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The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1) - Laurie R. King Closer to 4.5 stars than five, but I can't quite find it in myself to lower it down to four, even if I couldn't fully embrace the more theological bits in it, and I felt poor Dr Watson was perhaps left aside a little too harshly.

But other than that, this was a joy to read, and ... well, yes. It's pretty much written for me, really, having more or less everything I could want in a book. (Considering my obsession in the last few years has been another series, a rather different one, where a much older brilliant and feared detective takes a young, sharp-tongued teenage girl under his wing, as an apprentice and assistant at first but quickly becoming best friends and partners who mean the world to each other, with tantalising hints of something more being, maybe, possible in the future, I was also amused by seeking out and finding the parallels, although I doubt they're anything but coincidental.)

Anyway. Yes. This was lovely, and wonderful, and just what I needed. (The mysteries were good, too. :P Well, good enough for me, anyway.) And needless to say, I plan to read more, although I have a niggling feeling this first book will be hard to surpass.

(I do admit I'm not exactly what one could call familiar with the Sherlock Holmes canon. I've never managed to immerse myself in Conan Doyle's Sherlock books, in spite of enjoying his non-Sherlock writings, and no TV version I've attempted to watch over the years has kept my attention. This, frankly, was why I was hesitant for a long time to try this book and this series. I don't know how "canon" or "in character" this version of Sherlock Holmes is, and I can see and understand people deriding this as glorified fanfic, with Mary being not much else than a Mary Sue, but ... it worked for me, and in a literary world where capable, skilled, intelligent, educated, well-liked young male characters, orphans and otherwise, have long been accepted as normal, I have absolutely no problems accepting a similar character who happens to be a young woman instead.)