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One Must Tell the Bees

Abraham Lincoln and the Final Education of Sherlock Holmes

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One Must Tell the Bees
Written by: J. Lawrence Matthews
Narrated by: Thomas Judd
Genres: Historical | Mystery
Published: 1st of October, 2021
Length: 19 Hours 13 Minutes


Listen to Samples:

Audible UK

“President Lincoln is assassinated in his private box at Ford’s!”

When those harrowing words ring out during a children’s entertainment in Washington on the evening of April 14, 1865, a quick-thinking young chemist from England named Johnnie Holmes grabs the 12-year-old son of the dying president, races the boy to safety, and soon finds himself enlisted in the most infamous manhunt in history.

One Must Tell the Bees is the untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ journey from the streets of London to the White House of Abraham Lincoln and, in company with a freed slave named after the dead president, their breathtaking pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. It is the very first case of the man who would become known to the world as Sherlock Holmes, and as listeners will discover, it will haunt him until his very last.

At a time when Western history is being reexamined and retold, old heroes cast aside and statues torn down, and even the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, “the Great Emancipator”, is questioned, One Must Tell the Bees is a timely reminder that our history deserves to be understood before it is entirely undone.



Sherlock in America

Review by: The Audiobook ReviewOne Must Tell the Bees, by J. Lawrence Matthews, tells the story of a very young Sherlock Holmes before he was Sherlock. His brother Mycroft uses his influence to get young Holmes into a job in America. What follows is an exceptionally well-told tale weaved together with a history lesson around the end of the American civil war, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the capture of John Wilkes Booth.

The story is told from a couple of timeframes. Holmes' ever able assistant Watson is travelling to meet Sherlock in the English village where he retired to. On his way, we get to experience the story at the end of Sherlock's life about the start of it. How he was integral to the events of the American Civil War, the manhunt and capture of John Wilkes Booth. Sherlock's first adventures and what made him into the worlds leading consulting detective.

The story is a little "hooray for America" at times. Sherlock's apparent love of America is a little heavy-handed and felt disingenuous to his nature. Heaping on how much the quintessential English gentleman of Sherlock Holmes wished to emulate Americans and how much he owed them for his formation. A good story nonetheless, told in many parts by an author with a solid love of Sherlock and Lincoln.

Narration by Thomas Judd was brilliantly done. His voices sucked you into the tale, and I could help but feel like they were old friends of mine by the end. No production issues that pulled me out of the story, and a decent rhythm and cadence to listen to. Which, at over 19 hours long, is a great benefit.

Narration Sample

The final chapters made me a little maudlin. I've not been moved in such a way by a story in some time. Overall, a solid Sherlockian tale.

I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I have not let this gift affect nor influence my opinions of this audiobook and have left an honest review.


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Reviewed: 2021-11-24

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