Thursday, February 26, 2009

Now This Is What Blogs Should Do

Though I read Sherlock Holmes when I was a teenager, as an adult I'm no longer sure what the attraction is for young readers, particularly young readers today. I'm intrigued by all the references I see to him in books for kids, since I always wonder if the child readers get them.

Therefore, I was very interested to read about Laurie R. King's Mary Russell books, which deal with a fifteen-year-old girl who becomes an apprentice to Sherlock Holmes, at Jen Robinson's Book Page. This series appears to have been around for more than a decade. While I do believe I've heard of the first book, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, I've missed reading any of these things. It looks as if they cover a favorite period of mine, World War I and the post-war era, and I'm interested for that reason alone.

Now these are not YA novels, though they have that fifteen-year-old main character. I often find myself drawn to adult fiction with teen or child protagonists (I'm reading The Dead Father's Club now), and I like looking for adult books that might work for younger readers. King's publicist told Jen Robinson that the Mary Russell books have always had cross-over appeal for teenage readers and Jen says, "mysteries are often bridge books by which teens first dip into adult fiction." I would agree with that. So now I've got another reason to be interested.

I love it when blogs intrigue me with talk of books that I've missed somehow. Good work, Jen.


Jen Robinson said...

Thanks, Gail! I love that about blogs, too. And I'm glad that this one has caught your eye. I should warn you that the main character doesn't stay 15 through all the books - she was about 25 in the most recently published title. But I personally enjoyed seeing her personal development (along with the mysteries, and the details of the time period, and some exploration of women's rights and religion, too). I like books set during this time period, too.

You might also like Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs books, too, if you haven't run across those.

Gail Gauthier said...

I have read Maisie Dobbs. I liked the first book, but I wasn't as fond of the next two in the series.

The first Mary Russell book is at my library, so I'll give it a try soon.