A review of Laurie R. King’s ‘The Beekeeper’s Apprentice’ chapter seven

Words with Miss Simpson

…directing all things without giving an order, receiving obedience but not recognition.

The end of a case is always, long, tedious, and anticlimactic, and since this is my story I choose to save myself from having to describe the next hours of weariness and physical letdown and questions and the ugliness of confronting those men.

It can’t be any less anticlimatic than Mary rescuing Jessica in the last chapter. Mary whines on about how tired she is and how boring everything is after the thrill of rescuing the girl in the last chapter

‘Is it always so grey and awful at the end of a case?’

‘Not always. Just usually.’

‘Hence the cocaine.’

I thought Sherlock Holmes used cocaine to stimulate his brain in the midst of a complex case, not just to fill his brain with pretty stars when he’s bored. The kidnapping gang were hired and paid anonymously and had no means of contacting their employer, which seems to be a very stupid way to run a criminal organisation. The detecting pair go off to talk to the Simpsons, to try and get clues to find the criminal mastermind in charge of the thing.

.. if it turns out to be a female version of Moriarty, I will violently destroy this book.

Holmes and the parents chitter chatter while Mary talks to Jessica, who was so awestruck about the magical mysteries of her escape that she has renamed her doll Mary.

‘I never had a sister, Jessica.  I had a brother, but he died. My mother and father died, too, so I don’t have much of a family anymore. Would you like to be my sister, Jessica?’

The amazed adoration in her eyes was too much.



what the hell was that

that same out of nowhere

it makes no sense for this sudden declaration of love from Mary. Whut. whut. why the hell would she suddenly go BE MY SISTER SMALL CHILD in this overly emotional way.

this is terrible writing.

And then the six year old girl swears that ‘if I had a gun, I’d kill them all’. Wow. Never heard a six year old talk quite like that.

‘I hate them for taking away your happiness. You don’t trust people now, do you? Not like you did a few weeks ago.  A six-year-old girl oughtn’t be frightened of people.’ The child needed help, but I was quite certain that her parents would greet the suggestion of psychiatric treatment with the standard mixture of horror and embarrassment.

Where did you get your psychology degree, Generic Pop Psychology College for Young Ladies?

Mary and Jessica have a very contrived conversation where they pledge to be eternal tinkly winkly friends for ever more. Holmes and Mary then begin the journey home where Holmes spends the entire time on the train complaining about how dreadful Watson was and how he’s so glad he’s finally found his detecting soulmate in Mary for ever more.

‘Even when Watson was with me, he functioned purely as another pair of hands, not in anything resembling true partnership.’

‘Watson’s great strength has always been his utter, dogged dependability.’

King, why do you hate Watson so much? Really, why?  I don’t understand why you have this incessant agenda against the second main character of the series.  Watson is the lynch pin that makes the Sherlock Holmes stories work. The books would be entirely impossible without Watson telling the story. If Holmes were to be the narrator, he would be entirely insufferable.  A reader would not be able to emphasise with his narrative and mindset, and would find him to be like Mary’s narrative – smug, self-centred, self-aggrandising, and frustrating. Is King’s sole problem with Watson that he is a normal guy, not a super duper consulting detective? Is she really that petty?

Blarghhhh this chapter has put me in a terrible mood. This has been the worst one so far. It didn’t make me furious like I have been with previous ones, but I think the combination of sickly talking with children and age after page of making snipes about Watson have put me in a terrible mood.


3 thoughts on “A review of Laurie R. King’s ‘The Beekeeper’s Apprentice’ chapter seven

  1. Also, Mary as it seems like in chapter two calls him uncle Watson, but she hates him so why the uncle part? That’s might to be friendly term not a hate term, it’s like Watson and she hates him for that that she calls him uncle what?

  2. From what I’ve read, Holmes actually did take cocaine when he was bored, and only when he was bored. Also, Watson managed to wean him off back in the 1890s, so screw this girl.

    Also, I think there is at least one story where Holmes is the narrator. It ends with him saying that writing is a lot harder than he thought.

    Also also, how did King miss that Holmes and Watson were friends? I mean, they lived together for years, and then spent a lot of time together after Watson moved out. Holmes isn’t the kind of guy to spend time with people he didn’t like, or hide his feelings.

    • You’re probably right on the first two counts – well, I know you’re right about the cocaine, but Mary addresses it in such a hacky way that bile shot from my mouth and landed on the page.


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