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The Beekeeper's Apprentice, Or On the Segregation of the Queen is a book by Laurie R. King and was published in 1994. It is the first in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mystery series.

In 1915, fifteen-year-old Mary Russell, recently orphaned by a car crash in California, is forced to live with her aunt in Sussex. One day she is hiking and reading a book, when she literally stumbles over 50ish Sherlock Holmes, who has retired from his London practice to raise bees. The two discover they have similar intellects and outlooks on life, and quickly become good friends. Holmes finds in Russell a willing student in his methods of deduction and crime solving, and by the time Russell enters Oxford University in 1917, she is officially Holmes' apprentice.

Their first major case together is in the summer of 1918, when the child of a United States Senator is kidnapped. In December of that year, Russell returns to her flat in Oxford only to find Holmes suffering from the effects of a bomb explosion in one of his bee hives in Sussex, with another bomb planted in Russell's room that he has defused. Similar devices have forced Mrs. Hudson and Dr. Watson into hiding, which propells Russell and Holmes into a case involving a name that had not been heard from in decades.

Trivia

The secondary title is taken from a volume written by Holmes during his retirement prior to WWI, and used by him to distract the German agent Von Bork in "His Last Bow".

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