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Mystery novels, Beekeeping, Life, and Pink

One of my favorite writers is Laurie R. King, who writes, among other things, a terrific series featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes.  My favorite remains the first, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, a beautiful story of two broken and highly intelligent people who become friends and solve crimes.  (There are also chemistry experiments, a Gypsy wagon, chess, Arab cutthroats, deceptions, a wild car ride through the English countryside, and bees.)

Now I'm a Holmesian from all the way back to elementary school when I picked up a dusty old book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and fell in love.  Mystery novels were my first love, my gateway novels into the world of reading, and they still hold my interest as no other novel can.  Discovering the Mary Russell novels, which pick up in Sussex where Conan Doyle left the Great Detective in retirement with his bee hives, was wonderful.  They capture the cunning, clever, cold intellect of Holmes and infuse it into a young woman who is just as cunning and clever and coldly intelligent, but the relationship between the two of them, like the relationship between Holmes and Watson, add the warmth to these stories.  Unlike Watson, though, Russell is Holmes' equal in every way.

Written from Russell's perspective, The Beekeeper's Apprentice presents the version of Holmes and events that only Russell sees.  Several years later, Ms. King released a short story titled, Beekeeping for Beginners, which is the first few chapters of The Beekeeper's Apprentice from Holmes' perspective.  In it Holmes teaches Russell that watching people is very similar to watching bees, and he often refers to what he calls the rules of beekeeping.

Rule one: Remain calm.
Rule two: One must occasionally be cruel to be kind.*
Rule three: Never cease to feel wonder.
Rule four: Success often rests on the imperceptibility of one's meddling.

Like Holmes, I think these are not only good rules for beekeepers, but for living.  Particularly number three.  Never cease to feel wonder.  Like this. 



Happy Friday.  Celebrate.  Never cease to feel wonder.

(I saw this video on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, yet another example of how awesome those bloggers are.)

~~
*  (Hamlet, Act 3.  And as much as I would like to say I knew that, I didn't. But Russell did.)

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