It’s a Mystery: The God of the Hive, by Laurie R. King

5 of 5 stars

One of the things I enjoy most about the Russell/Holmes series is that King knows how to humanize Sherlock Holmes without taking away any of his edginess. She does that largely by making him older and inserting him into an ongoing family situation. In The God of the Hive, the 10th entry in the saga, Mary spends much of the story on her own, separated from Holmes by the aftermath of a violent case and divergent family needs. To take her through her paces, King has invented one of the most delightful of all her characters in John Goodman, who enters the tale as a sort of Puckish woodsman with a omplex back story of his own. While Holmes hops about Europe trying to save the life of his newly discovered son, Damien, Mary must engineer the safety of Damien’s own daughter, Estelle. It was a shock to imagine Holmes as a husband, and now he’s a father and grandfather! Still shocking, but King makes it work. The death of brother Mycroft (no spoiler here) brings the family crises to a critical stage, and the plot plays out with more action and less intellectualizing than usual.

The God of the Hive is one of King’s strongest works, with an engrossing plot overflowing with mysteries.  Let’s hope she brings Goodman back in future episodes.

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