The Language of Bees: A Novel of Suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes by Laurie R. King
Rating: Very Good
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. The was even a mystery to solve - the unexplained disappearance of an entire colony of bees from one of Homes'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 0 murder. Now the talented and troubled young man was enlisting their help again, 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 Cafe 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. (from Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: I've been reading this series for years and always really enjoy it.
My Impression: This book has been on my shelf for years and is from one of my favorite series but I've been dragging my feet on picking it up for quite some time. I think the main reason was because I was afraid I wouldn't remember what had happened in the previous books and I felt like I should reread them but there was no way I was going to have time for that as much as I'd like too. So I decided to bite the bullet and just go for it and I'm so glad I did. While I don't remember the specifics of their adventures in India and America I found that I didn't really need too. I remember Mary and Holmes just fine and was glad to jump back into adventures with them and I was very pleased to see more of Mycroft.
After some a few rough adventures Mary and Sherlock are glad to be home in Sussex and not have to worry about anything other than why the bees have abandoned one of the hives. They're both sore and exhausted and Mary's confidence in herself has been severely shaken. But as soon as they put down their suitcases adventure finds them with the appearance of Holmes' recently discovered son and the disappearance of the son's wife and child who Holmes and Mary didn't even know existed.
From here on out we spend the most time in Mary's head. First as she tries to keep herself busy and then becomes involved in the mystery and is still dealing with her crisis of confidence after mistakes that occurred before the book takes place. To be honest, I didn't remember the details of what had happened but it didn't keep me from understanding what she was feeling and enjoying the story.
The mystery itself was solid, well paced, and interesting which is what I expect from the series. I enjoyed seeing more of Mycroft but did miss Holmes and Mary together as they spend the bulk of the book apart. The book does end on a dreaded To Be Continued BUT in this case it didn't bother me. While I am looking forward to starting the next book and learning what happens next I was satisfied with the resolution of the original mystery.
If you're looking for a smart mystery series with wit and brain this is definitely one to pick up. I think you could jump in at this book without too much trouble but the earlier books are really fantastic. It does feature Sherlock Holmes and while I do enjoy both the BBC and American television adaptations and have read an enjoyed several of the stories I am by no means a Holmes expert and cannot vouch for how closely it stays to the original character.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely! This is a series I always enjoy and I can't wait to find out what happens next.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes definitely and this series especially. I think you would enjoy it more if you started closer to the beginning but you could jump in at this book and I think you'd understand what was going on without too much trouble.