Tag Archives: Laurie R. King

Language of Bees by Laurie R. King

It took me a month to finish the eighth book in Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series, not because the story was anything less than captivating, but because I didn’t want it to end. I read the Mary Russell series books two ways – dragging them out like this by reading half a chapter every night, or devouring them whole in a weekend (or one extremely late night.)

The Language of Bees comes barely the time it takes to travel after the events of Locked Rooms, where mysteries about Russell”s mind were tangled up with the plot in California, and we were gifted with whole chapters from Holmes’  point of view.  Russell is feeling the strain of the previous trip, but also the inevitable let-down that both she and Holmes suffer at the end of a case, no matter how good it is to be home. They need not worry about being bored for long, though, because they return to find Holmes’ son waiting for them at the house.

This mystery takes us through Bohemia, up into airplanes, through secret passages in Mycroft’s home and into a fascinatingly creepy upstart religious group. Damian, an artist who perhaps walks the thin line between genius and madness, is both like and unlike Holmes, is convincingly written as both a sympathetic figure and a suspect.

The end comes with more loose threads than I wanted, but the implication seems to be that the next book picks up where this one left off.  I can’t wait to see what sort of character Holmes’ granddaughter will turn out to be.  The God Of The Hive will be published June 2010.

For fun (and book updates), you can follow Mary Russell on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mary_russell

Bees are always good for a metaphor

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen by Laurie R. King, Bantam, 1996 (oh, wow, was it really that long ago?)

At the beginning of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, Mary Russell is 15, plagued by memories of the tragic accident which killed her family, living in the unhappy household of her controlling aunt, and prone to taking long walks across Sussex Downs dressed in men’s clothing (for the utility, not because she has any particular fondness for cross-dressing. Also, it’s foreshadowing about Russell’s skill at disguise, which will come up several times later in the series.) She literally stumbles upon the supposedly retired Sherlock Holmes who is out on Sussex Downs studying bees -he insults her, she insults him, and they start an unlikely and intellectually charged friendship, and, eventually, solve a few mysteries involving missing ham, criminal butlers, kidnapped American children, and math.

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