The language of bees by Laurie R. King
Genre: detective & mystery, historical fiction
Setting: 1920s, Britain
A Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mystery #9
As homecomings go, it was not auspicious.
It was only after I’d taken this book home that I realised it was one in a series, but I figured that it was more of a ‘verse type of series, so I read it anyway. According to wikipedia it is book 9 although only 2 others seem to have been published in Britain & Ireland. Or maybe it’s just that they switched publishers, I didn’t really look to closely into it to be honest. I’ll check at work tomorrow and see if we have any others but I won’t be hugely disappointed if we don’t.
From that sentence you may have guessed that I didn’t fall madly in love with this book. And that is true. I did, however, enjoy it and wouldn’t be averse to reading more.
The book begins in Sussex in 1924 as Sherlock Holmes and his wife and our narrator, Mary Russell arrive back home after the events of the previous novel. And one of the first things to welcome them back is a mystery, one of Holmes’ bee hives had “gone mad”. But that investigation is put on hold when Damian Adler, Holmes’ son, shows up. His wife and child are missing and he needs Holmes’ help to track them down.
I think that my reading of this probably did suffer because I hadn’t read the previous books and so wasn’t familiar with the characters. Russell herself seems like an engaging character, but I often found myself wondering how she hooked with Holmes in the first place. A distraction that was entirely my own fault.
I’d have to say that for most of the book I wasn’t that involved with the central mystery, it just didn’t capture my attention. And in a detective novel that isn’t a good thing. However by the end I was sort of caught up in events and wanted to find out how it ended. Which *is* a good thing in any book.
Overall however I think I need to read some of the earlier books in this series to really be fair in my review.