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Death By A HoneyBee (Josiah Reynolds Mysteries #1)

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3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  2,097 ratings  ·  279 reviews
Josiah Reynolds, a former art history professor, was once a celebrity with wealth, social position and a famous husband. Now all of that is gone. The professor finds her circumstances drastically altered. Retired, Josiah is now a full time beekeeper trying to stay financially afloat by selling honey at the local Farmers’ Market.

She finds her world turned upside down when
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Paperback, 236 pages
Published April 16th 2010 by Worker Bee Press (first published March 23rd 2010)
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Books Set in Kentucky
9th out of 51 books — 39 voters
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Books with Bees on the Cover
51st out of 110 books — 11 voters


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Community Reviews

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Deb
I debated whether or not to give it 3 stars. This was free Kindle book. Josiah Reynolds is a 50+ beekeeper who lives in a showcase contemporary home designed by her architect husband on 139 acres of the Kentucky Palisades. Her husband died under difficult circumstances and unknown to friends and neighbors, left Josiah with almost nothing. A rival beekeeper is found dead in one of her hives, and Josiah is the prime suspect. One difficulty I had with the book is that the plot was more unbelievable ...more
Cheryl
A fast and fun read. I didn't get great literature when I got this book and hadn't expected to do so. What I got was an enjoyable story with interesting characters (and I do mean characters). This was exactly the kind of book to read in a stressful week. I will read the next in this cozy series when I need another "time out"
Sharla
Okay, this was really a pretty good mystery, interesting characters, lots of local color that really appealed to me. I could see every setting in the book so clearly. The butterfly house became like another character. I'd love to live there. The only problem was the ending. I do not enjoy an ending that leaves me hanging and wondering about the fates of important characters. I tend to throw books against the wall when that happens, thus letting off a bit of steam but couldn't this time since it ...more
Mary
I was instantly hooked after the first chapter of this book. I live in Lexington, Kentucky where this book takes place and that is what initially drew me in to Death by a Honeybee. Reading about my real life surroundings in a fictional book was interesting and definitely kept me reading. The characters are interesting, I would have liked to know more background info on some of them but perhaps that comes later in the series. There were a few awkward transitions in this book and some parts that I ...more
Karen
The opening chapters of this cozy mystery set on a Kentucky farm were promising. A lot of interesting information about beekeeping, inside look at local farmer's market, and Kentucky horse country atmosphere tossed into the mix. Unfortunately the story fell apart a third of the way in with convoluted plot twists and too many unlikely characters to keep track of. A disappointment.
Deborah
I loved this book.
Beautifully written, it was rich with detail yet moved swiftly forward through an engrossing story.
The main character, a woman named Josiah(!), was totally believable, not a superwoman, rather an ageing academic struggling with the things ordinary people struggle with. Until someone dumps the body of a rival bee-keeper inside one of her hives.
I was a trifle surprised to find the mystery solved at 80% into the book, and not being a fan of cliff hanger endings, was expecting to b
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Sharon Michael
This would have been a 4-star read for me except for the ending, which turned out to be an absolute classic 'cliff-hanger' which is one of my pet peeves. I picked up this book because of the KY setting, something I am interested in since I am not a KY native. Book has lots of good qualities, interesting plot, great characters and obviously knowledgeable view of the regional culture and geography.

Someone without my personal prejudice against this type of ending will probably enjoy the book. I do
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Angela
very good. gritty for a cozy. could have done without the dog killing. will read the next one.
Cat
Josiah Reynolds is a bee keeper in Lexington, KY. She was married to a renowned architect who designed their unique home, The Butterfly, in his heyday 30 years ago. They had one child, a daughter who is now something important with the FBI-CIA-Speical Forces set. Josiah and her husband separated shortly before his death and he moved in with a much younger woman, while Josiah concentrated on maintaining the beautiful house and her huge art collection, caring for her bees and rescued animals of al ...more
D.A. Lawson
I thought DEATH BY A HONEYBEE was an interesting and enjoyable read.

Josiah Reynolds, the main character, has a fairly large chip on her shoulder that made it difficult for me to relate to her at first. As the story progressed, revealing the circumstances that led to Josiah's attitude, I found myself not only empathizing with the character but also liking her, even when I didn't agree with all of her actions. In my opinion, Josiah and the supporting characters were well developed, and the dynamic
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Sharon Kennedy
There seems to be a surfeit of murder mysteries of this genre at the moment - older lady stumbles into a murder, and begins to investigate - but I liked this one, because it had so much peripheral detail about the bees!
The main character is a beekeeper, who finds a rival bee charmer lying dead in one of her hives. She believes she is being set up for the murder, and also that the police seem determined to believe she did it, and so she begins to investigate herself. She is a big fan of old movie
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Norma Huss
Josiah (female) keeps honey bees. When she discovers a rival bee-keeper dead, face down in one of her hives, one might expect a humorous mystery. This has its light moments, but it isn't light reading. It's rather like life, rambling on, including all kinds of bits about her life and the lives of her friends, nature, her conflicted emotions, more like a diary perhaps. All of the asides are interesting, and do make a point leading to Josiah's eventual path in life. That isn't to say it's her life ...more
Harvee
Enjoyed the feisty protagonist of this book, the first in a series, which I hope to continue reading.
Jeanne
Cozy, fun mystery, perfect choice for when you just want to read without a lot of effort
Brick ONeil
Well written cozy mystery set in the deep countryside of a beekeeper, with a famous ex-husband and a vast land-rich estate that left her cash-poor. Abigail does a great job setting up Josiah’s estate, her farmer’s market and honey stand, though she leaves the particulars about honey farming a bit thin. If Josiah is this big all-time bee keeper and honey expert, there should be more of it running through Josiah’s life, not left to the efforts of her gay graduate assistant who she is pining for (c ...more
Kat Lebo
Death By A Honeybee (a Josiah Reynolds mystery)
by Abigail Keam

I was enthralled by this novel. Perhaps, I was so taken with it, because I had just attempted to read one co-written by an author I like and one I wasn't familiar with, only to find the voice of the author I like totally missing, as were the smooth dialogue, the rich description and the seamless transitions. Perhaps because those things were so lacking in that other book, the fact that this book has them in spades kept me up in the we
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D.S. Williams
I love a good murder mystery. I don't mind a cliffhanger (literally). Death of a Honey Bee by Abigail Keam ticked all the boxes, and makes an excellent, rainy afternoon read.
Ms Keam has rounded up a group of well-rounded characters, with an entertaining range of quirks and planted them in a murder mystery set in Kentucky. The heroine of the story is Josiah Reynolds, and I found her sleuthing methods quite reasonable - there's nothing I hate more than a murder mystery where the hero/heroine walk
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Bookadventurer
I enjoyed this as light reading on a rainy afternoon. Josiah is a pretty likable character, and her "roommate" Matt(he really just bunks in the cabana, make no mistake Josiah might be "cash" poor, but she definitely has been well-off in the past and could be again should she choose to see something)is pretty cute.

The movie line banter thrown back and forth between Matt and Josiah reminded me strongly of Sprinkle with Murder series, in which the characters have "movie night" and use movie lines
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Arielle Gordon
WOW! This is a fun, well-paced book, I didn't want to put it down! I am not a reader to pick things apart or analyze every word, just one hoping to enjoy a good story, and this was a great story.

The characters are quite enjoyable, interesting and believable. The plot is sound and the writing style is easy going. I think it has just the right amount of detail and humor, and more importantly it made me want to instantly start reading the next in the series. The latter due to it ending with a clif
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Marie F
Closer to 2.5 stars, but highly tolerable for a cozy mystery so I rounded up.

Beekeeping was worked in as a strong and developed feature rather than just a side note of the background/setting, and I really must applaud that effort exceeding expectations. Characters' interactions sometimes seemed forced, overreaching, or just awkward though (mostly because the author tries a bit to hard to explain instead of just showing without connecting/attempting to connect everything with an explanation). Al
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Kath

The genius of this book is not only the delightfully twisting and turning mystery, but the characters. At first I didn't connect with Josiah, the main character. By the end of the book, she had me. She's original, and the kind of real person I'd like as a friend, if she were interested in a new friend.

I've lined up Death by Drowning to read tonight.

Sometimes setting is a character in a great book, and certainly this is the case with Death by a Honeybee. While I don't live in a magnificent hou
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Elizabeth Bailey
I thought this was a brilliant mystery. I don't get on all that well as a rule with American whodunits, mostly because I don't have enough familiarity with the regions. But I've been reading quite a lot of US mystery lately, and this one really caught my imagination. I thought the writing was literate and engaging, and the author managed to make a somewhat bizarre murder completely believable. I liked the beekeeping background a lot and I found it readily understandable, which helped. I wasn't l ...more
D.L. Williams
I liked many things about this book but I also disliked many things about this book. I liked the character of Josiah, but after I read about how petty she was to her husband before he died, I wanted to unread it so I would continue to like her. From that point on, I disliked the woman. But I did like the story, some things were implausible, but overall, I did enjoy the story. I liked the author's other characters, the handsome Matt, neighbor Lady Elesmere (sp) and Franklin, although I don't beli ...more
Carol Lueck
Jul 06, 2014 Carol Lueck rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carol by: BookBubs
Shelves: mystery
I enjoyed reading this book. The characters came to life. Near the end the plot(s) got complicated and the story became even more unbelievable. The main character, Josiah, is a beekeeper who finds a rival beekeeper (also known as a bee "whisperer") dead in one of her hives. She is a suspect in his death, but eventually the death is ruled a heart attack. She keeps searching for answers as to why he was on her property, why the bees attacked him, how he got there and discovers the killer, but keep ...more
Tyrannosaurus regina
I genuinely wanted to like this. I was in the mood for a nice cozy mystery and we kept bees when I was growing up so the premise really appealed to me. The book was largely readable, though the characterisations were thin and inconsistent and the pacing was uneven. Then we came to the surprise sexual assault. Then we came to the violent and unnecessary cliffhanger ending. I have no objection to either of those things in other contexts, but they had no business here. Not even the plethora of gay ...more
Lynn Walters
It was not the kind of cozy mystery I was expecting, but the cast of characters was interesting. The main character, Josiah (a woman), was possibly the least interesting, sadly. And the story is told by her. I'm all for characters being realistic and having their dark sides, but she seems like a genuinely unlikable person. I was especially horrified that she chose to commit a crime herself and involve the police in setting up two others (though not innocent by any means)instead of simply calling ...more
Julia
Overall, I enjoyed the book, the characters invovled, the setting, and the author's way of spinning details into the plot at appropriate times. I do think Keam's style and grammatical errors will improve as she writes more books. There are some loose ends that did not get resolved that do not appear to be purposeful cliff-hangers. The intended cliff-hangers do arouse enough interest for me to purchase the second story in this series. I also enjoyed that I learned something new, and as I have a f ...more
Cheryl Landmark
For the most part, this was a pleasant, enjoyable read.

I really liked the setting of the horse country of Kentucky, and I think the author did an admirable job of depicting the southern antebellum charm of that area. The beekeeping aspects were fascinating as well, even though I don't think that would be a hobby or way of living for me. Josiah's unique house called the Butterfly sounded very intriguing and, with the author's vivid descriptions, I could picture it quite well.

Josiah herself had a
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Darlene
3.75
I enjoyed reading of my beloved Kentucky having been born and bred in Louisville myself. I am familiar with so much of what Ms Keam writes, the Kentucky River, the Palisades, and even owning & loving several Paul Sawyier prints. My homesickness for my home state kept me reading but so did the mystery of this novel, easy to follow until about 3/4 of the way through and then the flow changed, hence the low rating. I will read more of Abigail Keam's books hopeing she keeps tickling memories
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Ronna
This is a mystery with a interestingly different cast of characters. Josiah Reynolds, a widowed woman bee keeper, finds herself in the middle of 'stinging' trouble when one of her rival bee keepers is found dead, head down in one of Josiah's bee hives. Detective O'Nan seems bound and determined to name Josiah as a murderess, even before the death can be determined to be accidental or a murder. O'Nan looks familiar to Josiah, but why is he being so rude?

This mystery takes place in the horse rich
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Abigail Keam is an award-winning author of the Josiah Reynolds mystery series.

"Death By A HoneyBee" and "Death By Drowning" both were Finalists in the USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books List of 2011.

"Death By Bridle" and "Death By Bourbon" came out in 2012.

Ms. Keam is also an award-winning beekeeper. She lives in a metal house on the Kentucky River.

She also writes the Princess Maura Tales (Epic Fantasy) an
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More about Abigail Keam...

Other Books in the Series

Josiah Reynolds Mysteries (8 books)
  • Death by Drowning (Josiah Reynolds Mysteries, #2)
  • Death by Bridle (Josiah Reynolds Mysteries, #3)
  • Death By Bourbon (Josiah Reynolds Mystery, #4)
  • Death By Lotto (Josiah Reynolds Mystery, #5)
  • Death By Chocolate (Josiah Reynolds Mystery, #6)
  • Death By Haunting 7 (Josiah Reynolds Mystery)
  • Death By Derby 8 (Josiah Reynolds Mysteries)
Death by Drowning (Josiah Reynolds Mysteries, #2) Death By Bourbon (Josiah Reynolds Mystery, #4) Death By Lotto (Josiah Reynolds Mystery, #5) Death By Chocolate (Josiah Reynolds Mystery, #6) Death by Bridle (Josiah Reynolds Mysteries, #3)

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