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Beekeeping for Beginners (Short Story)
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Beekeeping for Beginners (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #10.5)

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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,474 ratings  ·  184 reviews
BONUS: This eBook includes an excerpt from Laurie R. King's Pirate King.

In this crackling short story, New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King reveals an unforgettable new twist in the adventure that led supersleuth Sherlock Holmes to discover his first (and finest) apprentice, Mary Russell.

Sherlock Holmes is fending off a particularly dark mood as he roams the Su...more
ebook, 46 pages
Published July 6th 2011 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,858)
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Cynthia
I’ve always loved Doyle’s Holmes stories so I was excited to read King’s “Beekeeping for Beginners”. However, I was bored with this story. The young girl, Mary Russell, seemed insipid and Holmes was too all knowing though I admit he was portrayed that way by Doyle too. The aunt and cousin came across as stock figures of evil. It was obvious from the beginning where the story was heading.

Maybe my problem was that I haven’t read anything else from King’s series. I’m sure having some background wou...more
Joyce Lagow
Depending on what you read, this work is described as either a short story or an e-novella (about 50 pages long). To me, it’s a little long for a short story and maybe just shy of a novella, e-book or otherwise. Also, it’s important to know that I am not a fan of short stories; with few exceptions I find them unsatisfying--not enough length to develop either a solid plot or satisfactory characters.

In this case, character development is not important--IF you are a fan, as I am, of King’s Mary Rus...more
Kim

A long short story or a short novella, this offering to fans of the Russell / Holmes series fits takes place in the timeframe of the first novel in the series, The Beekeepers Apprentice. It is essentially in two parts. The first part deals with the meeting of Russell and Holmes from the point of view of Holmes. The second part recounts an episode which occurs later in the timeline of the novel, which Russell could not have known about because the novel is written in the first person, from Russel...more
Kribu
I don't think this longish short story (or short novella?), in spite of taking place at the very beginning of the Russell/Holmes partnership, would be a good introduction to the series for new readers - but for those already invested in the series, or at least those who have already read The Beekeeper's Apprentice, it makes an excellent little companion story.

Seeing the already-familiar events unfurl from Holmes' point of view was a real treat; I also enjoyed the added extra, Holmes' little trip...more
Kathy
This short account of Sherlock Holmes' and Mary Russell's beginning together reminded me of why I love this series so much. I enjoyed Holmes' perspective of it, as it served to enrich the tale of their strong bonding and give insight to his brilliant thinking. Kudos to Ms. King for this gift.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
This is a novella in the Mary Russell series, of which there about a dozen books to date. In them King gives Sherlock Holmes a female counterpart and professional and, eventually, romantic partner in the unlikely person of Mary Russell, a Jewish American forty years younger. She sets all these tales after 1914, when the last of the Arthur Conan Doyle originals were penned. This particular story is set in the time frame of the first novel in the series, The Beekeeper's Apprentice. I don't know if...more
Jennifer
To say I was disappointed in this e-novella from King would be an understatement. I actually told my husband that it wasn't worth the $.99 I spent on it (yikes). So. I had three major complaints about it. 1) Holmes' contemplated action in the first chapter was so un-Holmesian (is that a word?), at least in terms of King's version of Holmes, that it made me angry. It felt like a cheap motivation that wasn't in keeping with the character built up through the overall series. 2) The 1st person vs. 3...more
Sandy
This is a quick glimpse at how it all began, when Sherlock Holmes met Mary Russell. On the very day he set out looking for a peaceful place to end it all, he met his future instead.
It's 1915, war is raging & the Lusitania has been sunk by the Germans. Holmes is 54 & after being gently pushed out of the action by the British government, he's licking his wounds at his estate in Sussex. Depression has always been lurking in the shadows & the great detective used his work to keep it at b...more
Orion
This is a short story that takes the reader back to the first meeting of the teenage Mary and the retired Sherlock when both were vulnerable and in need of rescue. The author looks again into the bond that formed in her first novel of the series, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, between such an odd couple united by a peculiar way of logical thinking that usually alienates them from most people. The detective teaches young Mary the secrets of keeping bees as we learn how each owes their life to the ot...more
Emily
This is the first book I've read in this series and perhaps I'd have done better to read the first one first rather than starting with this novella in the middle of the series. I wanted to like this story: I love Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and while I knew it couldn't be quite the same I hoped for a little bit of Holmes's deductive power to keep me entertained. I also liked the idea of a strong, female character working with him, however we never really get to see much of her abilities in this sort...more
Erin
A more vulnerable side of Russell in this short story from Holmes' point of view, taking place right after they met.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Just a short story, but a fun little read for fans of the series.
Kirsty Darbyshire
This is an ebook only, billed as a novella, and released as some kind of trailer for the upcoming book in the Mary Russell series: The Pirate King. Whilst I'm looking forward to the new full length book, with a little trepidation since I believe it's going to be a lighthearted farcical kind of a story, this ebook didn't really fill the gap for me. I just don't like short stories that much on the whole - by the time I've got the hang of them they are finished.

I think it's worth putting a note in...more
Tracey, librarian on strike
I do enjoy alternate angle on scenes. I like it when that sort of thing shows up as a special feature on a DVD, and it's even more fun – and I imagine much easier to accomplish – when it's a new point of view on a book. It's a hallmark of fan-fiction to take a well-known story and spin it around (and I just saw something about a book from Jacob Marley's POV). Beekeeping for Beginners is a short story-slash-novella which does just that for the beginning of Beekeeper's Apprentice. Why exactly was...more
Mandolin
This short story is a nice addition to the growing Holmes / Russell library and a refreshing return to the best aspect of the novels: the relationship between Mary and Sherlock, which is sadly lacking in the newest book (Pirate King.) Though the tale of their meeting was told from Mary's perspective in the first book, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, King returns to the event and tells it again from Sherlock's point of view. We meet the detective as he contemplates the life of his hives and his own p...more
Dora
At that time of reading Beekeeping for Beginners I have been a fan of Laurie R. King, Mary Russell, and – above all – of Sherlock Holmes for some years. The specialty of this short story is that it is told from Holmes’s point of view. (My personal opinion is that alternating point of views would do good the other Russell-novels, too.)
The first part of the story is the re-telling their first meeting, how Holmes has seen it. His melancholy, or rather his depression is more pronounced here then it...more
Cindy
Being a longtime diehard fan of the Mary Russell series, I was pretty intrigued by the promise of a short story from Holmes' point of view, taking place during the timeline of the first book. It was worth $.99 for me. And I'm glad I spent it - it was an entertaining read, and something nice and comfort-read-esque to wash the strange taste of "The Vespertine" out of my mouth for me.

Beyond that, though, I can't say I absolutely loved it. It fell into that awkward place that most "extra" series sto...more
Debbie
Dec 29, 2011 Debbie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Debbie by: Kate
I read this short story out of sequence, after I'd read #5, not after #1 or #10. I relish the whole idea of alternate points of view, though, so I was excited when I heard about Beekeeping for Beginners. It took me a while to acquire it, though, since it's in e-book format only, but eventually found a way to get to it.

In general, I liked the premise: all the bits that Holmes understands about Russell's situation at home since she's still untrained. He's able to chalk a lot of his actions in the...more
Dorothy
Aug 31, 2011 Dorothy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sherlockians
In The Beekeeper's Apprentice, Laurie King gave us Mary Russell's memoir of her first meeting with Sherlock Holmes. In this short-story/novelette, we hear from the great Sherlock on the same subject.

We meet Sherlock here after he has retired to Sussex and is dying of boredom. Literally. He sees nothing but years of boredom stretching out before him and does not care to endure such an existence. He thinks it may be time to end it all.

But as he contemplates the end, he is practically trod upon by...more
Lora
Jul 28, 2014 Lora rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Holmes fans, LRK fans, mystery book fans, everyone
Shelves: favorites
Okay Okay, anyone who knows me will tell you that it takes very little for me to love a Sherlock Holmes story, and quite a bit to hate one. I have NEVER disliked Laurie R. King! She delivers every time, and the fast way to get me irritated is interrupt me in the middle of read one of her stories about the great detective.

I have always wondered about what had caused Holmes so much pain and heartache when Mary Russell meets him for the first time that fateful morning on the Downs! Now I know, and...more
Hannah
Sep 26, 2014 Hannah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves the rest of the series
Shelves: favorites
The most beautiful and moving book of the series. This is a quick and totally worthwhile read which adds perspective and insight into the complex character of Holmes, who narrates the story, and his feelings for his apprentice-cum-wife. Heartbreaking and beautiful, and everyone who truly loves Holmes and Russel should read it.
(It's also really exciting.)
Beth G.
I really liked getting Holmes' side of the story of his first meeting with Mary Russell. I love alternate POV versions of things I've read in general.

Speaking of POV, what I don't understand is the sudden jumping from first-person to third-person and back again. It's a peculiar stylistic choice in what was otherwise a rather enjoyable story.
Kathryn
Beekeeping for beginners

Beekeeping for beginners

very good story about sherlock Holmes. He can never cease to be a detective, retirement or no. I am always unsure of new authors writing stories about Sherlock Holmes but Laurie King is very good.
Emily
To be clear: My five-star rating applies only to the story itself; my opinion of the "Twinterview" section at the end is entirely separate and I won't address it here.

I really loved this story. It was short and necessarily less complex than the full novels of this series, but I have developed such love for these characters that even reading a few new pages of their history and psychology is a true delight. Reading this title has inspired me to return to earlier installments of the series: I will...more
Lisa C
As one of the few stories in the Mary Russell series that gives Holmes perspective (in this case only his perspective) it was a nice change from the rest of the series and a great way to tide myself over until the next book is ready for me at the library.

The story, part of a short story collection, takes place during The Beekeeper's Apprentice, so it was particularly fortuitous that I chose to listen to it not long after revisiting the first in the series. The action takes place outside of the o...more
Ashley
I love to see stories from different perspectives. It's one of the reasons I enjoy Ender's Shadow as much as I do. In this case, you have a Holmes scholar finally getting a good chance to write from Sherlock's perspective. It's fun because some of the dialogue is straight out of Beekeeper's Apprentice, but the majority of this short story is what Sherlock's doing that Mary doesn't have a clue about. And you can see just how fond he is of her from the very beginning, but while still being in char...more
Rick Ludwig
Boy this was fun. Not too short, unlike many short stories, this gives a full representation of the action from The Beekeepers Apprentice, but from Holmes's point of view. Given that the later Mary Russell books often have alternating sections from Russell's and Holmes's point of view, this works extremely well to bring the first book in line with some of the others. Laurie King is a favorite author of mine as is Conan Doyle. She makes the Holmes saga progress, while still capturing the feel of...more
Deanna
This short story is part of the first story, but told from Holmes' point of view. An episode that Mary Russell did not know about at all. And that's what makes it delicious.
Rebecca
In the canon of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series, Mary encounters Sherlock Holmes in Sussex in 1915, at 15 years old--she nearly trips over him, and he mistakes her for a boy. This is the story from Holmes' perspective, and an additional mystery that Mary never knew he was investigating--about her.

I adored Beekeeper's Apprentice, and read it twice in a row. I loved getting Holmes' perspective on the story, and just to experience the start of their association again. I did think it odd that t...more
Audrey
I've never read any of the Mary Russell / Sherlock Holmes books, but I have heard great things about them. This short story provided a nice introduction to the characters. I LOVE how it started off -- there was just something about the author's writing style and voice, combined with the plot events, that really engaged the part of me that loves a good story. It's just this sense I got of "Oh, this is really good." Which doesn't always happen in such a crystal-clear manner, especially within the...more
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Edgar-winning mystery writer Laurie R. King writes series and standalone novels. Her official forum is
THE LRK VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB here on Goodreads--please join us for book-discussing fun.

King's most recent novel The Bones of Paris sees Touchstone's Harris Stuyvesant and Bennett Grey find the darkness beneath the light of 1929 Paris. In the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, a brilliant teen bec...more
More about Laurie R. King...
The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1) A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell, #2) O Jerusalem (Mary Russell, #5) A Letter of Mary (Mary Russell, #3) The Language of Bees (Mary Russell, #9)

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