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


I’ve been to the zoo today. I might be in a good mood while reading through this chapter.

The Problem of the Empty House

The massacre of the males…

Mary wakes up and has found that despite her vaguely insulting warnings to stay away, John Watson has shown up anyway, because he is a king.  But how on earth did he find them?

‘Elementary, my dear Holmes,’ he said.

you did not just use that fucking quote. The quote that has never been used in the published Holmes canon. It comes from the movies made with Basil Rathbone. Again, this further goes to prove that King does not know about the books, and only has knowledge based on Sherlock Holmes films. She is writing about something she doesn’t really know a lot about, and has based the characterisation and world on films. It would explain why she detests Watson so much, seeing as how in those old films from the thirties he always got the short end of the stick.

It occurred to me that Holmes was well accustomed to deceiving this man, because he was, as I had said, not gifted with the ability to lie, and thus quite simply could not be trusted to act a part. For the first time I became aware of how the knowledge must have pained him, how saddened he must have been over the years at his failure, as he would have seen it, his inability to serve his friend save by unwittingly being manipulated by Holmes’ cleverer mind.

oh my god i think i took some crazy pills and ended up in bizarro world. Why do you detest this character so much, King? Why? Did you have the deluded belief that Holmes needed better than Watson, a female version of himself to scamper about with?

‘Watson is described as a crack shot and an excellent doctor and surgeon. Intelligent, if lacking in Holmes’s insight, he serves as a perfect foil for Holmes: the ordinary man against the brilliant, emotionally-detached analytical machine. Conan Doyle paired two characters, different in their function and yet each useful for his purposes.’

A man who is a doctor and surgeon and served militarily is not by any definition, a stupid man. King, you are mistaking being unable to tell head from arseness for being compared to Sherlock Holmes. In comparison to Sherlock Holmes, everyone is stupid. That’s how it works.

This is from harkavagrant.com, which is a site that deserves a good look, for it is delightful and humorous and I really, really hope they don’t mind me borrowing this comic to prove a point.

Anyway, Mary blathers on about how she feels sooooooo sorry for Watson (but not really) that he has been replaced by a younger model with breasts. SAD FACE. Watson puts on a disguises and all his dialogue essentially boils down to ‘I AM A MORON BUT I TRY PLEASE FEEL SORRY FOR MEEEE’. Mycroft brings over the paper that says a bomb went off at Dr Watson’s home and killed the bomb-maker, the Dickson mentioned in the last chapter. Everyone claps Mary on the back for being the clever thing she is, working out that is someone was trying to kill Holmes and his companions, that they were sure to target Watson.

Another point for the Mary Sue bingo!

And then there is two pages of dialogue. The problem with this is that King does not say, for any of it, which character is saying it. At all.

It is impossible to follow. It is appallingly bad for a published book to have a technical problem such as this. A good editor or a good writer would never allow this shit to fly. This is where, when reading this book the first time, I completely gave up because frankly, if the writer can’t be arsed to put any effort into it, then why should I read it? These pages are some of the worst I’ve read, purely because it leaves the reader confused and lost as to what the hell is actually going on.

To break this up, Mary is given a very long and gratuitous deduction of her own, and it is tedious and pointless and only serves to remind us that Mary and Holmes are true, true companions with all the subtly of a brick to the face. His affection for her is starting to effect the case, you see. He hasn’t seemed to realise it’d be better for the world if she were shoved into the path of a rampaging elephant.

They talk about Dickson and about he was familiar with Holmes habits, as if that’s surprising when in this universe, Holmes’s life story is published in a weekly newspaper.

‘Surely there cannot be all that many of your enemies who hate you enough to kill off not only you but your friends as well, who have the money to hire bombers and watchers, and who have the wits to put this conspiracy together?’

It’s Moriarty. Or female!Moriaty. There’s very little else it could be, in the hack’s guide to Sherlock Holmes fanfiction. They seem to forget he was only in two stories, which hardly seems to make him an ultimate arch-nemesis. Fans. What do they know?

They talk about leaving in disguise, and Watson snaps at Holmes about how he must care more for Mary – after all, he is her uncle John. To leave the hotel, they disguise Watson as a porter and Mary as Watson. That’s possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. Mary goes off, thinking this is a brilliant idea, to one of Holmes’s bolt holes. She has another one of her characteristically introspective moments, where she realises that fighting crime is dangerous.

Bananas are an excellent source of potassium.

She dresses in some nice, slightly terrifyingly feminine clothes for Holmes to have (it makes it sound like he is a drag queen in secret) she goes out with a huge wad of money given to her by Mycroft. Even though she is supposed to be in hiding from a bomber.

I really hope she dies in this book. Even though I know there’s a whole series of these books.

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One thought on “A review of Laurie R. King’s ‘The Beekeeper’s Apprentice’ chapter ten

  1. So if Basil movie makes Watson into an idiot, I kind of what King to read the books if she truly hasn’t read it, and hope she realizes that Watson isn’t an idiot.

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