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The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  4,578 ratings  ·  695 reviews
Whatever happens, don’t tell anyone what you did to Bee Larkham…

Jasper is not ordinary. In fact, he would say he is extraordinary…

Synaesthesia paints the sounds of his world in a kaleidoscope of colours that no one else can see. But on Friday, he discovered a new colour – the colour of murder.

He’s sure something has happened to his neighbour, Bee Larkham, but no-one else
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published May 3rd 2018 by HarperCollins (first published April 23rd 2018)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  4,578 ratings  ·  695 reviews

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Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book is a kaleidoscope of colours - a story perfected in the subtle hues of humble ocher, right down to the deeply meaningful cobalt blue.

the vibrance of this story comes from the rich pigments which surround the characters, particularly jasper. the unique tint of his voice provides such a thought-invoking narrative, one that allows to reader to experience an entirely different perspective. i enjoyed the different shades of life that were experienced on his coming-of-age journey and his
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jasper Wishart, 13, sees the world as a kaleidoscope of color. He suffers from synesthesia, causing him to see colors when he hears sounds. Additionally, he has face blindness. His world is filled with anonymous faces that are only recognizable to him by voice, choice of clothing, hats and hair style/hair color. He has his own unique method for interpreting the world around him. Sadly, Jasper's mother who had synesthesia as well and understood Jasper best, has died. His dad is finding it ...more
Well, I got up to the 51% mark and I find that I just can't continue. So another book into the DNF file. I should have really liked this book but I found it to be long and so drawn out and the word I hate to use "boring" seems to apply to this one for me. However, I did give it a good shot and perhaps maybe someday I will attempt to finish.
Liz Barnsley
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm not sure I was QUITE as enamoured of this one as some people but it was beautifully written and different - the descriptive sense of what it is like to have Synaesthesia was stunning and rather gorgeous - the highlight really, in the imaginative sense.

Minus that though it's a nice little mystery story in it's own right and I would have adored it if I had gotten along with Jasper but I'm afraid he annoyed me somewhat from about midway through the book. He is different, thinks differently but
If I read one more thing about bloody parakeets I will seriously stab myself in the eyeball!!

I’m sorry I just couldn’t do it anymore! I tried really hard to get into this but I just really disliked it!

The synopsis sounded really interesting-Jasper has Synaesthesia where he sees sounds as colours. He also can’t recognise faces and has autism. His neighbour had been murdered and I thought it would be a really exciting, interesting and thrilling read. It wasn’t.
It was so difficult reading from
Karen Rush
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A super creative mystery by Sarah J. Harris involving an unusual 13-year old boy named Jasper preoccupied with parakeets and born with synesthesia, the superpower of seeing colors when he hears sounds. Jasper also has difficulty recognizing faces. Although a work of fiction, this book opened my eyes to the real phenomenon of synesthesia.

Jasper inherited this remarkable gift from his deceased mother who was the only person in his life who saw the world in the same way. He’s bullied at school, his
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
As much as I love a good murder mystery read, I have come to the conclusion that originality is not one of the genre's finest points. But with this, the debut novel by British author Sarah J. Harris we have just that. Trying to even compare this to anything before is a trial with my best thoughts being Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat mixed with The Good Doctor and a murder.

13-year-old Jasper Wishart lives in a world like no other. Diagnosed with Synaesthesia, where we hear sound
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always appreciate it when an author tries something different to set their novel apart in an immensely crowded marketplace, however, this didn't quite work out for me. It's inevitable that it will be compared to Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, one of the books that got me so heavily involved in reading as well as an all-time favourite of mine, but this isn't as compelling and readable as that. Here our main character, Jasper, a severely autistic teenager who ...more
Mairead Hearne (
‘Don’t tell anyone what you did to Bee Larkham…’

The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder is described as ‘a touching coming-of-age story and an intriguing mystery, a poignant and unforgettable read—perfect for fans of bestselling authors such as Mark Haddon and Graeme Simsion.’

On reading through it’s pages I was immediately reminded of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time as the similarities between fifteen year old Christopher and thirteen year old Jasper were there from the beginning.
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a charming, unique story about Jasper, a boy withsynesthesia - so he can can 'see' colours from sounds. It's not a condition that I have any prior knowledge of so this made for interesting reading.

Jasper is a frustrating character in many ways, especially as the novel is narrated by him throughout - there are many points where you know you're not getting the full picture but it's just because Jasper doesn't understand himself. You want to reach into the novel and ask the 'grown ups'
Feb 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
I won this copy in a Goodreads giveaway.
The idea of the protagonist as a young boy with synaesthesia and also prosopagnosia (face-blindness) was interesting, but for me it didn't work. The mentioning of the colours he sees constantly was just too much and I found it annoying and boring.
The first person narration means that you don't see the story from any other character's perspective and so I didn't really care about any of them.
I only read to the end because I was curious about the plot but I
Julie Parks
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, ya
This was such a fulfilling and authentic read. I can't even imagine how much research, attention to detail and effort it must have taken Sarah J. Harris to write it. It is both a literary and plot masterpiece.

I am looking forward to her next story.

Thank you, Harper Collins, and, The Borough Press, for the chance to read this wonderful book in exchange for my honest review.
Dale Harcombe
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jasper has Synaesthesia, which means he sees sounds as colours. He has no facial recognition of people and needs clues like the same clothing, or familiar words to help him recognise people. As his mother also has Synaesthesia she understood him more than his father does. Jasper Wishart lives with his father after the death of his mother some years earlier. Jasper is also autistic and does not interpret situations or comments correctly. Jasper loves parakeets and loves watching through his ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Color of Bee Larkham's Murder is an original and fascinating murder mystery.

The narrator is 13 year old Jasper. The story is set in the UK.

Jasper is an intriguing and unusual narrator. First off he is only 13 years old. Usually that would mean that this was a Young Adult novel. However, the book does not feel like YA and it's not marketed that way.

Jasper has a bunch of things that make him very different. First he has synesthesia a condition that lets him see colors when he hears sounds. He
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
I’ve long been fascinated by synesthesia, a condition where the brains perceptions of sensory input are blended. Synesthetes may taste sounds, smell colors or see scents.

In The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder, thirteen year old Jasper Wishart hears sounds as colours.

“Lawn mower: shiny silver; Car revving: orange; Aeroplane: light, almost see-through green; Radio: pink….; Dogs barking: yellow or red; Cats meowing: soft violet blue; Dad laughing: a muddy, yellowish brown; Kettle boiling: silver and
Janelle | She Reads with Cats
Thank you so much to Touchstone Books for providing my free copy of THE COLOR OF BEE LARKHAM’S MURDER by Sarah J. Harris - all opinions are my own.

I love a good character-driven story and this one checks all the boxes! Thirteen-year-old Jasper Wishart has synesthesia, which means he sees colors when hearing sounds. Also, he has face blindness or prosopagnosia, so basically he cannot recognize familiar faces, just voices and clothing. It’s an exceptional way to view the world - a dazzling display
Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader)
COLOR ME INTRIGUED. See what I did there?
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This novel, narrated by 13-year-old Jasper, is an original murder mystery. It will inevitably be compared to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, as, like Christopher in that novel, Jasper has an unusual way of perceiving the world. It's never explicitly stated that he'd autistic, but his dad is described reading a book for parents of children with autism and learning difficulties. Jasper has synaesthesia, which means that he sees sounds as vivid colours. He also has prosopagnosia, ...more
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I totally LOVED this book and felt sad on finishing it last week. I bought The Colour Of Bee Larkham’s Murder after seeing the large number of rave blogger reviews last year and listened to it on Audible (by the way, an excellent solo performance by narrator Huw Parmenter).

The story is told from the pov of a isolated, parakeet-loving 13 year old boy, Jasper with face blindness and synaethesia (he sees colours when he hears things and associates colours with words and numbers) who tries to make
Vignesh Kumar
I picked this book solely for the blurb.

It sounded unique and different. Jasper Wishart is a 13-year old boy who has synaesthesia, which means he can see colors for sounds and face-blindness. That is totally unique. I've never heard of that syndrome ever. The writing is totally unique too as the narrator is Jasper. The way he sees colors for sounds is very detailed and unique, like Dark Blue Baseball Cap Man and French Fries Yellow Dog. But it gets repetitive as the story progresses.

As for the
Ruthy lavin
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh boy oh boy!
This was a great read!
Riveting, compassionate, empathetic and real - if you enjoyed The curious tale of the dog in the nighttime then you will love this!!
Wonderful feel good stuff - easy 4 stars
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A really fantastic, well researched novel. So unique and interesting, it kept me guessing until the end. Would recommend for fans of The Curious Incident.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thirteen-year-old Jasper Wishart is on the autism spectrum, and has synesthesia - what other people hear, he sees in colour. He also cannot see faces and is only able to recognize people by the colour of their voices. When a neighbour dies and her estranged daughter, Bee Larkham, arrives to settle the estate, she feeds the parakeets that have settled in the trees by her house ensuring that they stay. Jasper loves watching the parakeets, the colours of their feathers but especially of their songs ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I was incredibly lucky to receive an ARC of this book. Just looking at the cover made me want to read it, but once I started I could not stop. Thirteen year old Jasper Wishart can't distinguish people's faces, but he can see their voices in color. Some are bright blue, others mustard yellow. Some are pleasing colors and others disturbing. The colors are how he identifies the people in his life. He keeps his own counsel and watches everything on his street. He keeps written records, but mostly he ...more
Amy Morgan
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Edelweiss for my review copy of this book. 13 year old Jasper sees the world a little differently than the rest of us. A severely autistic child with both synesthesia and face blindness Jasper has a hard time just existing some days. The only person who really understood him was his mother who passed away when he was a small boy. Jasper’s father is left alone to raise him and being a former military man who was not always around when Jasper was young , does not always understand or ...more
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I am so glad I won a copy of this book in a giveaway. Jasper is truly a unique character, I absolutely adore him. And much like him, the quarter sized ink blob on page 35 definitely caused me to cringe (haha), but it's a small price to pay!! Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada and to Sarah J. Harris, I feel very fortunate to have won this novel!
Jessie (thatchickwithabook)
4.5 stars. A fantastic read all round. I wouldn’t necessarily confine it to the mystery or crime genre, even though the story centres around a crime and the mystery surrounding it. This is because I didn’t feel like I had to be constantly trying to work it all out. As it came, I took it in and continued moving forward. Primarily, it’s very character driven. Bee is a very layered character. She’s both a hero and a villain. Jasper is an unreliable narrator, but above all he’s inherently good, pure ...more
Jun 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I wasnt overly fond of this for some reason and I dont know why. The concept of the story was awesome and I loved the way it was written with the descriptions and colours. I just found the plot unfolding too slowly due to Japsers condition and lack of awareness due to this. I understand that this was the point however, it just got a tad too slow and at times frustrating. Will definitely find an audience unfortunately wasnt me.
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Sarah J. Harris is an author and freelance education journalist who regularly writes for national newspapers. She became fascinated by synaesthesia and face blindness during her work as a journalist. Sarah previously wrote YA under the pseudonym Sarah Sky and The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder is her debut adult novel. She lives in London with her husband and two young children.
“I didn’t bother to ask what people would think. I’d given up trying to guess the answer to that particular puzzle long ago” 2 likes
“People say silence is golden. They're wrong. It's no colour at all,” 2 likes
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