I just finished reading The Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie R. King. The book is long, written in the style of a Victorian novel and set in the English countryside. I must admit I nearly gave up reading this book, the first quarter is so slow and the set up is painfully plodding. I did read the entire book and no, I will not read the rest of the series.
The story picks up with Sherlock Holmes living a quiet retirement in the countryside, keeping bees and writing treatises on all things detective. He meets a young woman, newly orphaned and becomes her mentor. They have a number of adventures and solve a series of crimes. The characters both detectives and villains are impossibly brilliant, just as you would expect and the scenes of British countryside make me want to travel. Still, I will not give this book any endorsement, save your reading time for something more entertaining.
I recently finished listening to Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay. This is a love story about a Russian Ballerina, her life, the Bolshoi and her defection. Each chapter starts with a description of a piece of jewelry she is auctioning off and then within the chapter you find out how she came to have that bauble. Pretty good story, I would read another book by Ms. Kalotay.
I'm currently reading the second book of a series about Mrs. Pollifax, The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax. I'll let you know what I think!