Fans of the Russell & Holmes series will gather at the downtown MAH for a celebration of 30 years of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (the first in the Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series with a huge YA and adult community of admirers all over) on Feb. 17.
This event in Laurie R. King’s hometown commemorates this charismatic Russell & Holmes partnership, but also the publication of The Lantern’s Dance, the latest King book featuring the intrepid mystery-solving duo.
In her latest Russell & Holmes adventure, King explores the 100-year-old puzzle of Sherlock Holmes’ ancestry. Don’t miss the Bookshop Santa Cruz launch of The Lantern’s Dance at 7pm on Feb. 16. The BSSC book talk with author Laurie R. King is free but requires advance registration.)
King began her unique literary take on the world of Sherlock Holmes in 1994, centering on the retired crime-solver, now a country beekeeper who accidentally joins forces with a young girl, Mary Russell, to solve a crime in Sussex Downs, England. Holmes quickly realizes that the orphaned teenager has a gift for deduction and begins tutoring her in puzzles, crime techniques, and detective work. Soon the pair join up, wearing disguises, to discover the identity of one of Holmes’ enemies, and Mary ends up as Holmes’ apprentice while starting her studies at Oxford.
Santa Cruz joins Seattle, Bethesda, and Nashville as a site for the four 2024 Russell & Holmes Days to celebrate the 30th anniversary of King’s first book in the insanely popular series. The celebrations at the four locations will differ, but here’s how the upcoming Russell & Holmes Day will take shape in our town.
The all-day festivities begin with a continental breakfast, and later in the afternoon a Cream Tea Lunch, catered by Busy Bees Café.
In her morning talk, author Laurie R. King will provide lots of insider details about the creation of the Russell & Holmes duo.
Next comes a beekeeping demonstration and talk by Emily Bondor, founder of the Santa Cruz Bee Company—with, yes, actual live bees in an observation hive!
King will have a conversation with a Baker Street Irregular, Leslie S. Klinger, one of the world’s leading authorities on Sherlock Holmes and a consultant on Hollywood movies about Conan Doyle’s infamous detective. Klinger will delve into the relationship between Holmes and his followers.
Next is Lockpicking for the amateur sleuth, a hands-on encounter with a security expert on the subject.
And finally a Q&A with King, book signing, and tons of photos. Lots of additional activities at this 30th anniversary event include a few cut-throat rounds of Beekeeper Bingo, exclusive giveaways including special reprints artwork, and Beekeeper swag created just for this celebration.
By Christina Waters