Sunday, November 11, 2012

Review: The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King

Yet another in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie King.  I bought this book when it came out, hence the hardcover version that I own.

Holmes and Russell have just returned home to Sussex from their trip abroad (chronicled in The Game and Locked Rooms) when Damian Adler appears at their door - Holmes' son by Irene Adler.  You may recognize her name from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle series.  Damian is a Bohemian - an artist who has nevertheless seen his fair share of war.  He has married (an Asian former-prostitute named Yolanda) and has a three-year-old daughter, Estelle.  Damian is seeking Holmes' help because Yolanda has disappeared.  It's not unusual for Yolanda to go off on her own, leaving Estelle to Damian's care, in search of spiritual enlightenment.  But she's been gone longer than usual, and Damian is starting to get worried.

So he seeks out his famous father, with whom he has an uneasy relationship at best.  Holmes and Russell had once helped exonorate Damian when he was charged with murder, and when Yolanda turns up dead at the base of a strange monolith, it appears they may have to do so again.  Their investigation takes them into the strange world of the Children of Lights - a cult that has grown up around a man called The Master - one which Yolanda became involved with before her death.  Holmes and Russell soon discover that they are on the tail of a madman.  But what is Damian's involvement?  Is he an unwitting pawn?  Or did he have something to do with the murder?

This installment of the series was great.  I really enjoyed the look at alternative religions in the early 20th Century, especially the cult-like Children of Lights (a fictional religion, but similar to some of the spiritualist movements that were popular at the time).  The fact that this case involved Holmes' son gave it an added edge of suspense.  I'd give this one four out of five Whatevers.  Very solid entry in the series.  I only have three more to go!  At least King is still writing these.  I don't want the series to end!


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