I have to say I am really starting to enjoy my mystery novels! I have picked up some great ideas from my fellow bloggers, particularly Eva and Danielle and they both recommended The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R King (I'm sure there are others out there that have loved this book too so please let me know if I have forgotten you!). I am fairly new to the mystery genre so recommendations are really the only way I can enter this reading world safely - there are just too many mystery novels out there to wade through.
The Beekeeper's Apprentice is the first novel in Laurie R King's series which brings together the famous detective Sherlock Holmes and a budding young investigator, Mary Russell. I have to admit I have never read any of the Sherlock Holmes writings so I really knew nothing about the character - this didn't impact negatively on my reading of this book at all. King sets up the character and the setting perfectly - the first half of the book where this is all done was by far my favourite - I enjoyed it more than when the actual mysteries and cases started to occur!
Sixteen year old Mary runs into Holmes in the English countryside near her farming home in Sussex Downs - they recognise a similar intellect in each other (although the two characters are not without their considerable differences which leads to some great tension throughout the book) and Holmes becomes a mentor for the orphan Mary.
The relationship between the two characters was the real joy in the reading of this book for me - the mysteries and cases were really only a vehicle for learning more about their relationship and their personalities - I'm not sure if this is supposed to happen when reading a mystery though??
I have to say I'm hooked now - I'll definitely be looking out for the rest of the books in this series.