I am a fan of Sherlock Holmes, and need to return soon to my Complete Sherlock Holmes to continue his adventures with Watson. In the meantime, I heard about this series which features Holmes in his retirement as a beekeeper outside of London. He is befriended by 15-year old Mary Russell, a big fan of his who is knowledgeable herself in the powers of deductive reasoning. Impressed by her skill and potential, Holmes takes Russell under his wing and a bit reluctantly steps out of retirement to help her solve a few crimes. This first introduction to the Holmes/Russell partnership focuses primarily on Holmes's training of his new protege, with a couple short mysteries thrown in. Then about halfway through the novel, Holmes and Russell find their lives threatened and embark on a quest to figure out who would want them dead. Using an already established and loved character in Holmes strikes me as a bit shady, but at the same time, a lot of fun. The fact that Russell is so young was a bit unnerving to me - and I would have liked to see her in her mid-20s, at least. But, putting the age aside, the relationship works for the most part and the mysteries while not too complicated, are entertaining. There are about 10 books in this series, and while I won't rush out to read them, it's nice to know they are out there when I'm in the mood for a decent mystery.