Series: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #1
Published by Minotaur Books on April 1, 2010
In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees in Sussex when a young woman literally stumbles into his lap on the Sussex downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern twentieth century woman proves a deft protégée, and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective. They are soon called to Wales to help Scotland Yard find the kidnapped daughter of an American senator, a case of international significance with clues that dip deep into Holmes’s past. Full of brilliant deduction, disguises, and danger, this first book of the Mary Russell–Sherlock Holmes mysteries is “wonderfully original and entertaining...absorbing from beginning to end” (Booklist).
If you’re in any way a fan of Sherlock Holmes, this book/series is a must read for you. I’m new to the world of Sherlock Holmes but I immediately loved him following his first book A Study in Scarlet and I desperately wanted to read more stories about him.
Sherlock Holmes is now a retired beekeeper residing in Sussex Downs. Despite the fact that he is retired, his mind is still just as sharp and he still assists the police in solving local cases. Sherlock Holmes meets Mary Russell (the narrator), a 15 year old young woman, one day and recognizes her as a like-minded individual almost instantly.
’The formality of his speech was faintly ludicrous considering that we were two shabby figures facing each other on an otherwise deserted hillside.’
Mary quickly becomes a sidekick to Holmes and he teaches her all the tricks of his trade. Despite her young age, despite the fact that she is female, she quickly becomes an equal to Sherlock which is quite a change when compared to the relationship between Sherlock and Watson.
”A conversation with you is most invigorating, Russell. That might have taken twenty frustrating minutes with Watson.”
I absolutely loved how true to form Sherlock was in this book and if I didn’t love him/this book enough as is, the addition of Mary made it absolute perfection. Their dry humor and verbal sparring was delightful. They began as friends and Mary was constantly striving for Sherlock’s approval.
’Ah, how sweet was the pleasure of seeing the look of appreciation spread over his face and hearing his murmured phrase, “Very good, very good indeed.” It was like coming home.’
The book actually spans quite a number of years as Mary is almost nineteen by the end. The progression of their relationship was lovely and despite the fact that it could be construed as inevitable it was still a delight to witness.
‘Reminders of my femininity always took him by surprise. However, I could not hold him to blame, for they took me by surprise as well.’
This has absolutely become one of my favorites and I will definitely be continuing this series. Thank you Maja for the recommendation. 🙂