By Laurie R. King
Picador, 1994. 346 pages. Mystery
Mary Russell has moved back to Sussex in preparation for her entrance to Oxford in the fall. While on a walk in the countryside, she encounters none other than the retired Sherlock Holmes, pursuing his study of honeybee behavior. Holmes is struck by Mary's innate talent for deduction and her keen intellect, and the two strike up an unusual relationship - part friendship, apprenticeship, and partnership.
It seems that for readers who may have strong feelings about the Sherlock Holmes world and don't like to see its characters tampered with, this book may chafe against some expectations. For me, however, the was an unexpectedly delightful story with a tight narrative, witty dialogue, and enjoyable characters. This is the first in a long mystery series involving Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, and I am already eager for more.