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The God of the Hive (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #10)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  9,066 Ratings  ·  866 Reviews
Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, have stirred the wrath of a murderous secret organization bent on infiltrating the government. Now they are separated and on the run, wanted by the police, and pursued across the Continent by a ruthless enemy with limitless resources and powerful connections.
Unstoppable together, Russell and Holmes will have to survive this ti
ebook, 361 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Bantam
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Dec 30, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction, kindle

This is Part II of a story began in The Language of Bees, in which Russell and Holmes - back in England after an eight month absence - become involved in a mystery concerning the artist Damian Adler and his wife and child. I was underwhelmed by The Language of Bees: its cliffhanger ending didn't particularly bother me because I didn't care enough about the story to want to jump right into Part II. However, I'm glad that my reaction didn't put me off continuing with the series, because this novel
Mar 22, 2010 Brackman1066 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans
It's probably a little unusual to describe a book that is #10 in a series as a "break-through" book, but that's how this felt. As a long-time fan of the series, this book was the first one that felt like it had solved some of the writing and structural issues that had crept in about mid-way through the series.

I've had problems in previous books (including *The Language of Bees*, of which this book is a continuation) with the shift from Russel's first-person narration to moments of third-person d
Review from Badelynge
The God of the Hive follows on directly from events in The Language of Bees and is the 10th book to feature Mary Russell. Mary and Sherlock are separated again and on the run. At first assessment you think of Reichenbach, and there are certainly deliberate similarities but the suspense gets left behind too often. Laurie R. King chooses instead to tell a more character driven story, examining Russell's new relationship with the recently discovered granddaughter of Sherlock Ho
Elizabeth Hunter
Here's the problem with the Mary Russell books--they're not mysteries. There's often a central question that does get resolved, usually in detail, before the end of the book. But who did what is generally spelled out explicitly long before the end. To some extent they are ops-sagas--how everyone managed to be in the right place at the right time with the right (or at least enough) information to resolve the situation. But even there, King is playing so many games with POV that the impact of the ...more
Feb 09, 2010 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I won a signed ARC! Yay! This was an extremely satisfying ending to the cliffhanger in book 9. It follows Russell and Holmes separately, as they each make their way back to London after the disastrous events of the last book. Along the way, Russell meets and is aided by an odd man, Robert Goodman, who hides strange secrets. It's hard to say much about the book without spoilers, but they each find even more disastrous news in the paper, and events proceed to an exciting and decisive conclusion.

My first literary love affair was with Sherlock Holmes. I met him at the highly impressionable age of twelve and fell instantly in love. I read every Conan Doyle story that featured him - read them more than once.

Since then, I have had many loves in my life. Indeed, I have been a very loose woman, literarily speaking, but one never forgets one's first love. He is always special.

A few years ago when I read a review of a book called "The Beekeeper's Apprentice", I was both fascinated and a bit o
Jun 16, 2010 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
A direct continuation of the story in The Language of Bees, the story yet again sends Holmes and Russell in separate directions - Holmes with Damian and Russell with Estelle.

One thing I liked about this story is it changes perspectives, and we don't get what we got in some earlier stories in the series where everything was from Russell's PoV and then we'd get summarized descriptions of what happened with Holmes off-screen.

Anyway, in Russell's attempts to make her way back to London while avoidin
International Cat Lady
I almost gave this book four stars instead of five, but it was such an excellent tale that I gave it five anyway, despite a major flaw: The God of the Hive is essentially part two of King's The Language of Bees, published in 2009. King's Holmes/Russell books are a chronological series and should be read in order, and they all refer (although usually rather obliquely) to previous events in the series. The Language of Bees (which I read back in 2009) ended with the bad guys apparently vanquished, ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 28, 2012 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Thrilling conclusion to the events that began in The Language of Bees. Thsi story is told from multiple perspectives. Mary is on the run with Estelle and meets a hermit who may or may not be trustworthy. Sherlock "abducts" a young, female doctor to stitch up Damien and spirits both of them away to the continent. Meanwhile Mycroft has fallen on some bad times and the mastermind behind it all watches and waits.

I loved the different perspectives. It picked up the pace and telling parts from the ba
Diana Sandberg

ALERT - spoilers near the end of this review.

I wasn’t going to read this so soon after The Language of Bees, but I got sucked in. Glad I did, too. This one follows very tightly indeed on the heels of the previous one, more so than most of her works. Interestingly, although that story was satisfying and complete in itself, this one adds layers to that, and extends itself from there. Ingenious. And *another* new and presumably ongoing character by whom I was entirely charmed - great addition. Thi
May 14, 2010 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
The God of the Hive struck me as a duller read the minute a character other than Russell started telling the story. It's no mystery when you know exactly what is happening, when you are as omniscient as the author herself. It's only a matter of turning pages until all the characters come together for a showdown of some variety.

Readers know who the "God" is in the first few chapters; they know who the usurper prince is; they know how the book will end. The character-driven emotional roller coaste
May 26, 2010 Melanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2010-reads
I dearly wish that I had read the previous book right before reading this one (instead of a year and a half and three moves ago) - I feel like I had forgotten some key plot points, and as _God of the Hive_ picks up (quite literally) where _The Language of Bees_ leaves off, that was a bit of a problem. I also missed the completely Russell-centric view of the world from the previous volumes - the Holmes voice was quite good, but it wasn't Russell. I'm planning a marathon re-read soon, in which the ...more
BJ Rose
This is really Part Two of the story that began in The Language of Bees, so be sure to read that first. Actually, to enjoy all the events that occur in these two books, start the series from the beginning - The Beekeeper's Apprentice. And to enjoy these books to the fullest, listen to them - the narrator (Jenny Sterlin) is fantastic!
Mar 05, 2010 T.c. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a long-time reader of Ms. King (since I was in middle school and she wasn't yet on bestseller's shelves), and there was little chance I wouldn't love her latest volume in the life of Mary Russell. (In fact, I sat down and read the ARC in one sitting, as I had been trying to resist doing - in deference to an imminent med school exam - since I anticipated its arrival a few weeks ago.)

But I am happy to say it earns its five-star rating on its own merits: an exciting, constantly surprising plo
May 06, 2016 Y rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thriller
Another year like this one, and people would no longer comment on the age difference between my husband and myself.

The Language of Bees

I’ve been reading through King’s Mary Russell series for some time now and I am completely sure that it is going to stay a favorite for years to come (As a matter of fact, I’m gonna go and create that category on my shelves right now. Back. Done). Given the current Sherlock craze I am a little surprised that it has not become more prominent; a state caused p
Mar 31, 2011 Meghan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
The Language of Bees was at least a moderately intriguing mystery novel, although it appeared to have had its ending rudely amputated and replaced with a gimcrack cliffhanger. This book is all falling action, with little mystery and no intrigue. (Spoilers, not that I recommend that anyone actually read this book.)

The creepy Reverend Thomas Brothers who dominated the first half of the story is eliminated with minimal fuss early on. The new antagonist who loomed behind his swift rise and subsequen
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Dec 28, 2013 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mary Russell Fans
This is the tenth in the Mary Russell series, where King gives Sherlock Holmes an unlikely (on the surface) romantic and professional partner: Mary Russell, a feminist, American, Jewish, an Oxford theological scholar--and less than half his age. It works though, usually the Russell books are a completely engrossing, suspenseful blend of mystery and historical fiction painting a vivid picture of the early 20th century.

Although as the rating indicates, I did like this, I did find it less engrossi
Aug 17, 2010 Toni rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
(Amended version)
This book was a big disappointment in many ways. As a Sherlock Holmes fan, it's hard to imagine that anyone other then Conan Doyle could do the great detective justice. I had hoped this book might, but it didn't. The story itself is entertaining enough, but the portrait of Holmes, in his later years, is superficial.

The book unfolds as though you already know a lot, kind of like joining a conversation in the middle. All Holmes fans know that he retired to Sussex to keep bees in h
Robert Sickinger
Wow. Laurie King surpassed herself in my eyes with her latest novel "The God of the Hive."

Reading her Mary Russell novels for me is like receiving a history lesson. There is so much detail on locations and the journey you take with the characters you feel like you have taken the journey with the characters. This is the reason we read books, having you experience the journey, and this book doesn't fail.

What is different from this book then the rest of her stories from Mary Russell is the symboli
Blair Leatherwood
Another winner from Laurie King! After finishing The Language of Bees, I was not surprised to find such a quick followup in publication since Bees left me with the sense that there was more to this story (without feeling unfinished on its own). I was correct.

King hits the ground running after a quick look at two figures who will play major roles in GotH. She handled changes of narrator quite effectively, without losing the focus of the story or confusing the reader.

The story moves with great eff
Apr 27, 2010 Marlyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, arc
As one of many readers waiting anxiously for the continuation of the story begun in The Language of Bees, I was absolutely thrilled when I learned I was getting one of the coveted ARCs of this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

When we last saw Sherlock Holmes, he was spiriting his injured son, Damian Adler away from the "altar" where religious maniac Thomas Brothers had attempted a human sacrifice. At the same time, Holmes' wife Mary Russell is trying to keep Damian's daughter Estelle hidd
Apr 03, 2010 Cate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won the ARC from here, and read it on vacation. I've been a fan of King's Mary Russell books for a while, although I am well aware of her ups and downs. "Locked Rooms" was not a favorite, and somehow I missed the one that followed--"The Language of Bees." Don't make the same mistake. "The God of the Hive" takes up IMMEDIATELY after the close of that book, and will spoil that book for you if you haven't already read it.

Holmes and Russell have been off on adventures around the world, and are fin
May 09, 2010 Val rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate enough to win an ARC of this book from goodreads in February. Amazing. This is one of my favorite series of books. My only critique of them is that I always want the story to continue. The God of the Hive (Book #10) begins where The Language of Bees (Book #9) ended. For those that read book #9 and screamed in frustration when the book ended and everything was not wrapped up, The God of the Hive delivers. Follow Russell as she tried to keep Estelle safe from the villainous Rev. Br ...more
I love Laurie R. King, and I love Holmes and Russell... but I hated how this book ended. I hope to write a full review one day, but for now: All during the action of the last chapter I had a feeling about what was going to happen to one character in particular. And I really hoped it wouldn't. And it did. {(view spoiler) ...more
Kat Hagedorn
May 07, 2010 Kat Hagedorn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery

I'm always thrilled to see a new Laurie R. King. Here are the reasons I was not all that excited this time around.

1) One of the joys of reading her books is her interest in theological concepts. Where else-- in the world-- are you going to get religious concepts mixed up with mystery? (And if you say Dan Brown, I'll smack you.)
2) I didn't read the previous book, and that is clearly an oversight. Not that you had to know what happened, she introduces that nicely, but it
Oct 05, 2010 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
The God of the Hive forms a duo with Language of Bees, revealing that the problem Holmes and Russell thought they solved is actually a subset of a much larger problem. I usually enjoy this escalation technique, and was glad to continue the Damian/Thomas Brothers plot without the mumbo-jumbo that plagued Language of Bees (and was basically a less-believable rehashing of Monstrous Regiment of Women).

Um. Well. *That* plotline turned nicely political and drew in Mycroft (yay, Mycroft!), but then in
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 delight ...more
Linda Baker
May 20, 2010 Linda Baker rated it it was amazing
If I could give the God of the Hive even more stars, I would. In every Russell and Holmes novel, Ms. King surpasses her previous work. I have enjoyed all of the series, but I think I enjoy the journeys in each the most, from England to India, Palestine and America. I always feel I've been there with Russell and Holmes and learned so much about the time period they are set in. The God of the Hive takes place mostly in the British Isles with a side trip to Holland, and gives us a look at a society ...more
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Mary Russell's Motivations (spoilers) 1 22 Jan 17, 2014 07:47AM  
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Edgar-winning mystery writer Laurie R. King writes series and standalone novels. Her official forum is
THE LRK VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB here on Goodreads--please join us for book-discussing fun.

King's most recent novel, Dreaming Spies, sees Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes travel from Japan to Oxford, in a case with international players and personal meaning. The Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series foll
More about Laurie R. King...

Other Books in the Series

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1)
  • A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell, #2)
  • A Letter of Mary (Mary Russell, #3)
  • The Moor (Mary Russell, #4)
  • O Jerusalem (Mary Russell, #5)
  • Justice Hall (Mary Russell, #6)
  • The Game (Mary Russell, #7)
  • Locked Rooms (Mary Russell, #8)
  • The Language of Bees (Mary Russell, #9)
  • Pirate King (Mary Russell, #11)

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