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

Forces Joined

The enterprise is hopeful, but full of hardship and danger. It would seem to have been conceived by some sovereign intelligence, that was able to divine most of our desires.

‘Oh, God, Holmes, it is good to see you.’ To this day he swears that I thrust his head between my breasts, but I am quite certain that he was on his feet by the time I reached him.

King, you find a new low each chapter. Sherlock Holmes has just motor-boated a teenage girl. I have never wanted to read that sentence in my entire life. I have never even thought that sentence could exist. But it does. Oh my lord, is this book terrible.

Holmes is up in Oxford because …… reasons, and Mary tells him immediately that her maths tutor is the evil villain out to get them. They decide to get out of Oxford and go back home to Sussex, the subtext saying that it’s time for a big hero-villain showdown.

Mary then drives them recklessly down to Sussex.

I didn’t hit anybody, and only brushed the farm cart slightly.

Holmes claims the night’s ride took ten years from his life, but I found it quite exhilarating to be rocketing along unlighted country lanes at high speeds with the man I hadn’t been able to properly speak with openly for so many months.

Once, when we slipped by inches through a gap between a hay wagon and a stone wall, losing considerable paint to the latter, Holmes was really uncharacteristically silent.

Hey, Mary, didn’t your entire family die in a horribly traumatic car accident? So why are you driving so dangerously? Seeing as you have survivor’s guilt and are suffering from some kind of traumatic stress disorder, wouldn’t you drive more sensibly?

Holmes says that he’s given out the story that he has pneumonia, but the people watching him got very sloppy (giving themselves away by leaving Oxford cheese and food wrappers all over the place – wow guys, facing the world’s greatest detective, and you can’t even be bothered to cover your tracks in a way that would fool a child) and have all disappeared. This clearly means that the villain is getting ready to make her move! Not that she thinks you are dying or something. No.

‘Holmes, if I didn’t know better, I might think you were becoming quite infatuated with Patricia Donleavy.’

What sense does that make?

Mary and Holmes get to Sussex in silly time (seeing as it should have taken about five hours from the evening and it’s suddenly morning) and she parks her car at the farm, announcing to her farm manager that she isn’t there and no one should know she is there.

You know, the farm manager could be the villain. He has appeared consistently, and knows all the ins and outs of Holmes and Mary’s life. It would make a lot more sense. Holmes and Mary walk over to his house and say they’re going to go straight up to the laboratory for no given reason.

He was looking across the lamp to the dark corner, and whatever it was he saw there bathed his face in dread and despair and the finality of defeat, and he was utterly still, slightly bent from depositing the lamp on the table.

There, dominating my vision, was the round reflected end of a gun, moving to point directly at me.

‘Good morning, Mr Holmes,’ said a familiar voice. ‘Miss Russell.’

‘Miss Donleavy.’

the maths tutor is the villain?




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