The Language of Bees

The continued wanderings of a newly minted librarian

King, L. R. (2009). The language of bees. New York: Bantam Books.

I am a Sherlock Holmes fan—have been since I was a child. When I first discovered Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series featuring Sherlock Holmes, I was a bit apprehensive. The first title in the series is The Bee Keeper’s Apprentice, and it truly impressed me. Not many people could write a Holmes mystery that stood up with Conan Doyle’s. King goes out on quite a limb and features the detective in his later years when he has supposedly retired and only does occasional consultations. He meets a young woman (19ish) whose intelligence matches his. They end up working together on a case and become friends. Later they get married and solve cases together.

The Language of Bees is the latest in the series and features the surprising entry of Holmes’ son whom he had with Irene Adler (featured in “A Scandal in Bohemia”). In spite of the unbroken territory in Holmes mysteries (or perhaps because of it) – women with intelligence, an unknown son, etc. – this newest addition to the series is excellent.