Two books, one story – beware of Laurie R King!

I have mentioned in passing a series of books by the American writer, Laurie R King. This series features Mary Russell, who ( wait for it) marries Sherlock Holmes. It does mean that the rather male dominated Holmes stories get taken over, with plots intricate enough for any murder mystery addict. The one that you must read first is The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

Though after that I can’t work out the intended order. Perhaps it will depend on what you can get hold of to read ( reasonably cheaply, or borrow). I read The Game next, which is set in Raj India, and is fascinating in describing the disguises adopted by the married pair, as well as the intricate plot.

Then I borrowed from the library The Language of Bees.

This is fascinating, with dashes across the country, new family responsibilities, and a terrifying flight to the Orkneys. This is an excellent yarn, and the character of Mary is really well developed. I read to the end, expecting resolution, explanation and retribution. But no! At the last, when I expected everything to be resolved, the dread words, continued in the next book, appeared. I was a bit disappointed, because the story was so good.

The God of the Hive, when I ordered it from the library, was equally got, if a tad body strewn. Several twists happen which kept the reader guessing, and I was genuinely surprised several times by the revelations of the story.

The best thing about this book is the introduction of the character Robert Goodman. He is many things, and his character is well introduced at a moment of drama. Mary is very taken with him, though he is the opposite of her husband, and he becomes increasingly important to the plot.

I think that if you intend to try to read The Language of Bees, make sure that you have access to The God of the Hive straight after, or it will be immensely frustrating.

King is an American, and this slows The Beekeeper’s Apprentice down a little. Otherwise these are generally really well written books with complicated and engaging plots, and a really feisty female lead. If you can cope with the basic idea of Sherlock being older and without Watson, these are long, but enjoyable reads.

Anyway, must finish as I have several books on the go, including my first review novel. Keep watching this space!

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