***This book was for my own enjoyment
I have read Ms King’s delightful Beekeeper’s Apprentice, and when I had the chance to snag an audible of it, I was thrilled. Ms Sterlin is a fabulous, creative narrator with a gift for voices. I particularly like Sherlock’s low drawl. I’m very picky about narrators, and happy that my favourite series has a most awesome one. Looking forward to listening to the next book soon.
The day Mary Russell stumbled upon Sherlock Holmes in the Sussex Downs was to be the day her life irrevocably changed. Gifted with a mind as clever as Sherlock’s, Mary was more than a match in a battle of stinging cleverness. Despite the odds, the two make a most unlikely pair of friends, but friends they become. Over the years that follow, Sherlock teaches Mary his craft. She goes off to attend Oxford, returning for holidays to resume her apprenticeship with Sherlock.
During all this time, Mary takes a case of her own, a simple robbery of a tavern, and helps Sherlock with a case of poison and spies, one that takes them into Wales to address a kidnapping, and a case in Palestine only alluded to (it has its own book soon enough). Woven through the last year is a case that drives the pair apart and reveals a different side to Sherlock. Who is the mastermind behind the case that sets the duo at each other’s throats? Can they reconcile, it is this extraordinary partnership irreparable?
Okay… I have to admit, I was more than a little skeptical about the premise of this book when I first started reading it. It went against everything I thought I knew about Sherlock, his nature and his personality. It was good I didn’t judge this book by its back cover blurb or I would have missed the beginning of a series I have quite fallen in love with! Looking forward to the next in the series, and in seeing how the character interactions develop.
Interacting with Holmes, not through Watson, but through Russell, was an interesting change, and you didn’t always know what he was up to, as their paths diverged often. You also see the beginnings of extraordinary changes in one quite unlikely to have them. I guess it puts paid to the notion that ‘an old dog can’t learn new tricks.’ Change might be harder, the older you get, but it is far from impossible, and the changes you begin to see in Sherlock are wonderful ones. I’m only hoping the author doesn’t too far remove Sherlock from who he really is. (From later readings: she doesnt. She adds depth and breadth to his character) Abrupt personality changes can happen, but I’d rather not see Sherlock turned into a Phineas Gage!
????? I can’t recommend this book (and audiobook) enough! If you are a Sherlockian, or a lover of historical mystery fiction, check this series out! You won’t regret it.