support Johnlock.   Independent OSAJ Affiliate

... but there may be some new players now. It’s okay. The East Wind takes us all in the end.
 

February 16, 2013 10:33 pm  #7


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Oh, no mystery there! The Pirate King has rather bad reviews, Holmes is almost absent in it, and devoted fans of the series seemed to be very disappointed : no more wit, humor and good detection, some people described it as a farce. I thought better skip this one than be disappointed. I did read the latest one, Garment of Shadows, and enjoyed it.

 

February 16, 2013 10:42 pm  #8


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Oh, I see. Guess I'll skip it as well. But am really looking forward to my copy of the first one now 


Eventually everyone will support Johnlock.   Independent OSAJ Affiliate

... but there may be some new players now. It’s okay. The East Wind takes us all in the end.
 

February 17, 2013 4:13 am  #9


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Eeee!   Ha... cool!          Know it isn't always mentioned as much as other pastiches (House of Silk comes to mind as one of the best 'well known', although frankly, a huge awful lot of them out there and never kept up much with... King's series just getting the luck of the draw with me of first pastiche series I've tried due to being recommended by a fellow fan, and striking the right chords with curious creativity of the way she delves into it).  Love it.
May I ask what the clinching quote was?   


_________________________________________________________________________

We solve crimes, I blog about it, and he forgets his pants.  I wouldn't hold out too much hope!

Just this morning you were all tiny and small and made of clay!

I'm working my way up the greasy pole.  It's… very greasy.  And…  pole-shaped.
     Thread Starter
 

February 17, 2013 2:20 pm  #10


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

I heard about this book 2 years back, but can't get hold of it yet . The only pastiche I read is The Seven Percent Solution. It's quite enjoyable


 
 

February 17, 2013 3:03 pm  #11


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Russell wrote:

May I ask what the clinching quote was?   

It was Mary Russell saying "I crawled into my book and pulled the pages up over my head." 

Eh, wait, did you get your Username from her? 

Last edited by Harriet (February 17, 2013 3:05 pm)


Eventually everyone will support Johnlock.   Independent OSAJ Affiliate

... but there may be some new players now. It’s okay. The East Wind takes us all in the end.
 

February 17, 2013 3:39 pm  #12


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Do you reckon that's where Messers Moffat & Gatiss got the ' he wanted to be a pirate' line from? The Pirate King?


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February 18, 2013 2:25 am  #13


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Davina wrote:

Do you reckon that's where Messers Moffat & Gatiss got the ' he wanted to be a pirate' line from? The Pirate King?

Are you sure they didn't get it from here: http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/33111628367/always-sherlocked-so-i-was-just-reading-good
  <g>  <g>   (seriously... then your head implodes from all the cool/weird ties from the Doctor Who/Sherlock writers being even more book geeks than we knew (besides canon), with possibly being fans of Gaiman, then Gaiman later on even writing (my favorite) Who episode, plus, it's really curiously neat how the climax with the villain in Beekeeper's has similar elements to TRF!)

Harriet wrote:

Russell wrote:

May I ask what the clinching quote was?   

It was Mary Russell saying "I crawled into my book and pulled the pages up over my head." 

Eh, wait, did you get your Username from her? 

Cool.
*innocent grin*
.  .  .         
Well.......  I certainly didn't make it as a different 'sherlock' nod to Russell Tovey!   


_________________________________________________________________________

We solve crimes, I blog about it, and he forgets his pants.  I wouldn't hold out too much hope!

Just this morning you were all tiny and small and made of clay!

I'm working my way up the greasy pole.  It's… very greasy.  And…  pole-shaped.
     Thread Starter
 

February 18, 2013 10:57 am  #14


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Russell Tovey, had to look this up - how funny   
(He does a great job in THoB)

Now, getting more and more curious about that book 

Last edited by Harriet (February 18, 2013 11:22 am)


Eventually everyone will support Johnlock.   Independent OSAJ Affiliate

... but there may be some new players now. It’s okay. The East Wind takes us all in the end.
 

February 18, 2013 12:14 pm  #15


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Harriet wrote:

It was Mary Russell saying "I crawled into my book and pulled the pages up over my head." 

 
How ironic!  Just last night I went to a Chinese restaurant and my fortune cookie had this: "A lover of books never goes to bed alone". 

Interested now in the Laurie King series.  Thanks for recommending.


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And I said "dangerous" and here you are.

You. It's always you. John Watson, you keep me right.

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February 18, 2013 7:49 pm  #16


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Harriet wrote:

Russell Tovey, had to look this up - how funny   
(He does a great job in THoB)

Now, getting more and more curious about that book 

 
Heee!  I know!!     (what... you didn't immediately and addictively recall the actor of a supporting Sherlock character?      )   I kid.   Thought it was a good joke/funny coincidence with the name at any rate    but seriously... it's kinda neatly funny how he's gotten parts in many of the favorite popular 'geeky' brit shows.   Our show, briefly in Doctor Who, and... the clincher, a main character on Being Human.  One of the werewolves.  ;DDD  (not to mention!  most of the main characters there were also on Doctor Who... and one of them also in The Hobbit with Martin...     It's like BBC actors are all one big family.  hee.)  Heh, sorry... just geekily find that stuff neat.

Um..  Ahem... anyhow...    So yup... for lack of some humorous reference or wording with my moniker like some, decided on a good old (slightly unobvious) favorite subtly-Sherlock literary reference.  Of course, my avatar was kinda a clue anyway, too...     Kinda cool coming across more people picking it up... despite the series starting a decade ago, I somehow never came across it until now either ('ironically' enough, thanks to the show... probably unsurprising?)   And being surprised at the numerous pastiches that go way back...eesh, never realized how many!.... they're probably getting more attention, too.  I dunno... as a previous poster said, I sometimes found myself frustrated that after a first book that made you all 'this is so cool/creative/well-written!/neat concept/love losing myself in the 'new' adventures of this pair!', etc... in quite a few of them, the mystery part takes a long time to get going, and sometimes wish there was more character detail in spots.  After getting about halfway through by now, my favorite remains the first one, and 'O Jerusalem' (which was written fifth, by the way, but chronologically comes second, so much more enjoyed reading it right on the tails of the first book!)    But yeah... it's fun.   Yay for losing self in books, huh?!  ;)   Still need to check out some of the other interesting ones mentioned around here lately!

Last edited by Russell (February 19, 2013 3:31 am)


_________________________________________________________________________

We solve crimes, I blog about it, and he forgets his pants.  I wouldn't hold out too much hope!

Just this morning you were all tiny and small and made of clay!

I'm working my way up the greasy pole.  It's… very greasy.  And…  pole-shaped.
     Thread Starter
 

March 10, 2013 9:45 pm  #17


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

I finished the first book today. It took me quite a while to really get into it, as I usually have problems with 1st person narrators.
The story seems to be erratic at times, and this is for sure not a book for Johnlockers who can't bring themselves to accept other versions of Sherlock Holmes 

However, I find it very well written (great language), I really enjoyed the canon references (the more the merrier) and can truly recommend it - 4 of 5 stars 
Thanks, Russell!

Last edited by Harriet (March 10, 2013 9:50 pm)


Eventually everyone will support Johnlock.   Independent OSAJ Affiliate

... but there may be some new players now. It’s okay. The East Wind takes us all in the end.
 

March 15, 2013 11:30 pm  #18


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Gah…. meant to reply to this a bit back.   Just wanted to say, basically, eeeee!  yay!!  Glad to hear that!  ;D   I know there's so many other loved pastiches out there I should try out, several of which I know are popular around here, too, but… oi… slowly getting to all the cool stuff, all the time, ya know.  ;P

And yes, I do like this series quite a bit for what it is.  Not perfect, no, but sparked me enough with it's neat take on the what-if-continuation of the story, as I always love letting my imagination go with that kinda thing, the nicely written style (the language/time period, yes!), the numerous references, and, of course, the characters themselves, even keeping in mind it -is- supposed to mostly be Russell's story.     Sigh… I do agree, though, the only points I felt wistfully disappointed with was the lack of detail at times (sure, you can't bog the story down too much with it, but still), the amount of presence/attitude towards Watson, and keeping the story along with both Holmes and Russell (although if you decide to continue…  really, the mystery part is quite well done compared to some of the other more slow-moving titles).  I take it you felt similar?
Although if you keep with it, personally I do recommend skipping to 'Oh Jerusalem', on that note…  it's the whole self-contained story-in-the-story that she didn't write until a bit further in the series, where she goes back to recount that little escape trip they took.   


_________________________________________________________________________

We solve crimes, I blog about it, and he forgets his pants.  I wouldn't hold out too much hope!

Just this morning you were all tiny and small and made of clay!

I'm working my way up the greasy pole.  It's… very greasy.  And…  pole-shaped.
     Thread Starter
 

March 17, 2013 12:09 pm  #19


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Agree with you, Russel, on the great sides of this book as well as on the (less weighty) weaker sides.
I found the Jerusalem chapter in the book already a little bit out of place - as if the author herself were slipping into the story 

Hubby liked the book as well, and Susi, well, let her speak for herself 


Eventually everyone will support Johnlock.   Independent OSAJ Affiliate

... but there may be some new players now. It’s okay. The East Wind takes us all in the end.
 

March 17, 2013 10:50 pm  #20


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Yes, exactly!   Erf.... and to have heard from someone on a thread here in passing, in some book discussion about pastiches or other, mention that a couple of the titles I have yet to get to also fall unfortunate prey again to the 'slow mystery' or 'less Holmes' part... well...  sigh.  Ah well.   Too-slowly, amidst tons of other shiny things to look at, still wanting to get through the series anyway, just because it's fun.  I do still recommend to anyone I know getting into it, though, if they want to continue, of reading the later-written Jerusalem book right after the first one.  Just fits in chronologically and story-wise nicer, getting to see right away /what/ exactly they were doing...  plus, I think it's one of the funnier/adventure-y ones, among my favorites so far.
I -will- sorely need to get to one of your favorites these days, after finishing a couple others first, and see what's so delightful about his counterpart Lord Peter Wimsey, however......       


_________________________________________________________________________

We solve crimes, I blog about it, and he forgets his pants.  I wouldn't hold out too much hope!

Just this morning you were all tiny and small and made of clay!

I'm working my way up the greasy pole.  It's… very greasy.  And…  pole-shaped.
     Thread Starter
 

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