New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King reveals here an unforgettable new twist in the crackling adventure of how supersleuth Sherlock Holmes discovered his first (and finest) apprentice, Mary Russell.
Sherlock Holmes is fending off a particularly dark mood as he roams the Sussex Downs, in search of wild bees. The Great War may be raging across the Channel, but on the Downs, the great detective nears terminal melancholia—only to be saved by an encounter with headstrong, yellow-haired young Mary Russell, who soon becomes the Master’s apprentice not only in beekeeping but in detection.
Holmes instantly spots her remarkable ability, but his sharp eyes also see troubling problems. Why is this wealthy orphan who lives with her aunt so shabbily dressed? Why is she so prone to illness and accident? Is she herself the center of a mystery?
These are questions that the great detective must answer quickly lest his protégée, and his own new lease on life, meet a sudden, tragic end. The tale of their meeting has been told from Russell’s point of view, but even those who have never met the famed Russell-Holmes pair will read this tale with delight—and, as its climax builds, with breathless excitement.
My take: 4 look
A friend of mine has read several of the Mary Russell series, and piqued my interest in them. When I discovered this prequel, I was ready to begin. What a fantastic novella to introduce me to the characters and their quirks, and lay the foundation of the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell.
Mary Russell is quick, smart and the perfect apprentice for Sherlock Holmes. I can see trouble brewing between Mary and Dr. Watson, even through they have not yet met formally. The groundwork is there for a formidable relationship.
In this novella, Holmes feels a protectiveness of Mary Russell almost immediately, and when she starts showing up with unexplained maladies and bruising, he feels compelled to get to the bottom of it.
This was written very smartly and whetted my reading appetite for more in this series.