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The language of bees : a Mary Russell novel
Laurie R. King
Adult Fiction KING

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Readers will learn a lot about bee-keeping in bestseller King's sometimes lively, sometimes plodding ninth Mary Russell novel (after Locked Rooms), though the focus is on Sherlock Holmes's estranged artist son, Damien Adler, who pays an unexpected visit to Holmes and Mary Russell, Holmes's wife, in Sussex. Damien, "a drug-addled derelict" who was arrested for his drug dealer's murder several years back, soon becomes a suspect in more recent deaths. He enlists his father's aid in searching for his missing wife and daughter, while Mary undertakes her own quest into Damien's questionable past. Incognito, she finds her way to Damien's shabby Bohemian London home and to the Children of Light, a Druidic-style cult whose disturbing book Testimony, illustrated by Damien, is quoted at the start of each chapter. While the detective's shrewdly observant brother, Mycroft, and other Doyle regulars appear, fans of the original Holmes stories should be prepared for a strong feminist slant. (Apr. 28) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Back in Sussex after nearly a year of globe-trotting adventures (The Game), Mary Russell and husband Sherlock Holmes are immediately catapulted into two different mysteries: the disappearance of Yolanda Adler and her young daughter, and the sudden extinction of one of Holmes's beehives. Sherlock takes on the Adler case, while Mary, never one to mope at home, delves into the intricacies of the apiary. She then heads to London to consult with Mycroft Holmes and insinuates herself into Sherlock's case. And thank goodness, because he clearly needs her help. King's latest is not as much of a travelog as previous series novels, although Russell does charter an airplane. Seeing more of Mycroft is a definite treat, but Russell and her husband spend most of the novel apart, which is never a good thing. King wastes no time dropping bombshells that shake up the canon she's so carefully created. She's a consistently good writer who continues to delight her many fans. A required purchase for all public libraries and fiction collections. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 1/09.]-Laurel Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib., CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Mary Russell
Age: 24
Married to Sherlock Holmes; Oxford theologian; has returned home after being abroad for seven months; visited by Holmes's estranged son whose wife and child.
Private investigator

Sherlock Holmes
Age: 63
Mary's husband; investigating the mysterious disappearance of an entire colony of bees from one of his beloved beehives; visited by his estranged son who wants his help in finding his missing wife and child.
Private investigator

Damien Adler
Sherlock Holmes's estranged son; was arrested and exonerated for his drug dealer's murder several years ago; comes to his father asking for help in finding his missing wife and daughter.

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