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The Language of Bees (thoughts)

May 22, 2009

languageofbeesAt this point, we’ve established that I’m a huge fan of Laurie King’s Mary Russell series. After I gushed about my reread of the The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, I know that I convinced several people to give the books a try. This makes me very happy! Meanwhile, King’s publicist got in touch, and she sent me a review copy of The Language of Bees, the ninth book in the series. Since the eighth book was published back in 2005, I was out of my mind excited, and both my mom and I ended up reading it within a week or two of it arriving at the house. (My mom’s really into them as well.) Then, of course, I had to wait to review it until it had been released, and then my internet died, and so now I’m reviewing it a couple months later.

I think anyone who enjoys Mary Russell will absolutely love The Language of Bees. However, it’s difficult for me to even give you an overview of the plot without giving too much away. They’re back in England, and they’re on the trail of a very intelligent killer, and a person from Holmes past is involved, and the ending is both satisfying and a complete cliff-hanger, which I didn’t think was possible. It’s become my favourite in the series, which is saying a lot, and I think the books just keep getting more and more wonderful. King had better not wait three years to publish the next volume! :)

I seriously am not sure what else to say. If you haven’t read this series yet, go get The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. Yes, it’s a mystery series, but it isn’t pigeonholed by genre. King writes incredible characters, while also coming up with entertaining plots and fun settings. Go check out the post I linked earlier to see me make a much more compelling case. ;)

I will say that I think the publisher’s summary is absolute rot. So if, like me, you read it and become concerned, don’t worry: the feel of the novel is nothing like the summary.

And with that, I think I’m done. I’ll open the floor for any questions you may have, either about The Language of Bees or the series in general. Then I’ll add them and the answers to this post, since I’m finding it difficult to elaborate without giving too much away. But I loved it to pieces, and as usual I’m in utter awe of Laurie King’s abilities! :D

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. May 22, 2009 4:52 pm

    I’m feeling the same way too! I’m only a quarter of the way into the book (work got in the way) but it’s been so good so far!

  2. May 22, 2009 4:52 pm

    Another great review of this series, Eva! Your enthusiasm is really infectious when it comes to these books – I picked up a copy of the first in the series on my last trip to the used bookstore, so I look forward to reading it soon. One question I have is what is the link between Sherlock Holmes and bees? I just finished Michael Chabon’s “The Final Solution” and he has Holmes working as a beekeeper in that one, too. It just seems like to weird of a thing to be a coincidence, but I confess I haven’t read enough Sherlock Holmes to know if it was a well-known thing of his.

  3. May 22, 2009 5:50 pm

    I have several of this authors books, and sad to say I have not even read one! Great review!

  4. May 22, 2009 5:54 pm

    As a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the Mary Russell series, I’m really looking forward to this one!

  5. May 22, 2009 6:35 pm

    OK, you’ve convinced me. I put in a request for The Beekeeper’s Apprentice at my library. I’ve never heard of this series, but it sounds wonderful! I love Sherlock Holmes. Thanks for the persuasive review and for not giving anything away ;o).

  6. May 22, 2009 9:53 pm

    I just finished Justice Hall – so I’ve got two to go before I’m ready for the newest one. I loved it, of course.

  7. tuulenhaiven permalink
    May 23, 2009 7:30 am

    Hurray, more Mary Russel. Everyone’s reading this, and yet my library hasn’t even gotten it yet… I’ll have to start bugging the librarians! :)

  8. May 23, 2009 10:33 am

    I’m on board! I’ve never read any of these either. Looks like I’m in for a treat!

  9. May 23, 2009 4:25 pm

    Frances has convinced me to give this series a shot, and so glad to see you love it, too. All the more reason for me to try.

  10. May 23, 2009 9:21 pm

    I agree with you about this book, Eva! I found it a little slow at the beginning but then couldn’t stop reading. Excellent writing as always, and a marvellous cliffhanger of an ending!

  11. May 23, 2009 11:58 pm

    I’m glad that you liked it so much. I’m one of the people who you convinced. These books are on my list to read someday.

  12. May 24, 2009 4:02 am

    I am so looking forward to this but it doesn’t come out here for another month or so; your review makes the wait worthwhile!

  13. May 24, 2009 5:23 am

    Okay, I am convinced! But you know, as much as I think I would enjoy these, I think Miss Annie would go absolutely nuts over them!!!

  14. May 24, 2009 12:39 pm

    You remind me I need to nab another one of these and continue on in the series. I think that will be my summer project – reading them all and getting to this one!

  15. May 24, 2009 1:28 pm

    Belle, I’m glad you’re enjoying it!

    Steph, thanks! I already answered your question on your blog. ;)

    Diane, you should pick them up! ;)

    Kate, I deifnitely loved it. :D

    Kristi, thanks!!

    Carrie, Justice Hall was awesome. Sad but awesome.

    Tuulenhaiven, definitely time to bug your librarians! :)

    Amy, yay!

    Claire, I think you’d definitely enjoy it.

    Melanie, yeah-I was nervous at first that it was all going to be in the past. But once it snapped back to the present, I was happy!

    Alyce, awesome!

    BrideoftheBookGod, I hate different publication dates for different countries-it doesn’t seem fair.

    Debi, I think Annie would definitely enjoy these!

    Becca, sounds like a good summer project to me. :)

  16. May 24, 2009 3:47 pm

    Haven’t even heard of this one, but your review sure has me interested in it. I’m leery of reading mysteries as I usually don’t enjoy the boring characters, but you make it sound so irresistible!

  17. May 26, 2009 8:49 am

    I’ve only read the first two in the series but I am Hooked! I hope to get thought them all and this one in the future!

  18. May 27, 2009 6:20 am

    I knew I had to read this one soon, because I’ve loved all the other Mary Russell books, but now you’ve convinced me to get it and read it as soon as I can. A satisfying and cliff-hanger ending???

  19. May 28, 2009 6:19 pm

    I have read everyone of the Mary Russell series both in hardcover and audio. They are sensational! Can’t wait to get my hands on the Language of Bees.

  20. May 31, 2009 12:03 pm

    I’ve been soooooooooo meaning to start this series. Must do that soon.

  21. June 16, 2009 8:06 pm

    I love this series too, and I completely agree that the publisher’s synopsis was awful. I was quite concerned going in, but it was as wonderful as ever.

  22. Pat permalink
    November 20, 2009 6:29 pm

    I love these too. The audio books are wonderful, I listen during my commute. They are complex enough for re-reading, or listening, in my case. I’m just getting ready for Bees. Can’t wait!

  23. August 19, 2010 8:06 pm

    My Mom and I got into the series when it first started. I am thrilled with the last two books and knowing that another one is in the works.

Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

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