So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King

The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King

Part of a series based on the retirement years of Sherlock Holmes and his young wife Mary Russell, this volume is the first of a two volume story that is completed in The God of the Hive.
Holmes and Russell come home from seven months abroad to find one of his bee hives has died out and that he is the father to a grown man. Waiting for them is young Surrealist artist Damian Adler, Holmes' son by Irene Adler, who was his opponent in Arthur Conan Doyle's story "A Scandal In Bohemia." Having outwitted Holmes in the Doyle short story, Laurie King creates this account based on the premise that Irene outsmarted Holmes a second time by keeping from him the existence of their love child Damian.
This first volume outlines the rocky beginnings of a relationship between the three unlikely family members, a retired detective, his young protégée and wife, and his war-scarred son. Damian needs his father's help and Mary gets drawn in to a family that keeps growing as we learn of Damian's wife Yolanda and 3 year old daughter Estelle. Yolanda's involvement in spiritual pursuits draws the newly united family into a confrontation with a religious leader whose penchant for human sacrifice threatens all their lives. Holmes brother Mycroft also plays a significant role in this family drama.
If you have followed the relationship between Holmes and Russell since their first meeting, this is a wonderful addition that adds depth to their characters and an exciting adventure that King fills with details of the time and place. Just be prepared to face the words "to be continued" as the story reaches a climax. The God of the Hive will be required reading for anyone who enjoys this book.


  • At 6:54 AM, Blogger Jamie said…

    I love that cover art!

    I read this a couple of years ago and, though I enjoyed the majority, I was very aggravated at the end to find that it was merely the first book of a series. There was nothing to indicate on my edition that I would be left stranded for a year or two before I'd see any resolution. I like to know my commitment to a story before I get started.

    Overall, though, I'm a huge Sherlock Holmes fan and I found her to be sympathetic to the character.


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