Where has this book been all my life?
One of my favorite books in Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series is The Beekeeper's Apprentice and not just because it introduces one of my favorite series. It sparked my personal interest in WWI, particularly looking at the affects on the home front in England. So Bess Crawford, volunteer nurse and a woman connected with the military through Colonel Sahib, was precisely my cup of tea.
And how could you not love Bess? She's smart (sort of, more on that later), compassionate, at times fearless, and just lovely. But she's not perfect or insipid, she makes mistakes; she's human.
The setting and info of the time were perfect and easily my favorite part of the book. The characters were, by and large, great, though I felt some did not have their motivations dealt with completely.
My one problem with this book was the mystery. Normally that would be a big issue but the story lent itself a bit more to thriller, so that plus other elements helped me overlook it. The message she was intrusted to take to the family might not have been easy to understand exactly, but the events and issued tied to it were pathetically obvious. There were times I wanted to take the MC and drag her to the various points to shove her face in the solution. She's obviously highly intelligent but apparently could not fathom such a horrible idea EVEN WHEN IT WAS SHOVED IN HER FACE TIME AND TIME AGAIN. Sorry, a bit of repressed anger there apparently. It's not like the family were such bastions of honor.
But what really made this book was the narrator of this audiobook. She brought Bess to life but also created the people around her to the point they seemed to come alive. I've never heard Rosalyn Landor but if she reads every book like this one, my credits on Audible are going to go fast!