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March 17, 2013 10:59 pm  #21


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Well, one word - he's classy in any way one can think of. Later a wonderful female hero coming in. (Her name is Harriet, did I mention that?  )
I'd start with one of the books in the middle of the series. Not the first ones, not the last ones.
The very first ones still need to mellow a bit, the last ones need to be read in the right order.


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 18, 2013 7:45 am  #22


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

S, now I can finally join the discussion as well. 

I really liked the book. The historical background and atmosphere are very well done as are the characters of Russell and Holmes. The Oxford atmosphere reminded me a bit of "Gaudy Night", my DLS favourite. The mystery was well constructed and I liked the trip they took to Palestine although, as you said, it seemed a bit incongruous in the novel as a whole. I think I shall read another one. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


Although being a Johnlocker at heart for me the main problem was not to see Holmes slowly falling in love with a woman but the characterisation of Watson. What I like - among other things - so much about the Guy Ritchie films and Sherlock is precisely what they do with John Watson: turn him from the foolish sidekick into an equal partner. In this regard King's Watson is of course a step backwards. But otherwise her concept wouldn't work because three equal partners wouldn't fit into her world. 

So thank you very much for introducing me to this series, I had a lot of fun. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
 

March 30, 2013 12:17 pm  #23


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

So, which of them would you advanced readers recommend to us?
Copy and edit as much as you like 

    1994: The beekeeper's apprentice - YES 
    1995: A monstrous regiment of women
    1997: A letter of Mary
    1998: The moor
    1999: O Jerusalem
    2002: Justice hall
    2004: The Game
    2005: Locked Rooms
    2009: The Language of Bees
    2010: The God of the Hive
    2011: Pirate King - LESS 

Last edited by Harriet (March 30, 2013 12:31 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 31, 2013 6:36 pm  #24


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Good idea, Harriet. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

I'm reading "A Monstrous Regiment of Women" at the moment and will comment on it as soon as I'm finished. 


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
 

April 1, 2013 6:16 am  #25


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Harriet wrote:

Well, one word - he's classy in any way one can think of. Later a wonderful female hero coming in. (Her name is Harriet, did I mention that?  )
I'd start with one of the books in the middle of the series. Not the first ones, not the last ones.
The very first ones still need to mellow a bit, the last ones need to be read in the right order.

Aww….  I believe you did mention that to me some time back, but - cool.    More people named after literary favorites!

@Susi - Also cool!  Nice to hear…  and definitely agree with remarks on.


Re: the 'feel' of the titles, as Harriet mentioned, though….

    1994: The beekeeper's apprentice - YES 
This should be a very obvious 'Yes'.  The first book of any series typically sets the groundwork for it, after all!  Plus I loved seeing how she started it, Russell growing up, and yes, the mystery is pretty good, and funny repartee and losing myself in the 'what-if' imaginary spin-off of the pair.
    1995: A monstrous regiment of women
Fun.  Kinda heavier with history lesson/period feminism.  Mystery is slow-building.  Not my top favorite, but definitely up there with interesting subject matter and several dramatic character-building Russell/Holmes moments that help to know for later continuity.
    1997: A letter of Mary
We get another little interesting historical stuff with this one, this time with Russell's chosen field of theology.  Liked it, but for those at the mid-range of enjoying the series but only enough to read the 'most appealing' ones, it's pretty self-contained to be able to skip, if want.
    1998: The moor
The very first page made me laugh, with a tweaked Holmes quote  (She is pretty good at throwing canon references in every so often!).  And King does a neat job of making this the one that reflects a return to a famous Holmes tale - the Hound.  About on par with the rest, and pretty interesting/accurate as they trek through Dartmoor.
    1999: O Jerusalem
I read this one second, after a helpful review saying it fit chronologically right before the ending of the first book, and I like to keep myself 'fresh' in the feeling of what had just happened story-wise.  Recommend reading it early, too… it's also a pretty awesome one with the cat-and-mouse game and usual banter/hijinx between the pair (even though, yeah, the trip itself is a little odd).  My second favorite.

And that's it, for recommending any others, or not…… unfortunately between checking out multitude other things, haven't exactly rushed my way through the whole series, meaning to get to Justice Hall next.  ;P  Although kinda disappointed, because… yes… I heard the same thing about the Pirate King one (and it sounds like it could be so cool!)

So, to bring it around to the order of things, vice versa…  Harriet - you mentioned a similar vibe with the order quality/first choice of your favorite?  ;)


_________________________________________________________________________

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
 

April 2, 2013 10:29 am  #26


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

"A Monstrous Regiment of Women"

I basically agree with Russell on this one. There's a strong focus on King's own interest in theology, especially at the beginning. The mystery itself develops quite late. It doesn't have much deduction work of Holmes himself in it but then it's Mary's series after all. On the other hand there are some quite intense scenes between them which I liked very much. I think I shall read a third one so you see I got quite interested in this thing. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


One question though: What is it about Holmes's son? I think it's no spoiler as he wasn't mentioned in the first book. Or is there something I overlooked?  


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
 

April 2, 2013 4:45 pm  #27


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Yes, Susi!  Despite the sometimes slowness, definitely yes, with the intense moments (weren't some of those awesome, character-investment-wise?), fairly good subject matter/character stuff going on, and easy enough fun read to get into.    Cool.

I don't know if I need a spoiler warning for the sentence ahead for those who haven't gotten to this one yet, even though it has nothing to with the main plot, but there it is.   Ha… and another strong 'yes' to your last comment - you hit on the second other item (besides minor details//traits/styling) that were the only things that really bugged me about King's choice with the characters, besides the part with the treatment of Watson!  Seriously….  huh?  What son??

I can be on board with an author fleshing out more about a character's background or adding neat details that you might not have thought about, but totally fit with the character.  The son thing…. just, doesn't fit, for me.  No, you didn't miss anything… that's the only time it's mentioned (unless it comes up in mention again in books I haven't gotten to, but doubt it).  It's a neat idea, sure, … even the great Holmes had a heart for certain people, and mellowing as he got older, could have fallen in love with someone.  But even he himself explains to Russell his struggle with his change of emotions and how usually kept away from such relationships, much less ever going near the idea of a society convention such as marriage.  But such a Victorian gentleman as Holmes was would likely never had gone so far to have a son without having been married to the lady first… no?

Anyway....  enjoy!     Fun to hear thoughts back on....  and out of just my own sense of huge curiosity and not because it works better one way or the other, are you going to move on to the next book in order, or skip to 'Jerusalem' to see what happened during their trip? 


_________________________________________________________________________

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
 

April 2, 2013 5:15 pm  #28


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Ha, you got me there. I actually wanted to read the next in order but now I decided to read Jerusalem first. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


As for the son - it's not the idea that Holmes had a son as such that annoys or bothers me. It's the fact that she mentioned something that isn't explained before or after. That's either a mistake on her part or a wilful misleading of her audience both of which isn't really acceptable. 

But there are still a lot of things I like about the series. So thanks again for recommending it. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
 

April 2, 2013 6:25 pm  #29


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

I'm not afraid of spoilers here, just to let you know... (For sure I won't read these books for their sophisticated suspense but for their other qualities  )

Russell, I will add my list to the DLS thread soon.


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.
 

April 3, 2013 4:29 am  #30


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

SusiGo wrote:

As for the son - it's not the idea that Holmes had a son as such that annoys or bothers me. It's the fact that she mentioned something that isn't explained before or after. That's either a mistake on her part or a wilful misleading of her audience both of which isn't really acceptable. [/img]

 
Rrf.....  Yes, exactly.  Had a couple moments like that - the feeling of 'ooh, that's cool/odd/interesting... no.. wait, where are you going with that?  That's all you're going to say?!'    Hence my comment earlier on about detail... sure, a good writer/book keeps it tight and not too bogged down with every little thing, but... geez, a little more on a few things would have been nice.

It's just an interesting, hard-to-define ability...  I've tried writing my own stories, and I'm laughably Well familiar with wanting too much detail it rambles....  ;D   And alternatively been amazed at some authors being so good at it (and keeping their style/other engaging elements) that the tight flow of the story just seeps through the page.  Quite a bit of the stuff discussed in their relationship that unfortunately ends up glossed over I guess we're supposed to assume they discuss in private (which I guess sort of keeps with the realistic style of the time period of Russell recounting their adventures with propriety?).   Anyhow.   Glad having fun!   Eesh....  now I need to hurry up and get my butt back to the series again after putting it aside 'for just a moment' with catching up on some other titles, since have me thinking about again!   


_________________________________________________________________________

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
 

May 17, 2013 7:08 pm  #31


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Now I finished "O Jerusalem" and liked it quite well. The beginning was a bit slow as with Russell and Holmes getting acquainted with the country, culture, and language but then the story gained momentum. The historical background is original and just the right thing for me as I've been a fan of Lawrence of Arabia for a very long time. The novel tells us what happened in Palestine after the Turks were defeated. 
The chemistry between Russell and Holmes is well done and has some moving and funny moments. I think all in all I liked it a bit more than "A Monstrous Regiment". http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
 

May 22, 2013 6:19 am  #32


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Heee...   Yaay!!  Idly wondered out of the blue the other day if you had gotten through it.  Cool.       And being as I think it's one of the best ones, glad to hear that.  Just loved the mystery, the historical influence, the strong secondary characters, the great balance of danger and hilarity to tweak with your emotional attachment to it.... etc...  ;D   Between our main pair and the secondary pair, loved the progression of moments with... you too, it sounds?  How great was that dinner party scene, and the ending? 


_________________________________________________________________________

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
 

May 22, 2013 8:56 am  #33


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Yes, they were great. As I said, the book got better and better and I'm glad I didn't put it away. I also liked the angsty bit when Holmes is in that villa … (no spoilers here). http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
 

May 22, 2013 4:52 pm  #34


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

SusiGo wrote:

Yes, they were great. As I said, the book got better and better and I'm glad I didn't put it away. I also liked the angsty bit when Holmes is in that villa … (no spoilers here). http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

 
Yes!     You mean when (vaguely-speaking) Russell stays with him?  Yes... she's good at moments every so often where you get to see the characters affected by life without being too overdone or victimized.  Definitely appreciated that part.  That, and especially also the similar human-showing time when (trying to word vague as possible here) in "Regiment" when Holmes finally manages to find Russell?  Glad you enjoyed.  But like I said, I think that one and the first were the strongest so far, so unsurprising.  Hopefully the next just as good... gah... need to get back to all my favorite waiting series again!  You're making me want to hurry up and get the next one been waiting for... 


_________________________________________________________________________

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
 

May 22, 2013 5:20 pm  #35


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Then we can meet again and compare our ideas about no. 4. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
 

May 22, 2013 6:48 pm  #36


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Oh yes.     I read the first few at once, then as typical, distractedly 'paused' to catch up on some other things/series before getting back to it, and time flew!  ;P  So definitely wanting to return to a nice, familiar world again.   Curious what else lasted with you, as a Sherlock/history fan/evidently avid reader... agree the historical mixing was great... the next couple up for you have a bit of that too, in different areas, so you might like, even if the stories, good fun as they are, don't always knock it out of the park every time, admittedly.  Gotta go grab my library's copy of 'Justice Hall' now, myself.  (I'm almost goofily pleased because I went ahead and read the amazon blurb on it, and found out two favorite old friends are returning in it)  ;D    Have fun!


_________________________________________________________________________

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
 

May 22, 2013 8:46 pm  #37


Re: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

I'll give a report about vol. 4. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
 

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