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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Language of Bees

The Language of Bees by Laurie R King.


Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Bantam (April 28, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0553804545

Book Description
In a case that will push their relationship to the breaking point, Mary Russell must help reverse the greatest failure of her legendary husband’s storied past—a painful and personal defeat that still has the power to sting…this time fatally.

For Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, returning to the Sussex coast after seven months abroad was especially sweet. There was even a mystery to solve--the unexplained disappearance of an entire colony of bees from one of Holmes’s beloved hives.

But the anticipated sweetness of their homecoming is quickly tempered by a galling memory from her husband’s past. Mary had met Damian Adler only once before, when the promising surrealist painter had been charged with--and exonerated from--murder. Now the talented and troubled young man was enlisting their help again, this time in a desperate search for his missing wife and child.

When it comes to communal behavior, Russell has often observed that there are many kinds of madness. And before this case yields its shattering solution, she’ll come into dangerous contact with a fair number of them. From suicides at Stonehenge to a bizarre religious cult, from the demimonde of the Café Royal at the heart of Bohemian London to the dark secrets of a young woman’s past on the streets of Shanghai, Russell will find herself on the trail of a killer more dangerous than any she’s ever faced--a killer Sherlock Holmes himself may be protecting for reasons near and dear to his heart.

Wow...   what can I say?   Laurie R King is such a good writer!!! ... 

Once upon a time (where Have I heard that Before?).. you couldn't have convinced me that I would enjoy mysteries, let alone read books that include Sherlock Holmes!

As a  young person, I did enjoy the old Sherlock Holmes movies.. but I never read any books of him.

Then along came Laurie R King.  The first of her books I read was "The Moor".  This was for two reasons.  One was that it was for Carl's challenge, the second I thought that if I was going to try this book it may as well be about my favorite old movie The Hounds of the Baskerville's.   Little did I know that it would include not just a mystery but a back story of Mary Russell, an extraordinary woman, and future wife of Sherlock Holmes!

I quickly went backwards after reading The Moor and began at the beginning of these mysteries revolving around Mary Russell and her famous husband.  And thus began my love affair with Laurie R King and her writing!..

I thought the Mary Russell books were "done"... Ms King put out a stand alone book called Touchstone (which I wound up really liking too!)  So when I heard a NEW Mary Russell book was being written I was thrilled!!

Not long ago I was sent a signed ARC copy of the newest Mary Russell book called, The Language of Bees.

As with her other books Laurie drew me right into this book!  Her writing is just so enjoyable I would tell everyone to try one of her books and dare them not to get hooked!

This book begins with the fact that one of Sherlock's hives has been abandoned and left empty of it's inhabitants.  A mystery that Mary takes upon herself to solve when her husband up and leaves her alone at the house when he takes off with Damian to solve the mystery of his missing wife and child.

But are they really missing?  or abducted?   Why does Damian not tell Sherlock and Mary the full truth?  Just what is he hiding?  

So many questions... so many things to be discovered!  Once Mary resolves the hive mystery she takes off after Sherlock to help resolve a much more personal mystery.

This is a great read, as all her books are. (yep ..those are words of a fan fersure!) I don't want to give away anything, but I will say that I would be shocked if you didn't feel as if you were right there with Mary as she unravels one question after another.

If you like mysteries and don't mind reading of a woman that is every bit as smart (if not smarter) than her famous husband, Sherlock.. then you are in for a treat!!

I would highly suggest to anyone to do a little  detective work of your own and check out Laurie's own website,  to learn about her books and then go out and try one!   You won't be disappointed.  


Blogger Astaryth said...

I'm not much of a mystery reader, but you know that I like an author that writes really well... I'll even read a romance if I love the author ;p, so you are making me want to try one of these (Like I -need- another TBR). Which one would you recommend as a starter?

9:34 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

hi JJ: well The Beekeeper's Apprentice is the first of the series of books (each one ENDS so should you not want to go on it's ok...but I find that hard to believe that anyone could do that lol)

Each book stands alone for the mystery part.. the meeting and pairing and marriage of Mary Russell and Sherlock is a continuation though.. so once you know their background you are set for all the books! These books also made me actually buy a Conan Doyle Holmes book to there ya go and I never read mysteries before!

9:40 AM  
Blogger Cath said...

Delighted that this one is as good as the rest, Pat. I need to get back to Mary Russell... I've read four so far and loved them all. Just about to start Touchstone now.

Isn't the cover of this lovely?

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Vicki said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Pat! It turned out to be one of my favorite entries in my very favorite series, so I'm happy to hear you found it a great read, too!

Oh, and cool FYI--the book is #9 on the NYTimes list this week, and #6 on the Indie Bookstore list. It's the first time Laurie has made the NYT top 10, so we're all walking on air. :D Thanks so much for highlighting the series and Laurie's books here on the blog--that has helped get the word out to more readers!

I hope the packing is going well. I'm thinking about you

1:29 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Cath: oh I am so sure that this book won't disappoint you that I can't even find all the words! One day I will have to begin her other series of books but for now I do love this one.. and the fact that there will be yet ANOTHER Mary Russell book AND other books to follow Touchstone! Gads I am so glad this lady likes to write! LOL

1:54 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Oh Vickie!!! Thank you sooooooo very much to keeping in touch and getting me the ARC of this book! I really did love it! And when I can see my way clear I will buy a hardback to have the great artwork of a cover..but I will always keep my signed ARC!!!!!!

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Vicki said...

You are very welcome, Pat--I'm so glad you enjoyed it! The cover did turn out nicely, didn't it? Very evocative of the story, I thought. I'd like to visit those standing stones near Orkney someday.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

I'll definitely try her! This sounds like such a good series. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

5:49 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Vicki: I will have to see how close that is to my "sis" who lives in England! She posted pics of the Moors which I loved , she may be within reach of the standing stones, who knows?!

Nymeth: Laurie R King is a fabulous writer. She went and "invented" a female Sherlock Holmes .. then married them to make things even more interesting!! The cases she writes are outstanding... I can't believe that I enjoy mystery books as much as I enjoy her books. I envy this lady's mind... it's brilliant!

5:56 PM  
Blogger cj said...

It sounds like an interesting book, Pat, and like a series I might enjoy but I have one question: how does the author deal with the fact that Sherlock Holmes didn't have any relationships with women? In fact, in one story, he tells Watson that he has never loved. For him to be married seems to go against the character created by Doyle and since I love the character, I'm not sure I could accept the alteration. I'm interested in your take on it.

It's a testiment to your review, btw, that you've got me curious about these books.


6:44 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Well you sure did plow through that one quick! I can tell it must have been good! Seems like you couldn't put it down, lol. I really REALLY need to read The Beekeeper's Apprentice!! and Pern...:/

8:07 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

cj: utoh.. well... other than Hound of the Baskerville's I've never read any Sherlock Holmes stories (I have a big book of them but haven't read it yet) In The Beekeepers Apprentice (where Mary Russell meets Holmes as a teenager) it tells that Holmes is retired and has become a Bee Keeper. She continues to visit him and he begins to teach her ways of "detection".. I guess I had no problem such as you say about "knowing he never had any lady companions" He is in his 50s when they marry... often Laurie R King mentions Watson and Doyle in her books and how Watson wrote his "stories" and embellished things etc. She also uses Holmes's brother Mycroft a bit in the books. Not having the knowledge about Holmes you have I don't know really what to say....

Chris: lol.. I can see i have you brainwashed and know I will keep putting Pern first LOL LOL too funny!

6:14 AM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a GREAT idea these books are---I mean the Premise that she is Holmes' wife...BRILLIANT!
I just have such a hard time trying to read books I actually have bought already---Though this series interests me, the truth is---I will probably never get to it..sad to say. BUT, I LOVE knowing it is there for the reading. (I'm surprised no one has thought to make a movie of this whole series...Ahhhhh for the days of The Studio System and the so called "B" Movie.....!)

8:14 PM  
Blogger Pamela said...

I need to start another list. That one looks like my type of book.

1:14 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Naomi: well if you ejoyed sherlock holmes you'll love these books too! So, never say never!

Pamela: The whole list from this series can be foun don Laurie's website... the link is on my blog..."laurie's own website".. along with great characters (many you know like Sherlock and Watson and Doyle gets mention periodically and Mycroft Sherlocks brother) she comes up with consistantly great mysteries!! I don't think you'd be disappointed!

7:24 AM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

My wife is enjoying the heck out of this series right now, I'm so glad she finally decided to give them a try. After all, she was Mary Russell before I convinced her (in a moment of lunacy, no doubt) to become my wife nearly 20 years ago.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Darla D said...

This is one of my absolute favorite series. I just finished this one and enjoyed it very much. I could have wished for a more conclusive ending, but other than that, I loved it!

10:54 PM  

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