I just finished The Beekeeper’s Apprentice for a new mystery book club I am trying out. It would not be a book that I would normally have read, it is shown in some publications but not all as YA. It was reviewed by the School Library Journal and the protagonist is a 15 year old orphan. On top of that, it is historical fiction from the WWI time period, which is not a genre I usually read.
I enjoyed the idea of the book, a precocious 15 year old meeting Sherlock Holmes and becoming his assistant. I liked the portrayal of Holmes himself and Watson, for the little attention he receives. Mary Russell is that stereotypical perfect female orphan character that we see often, and refer to as a Mary Sue. The mysteries themselves and the culminating resolution are interesting and tie together nicely. I think this is a decent read for 5th – 7th grade mystery fans, especially given the lack of mystery fiction for that age group.