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The Beekeeper’s Apprentice begins with young Mary Russell meeting Sherlock Holmes (click here for an excerpt) on the Sussex Downs. Now comes a very different account of that encounter.
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 Beekeeper’s Apprentice told of this meeting 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.
What was London like in the summer of 1915? Read about it here.
Read about the sinking of the Lusitania here.
Zeppelins attacked London with impunity during the beginning of the Great War. Here is a short film of them.
Vanity Fair’s take on life in London during the War, including Belgian refugees, fashion tips, and searchlights (click to enlarge):