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


Putting Off The Armour

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Most creatures have a vague belief that a very precarious hazard, a kind of transparent membrane, divides death from love.

Final chapter! Final chapter!

Endless hours, what seemed weeks, washed in a sea of dark, muttering confusion, a labyrinth of blurred images and disconnected snatches of voices, speech from the other side of an invisible wall.

In the interest of being thorough in my research, I asked a friend what it’s like to be unconscious (for I never have been). She said that she had no idea, because as far as she was concerned, it was one second walking to the nurse’s office, the next second waking up on the floor. So yeah. I could buy it if this was by a writer I liked or was a good writer, but no. She has the Dream over and over again, with her brother dead and Patricia Donleavy dead.

I floated closer, bit by bit, and finally the bubble softly burst, the thin membrane collapsed. I blinked.

I guess she’s awake now then. Holmes is by her side, and Mary is in a hospital room.

‘Holmes,’ I whispered. ‘I am glad you’re alive.’

But he was never in danger! Crazy Bill let you tackle the woman with the gun, fight her, and get yourself shot, without intervening or offering to help. He let a injured nineteen year old girl wrestle a crazy woman. With a gun. Why are you so overly concerned for him Mary? Crazy Bill was happy to watch you get raped in Palestine and try and grab a gun that was being fired!! This is not a good man!!! You can tell how worried I’m getting!!!! I’m using five exclamation marks, a sure sign of madness!!!!!

Anyway, the doctor says it wasn’t too serious, just a broken collarbone and another scar for his collection.

‘Well, Russell. Our trap caught its prey, but it nearly took you with it. I had not intended quite a generous sacrifice. You reacted as quickly as I thought you might. Had you been slower her bullet might indeed have seriously disarranged my insides.’

Oh, no, good for you, Crazy Bill.  She was shot twice but you, you, are completely fine. You get to investigate Donleavy’s empire, and Lestrade gets to, and oh, remember when they talked about how big it must have been in America? That Donleavy was a rich stranger from America, and that was why she targeted the Simpons? Well, there’s a cursory line about how there’s bound to be a lot for the American police force. So that plot line went on a long trip to nowhere.

Oh and Dr Watson arrives out of nowhere. Mary just starts talking to him and we had no idea he was there or how he arrived. Mycroft is there as well. They’re all crowding round her bedside, as if she’s the centre of the universe.

‘The bullet passed through the back of your neck, missing the spinal column by -by enough. It did go through your collarbone and nick various blood vessels before leaving the front of your shoulder and continuing on, to lodge finally in Miss Donleavy’s heart.’



That can’t possibly have happened.

Let’s look at a diagram of the scene, shall we?

Mary was described as pinning Donleavy down to the ground. The two women were fighting over the gun, which fired and hit Mary in the shoulder.  Continuing to fight over the gun, it fired again and Donleavy ‘stiffened’ underneath Mary. How on earth, then, did the bullet go through Mary’s shoulder and kill Donleavy? There is no physical way for it to be possible – unless Crazy Bill shot Mary, planning that the bullet would go through Mary and kill Donleavy. And there’s no evidence that he did. So, yeah, King, how exactly did Donleavy die? It’s like you couldn’t plan out a crime novel or something.

Anyway, Mary goes to stay with Holmes to recuperate. He annoys her, but her anger is dismissed when she gets a letter from Jessica Simpson, saying how much she loves and respects her. Mary feels better, and she and Holmes sit outside, so he can stroke her hair until she falls asleep. They then play chess, as it is Symbolic, and they talk about what pieces they are. Mary is not a queen, because she is far too good a player for that.  The book ends with them playing chess.

What did I think of the Beekeeper’s Apprentice?

It sucks.

It seriously sucks.

If you liked this book, more power to you. But I found this book to be the worst piece of crap I have read in long time.  The writing quality is poor, the plot nonsensical.  There is no build-up to the twist at all.  King hasn’t let the plot develop naturally.  By focusing solely on how awesome Mary is and how totally awesome she and Holmes are, the book feels stymied by her lack of interest in the world around Mary. Mary has no connection to anyone other than a character from a Holmes book. Her life feels empty and false, because she doesn’t feel real.  She has no interest in anything outside of Holmes, and this makes her feel as nothing more than a character designed to fall in love with Sherlock Holmes.King has even described Mary as Holmes if he were female. But why would that make a character interesting? If I want to read about Sherlock Holmes, I’ll read a Sherlock Holmes story. I don’t need an exact female duplicate, who is allowed to do what she wants and never face repercussions and have everyone fawning over her. Mary gets 57 points on a Mary Sue test. That’s a score not even recognised by the test itself, as it assumes you just did the test wrong.

What makes it worse is King’s lazy methodology and research. Her historical research is abysmal, and she shows a clear lack of knowledge about the original subject. It reads as if she never read a single Sherlock Holmes story, and derives her knowledge purely from the Rathbone films of the forties. She shows a clear lack of understanding of the original subject, and that shows when you’re writing fanfiction. This is fanfiction of the worst quality. I can find better online.

And her writing is pretentious.

This book is insulting to Conan Doyle’s legacy, plain and simple. I will not read the other books in the series. I am not giving my money to King so she continue to write awful twaddle. If you want me to review the other books, you can send me the money or the books themselves, because I will not touch these books willingly again.

Laurie R. King, you should be ashamed of yourself.

And because I promised…


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

  1. The sad thing about the story is, I actually kind of like the idea of Holmes acting like a father to her, and maybe some other close family like with canon but she ends up marring Holmes in the end, she treats Watson like he is nothing but an idiot, and as your said she’s a sue.

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