Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The God of the Hive (or an excuse to talk about any entire series) by Laurie R. King

Thanks to Netflix, I had a huge helping of Sherlock Holmes this weekend. I had read about a Masterpiece Mystery! remake of Holmes, but I missed the episodes on TV and online when they were free at Happily, the first "season" (only three episodes, but each runs 90 minutes) is now available for streaming on Netflix. They are a lovely, contemporary take on a classic.

I do love me some Sherlock Holmes. I enjoyed most (if not all) of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories. I like "House". I thought the Robert Downey Jr. remake was much better than friends had led me to believe. But, mostly, Laurie R. King has provided the most enjoyable interpretation of Sherlock Holmes that I know, so streaming the also enjoyable Masterpiece Mystery! episodes reminded me of how much I treasure Ms. King's work. I thought I'd share that with you here.

Ms. King has re-invented Holmes a bit--made him more humane, took some liberties with Conan Doyle's timeline, and gave Sherlock a sidekick so awesome that she, the sidekick, is the protagonists of Ms. King's tales. The sidekick is Mary Russell, a displaced and orphaned Jewish-American, a country neighbor to Holmes. Mary is every bit as capable as Holmes and because of a less-than-ideal home situation, she spends countless hours learning from and training with Holmes. This makes her more Holmes' equal than Dr. Watson ever was, and because, in part, she's basically a protege, Holmes begins to trust her and involve her in solving his puzzles. Over the ten Mary Russell books, the characters have grown up and grown together.

The God of the Hive involves great powers of observation and deduction, hidden bolt holes, clever disguises, a murderous cult, international intrigue, a Green Man (of the forest, not extraterrestrial), unexpected family, and Holmes' Irregulars. It also involves a fairly satisfactory ending to a puzzle so complicated it took two books to unravel. Satisfactory enough that I forgave Ms. King for leaving me hanging in the first place at the end of The Language of Bees.

Here's the link to the Amazon page describing The God of the Hive.

Sidenote: The most recent book, The God of the Hive, was released in April 2010, so I'm not exactly reviewing a new release here. However, if you love mysteries and ever enjoyed the mental prowess of Sherlock Holmes, I highly recommend these books. Don't start with The God of the Hive, because while it's a perfectly good representation of the series, it's the resolution of the cliffhanger started in The Language of Bees. I recommend starting at the beginning with The Beekeeper's Apprentice so that you'll get a full explanation of how Holmes has been re-interpreted, and so that you'll get a full understanding of how Russell and Holmes have grown together throughout the series. This will also give you time to catch up with the series before the newest one, Pirate King, comes out in September.

Pin It


  1. OK, for real? It was two books worth of complication/unraveling? Or was this Bravo network rehashing and editing?

  2. For real. There was a LOT going one, and there was brief resolution (with loose ends that clearly needed finishing off at the end of the first one so you KNEW it was only a brief respite in the puzzle.

  3. Oh, yeah. Don't even get me started. Way worse than Star Wars VI or Pirates 2. ;) But, yes, it was darn well worth it in the end. Dave even likes them.

  4. I LOVE this series, I own all the books. I also love love love that PBS Masterpiece Theater! show! I just discovered that on Netflix yesterday and thought it was amazing. I can read this series over and over haha I never get sick of it.

  5. At first, I thought that re-invrntimg Holmes had to be a bad idea, but these are so good I've begun to prefer THIS Holmes. ;)