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The Colonel and the Bee

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  108 reviews
The Amazing Beatrix works as an acrobat in a 19th Century circus, no home or family to speak of. When a daring escape from her abusive ringleader crosses Beatrix's path with that of the daring adventurer Colonel James Bacchus, the unlikely pair team up, fly to safety aboard the Colonel’s miraculous four-story hot air balloon, and begin a grand quest to find the most precio ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published June 1st 2018 by Evolved Publishing LLC
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
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Whispering Stories
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Book Reviewed by Clive on www.whisperingstories.com

The Colonel and the Bee promised much from the outset with a dramatic cover and our initial introduction to Beatrix. The story is told by her in the first person and I found myself immediately drawn into her character as a talented gymnast with feisty ambitions to make more of her life. The idea of her travelling around the world in such a magnificent machine promised a great deal.

Along the way there were some exciting incidents but generally th
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to Patrick Canning for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s, audiobooking

This was a thoroughly delightful and creative story. It was short, but packed with mystery, intrigue, humour, and heart. And I love the cover so much!

The massive steampunk hot air balloon, where most of the tale takes place, was really unique (if not very plausible). The Ox was essentially its own floating city, with gardens, a library, countless corridors, and several endearing characters.

From the opening pages, our eccentric crew is hit with one trial after another as they not only
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really tried to get stuck into this story but alas, I failed. Fantasy books are very niche in terms of my enjoyment and I thought the premise of the novel was really appealing. However, I disliked the protagonists and remained disconnected from the narrative.

I was actually confused by events for the majority of the read. I could not fathom the jump between travelling in air and then exploring on land; it seemed to happen too suddenly for me to keep up. The concept of the Colonel travelling by
Di Maitland
I received a free copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

'"Colonel Bacchus. I've heard of you, remember. They say you traverse continents in a day's time, draped in doting cherubs and ribbons of white cloud."

"The timetable may be off, and I can't speak to the nude infants, but I suppose we do tow a bit of cumulonimbus every so often. Anything else you've heard is likely understated rumours of debauchery, which cannot stand in place of a proper introduction. I am Colonel
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a great book! I like steampunk anyway, and this story encompassed so much of what I love about reading-- a compelling tale that keeps you turning the pages, and author good with words, adventure, and a mystery. To me, it was reminiscent of The Good Thief, which I also loved, but vaguely, and at the same time a story unique and all its own.

Beatrix (Bee) is a 13 year old acrobat who had run away to the circus from an home where she was unwanted, but the circus proved no better as the own
Richard Bunning
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is classic Steampunk genre with a morality tale or two, writ large. The young teenaged, Beatrix, escapes a suitably Dickensian circus to travel the world on a multi-story dirigible, a craft common to so much of the genre.
The adventure, the search for the long-hidden artefact, is entertaining, even though the elements that build the story are somewhat contrived and sometimes less than well knitted together. However, the words themselves are nicely knotted and well cast-off. A ‘Victorian’ ton
Gordon Long
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What is this book like? Well, sort of like Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes teamed up with Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce in a 4-storey high hybrid hot air/helium-filled balloon chasing a pair of feuding underworld families across 19th Century Europe and beyond in search of a fabulous jewel. Lara Croft, steam-punk style.

This is the sort of book that demands creativity, and Canning delivers. Every character is a Character, stretched past stereotype into archetype. Every setting is new and different a
Joshua Grant
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the things I love about Patrick Canning is his focus on odd characters with his world-spanning adventures. In The Colonel and the Bee, we see Beatrix, a down on her luck circus acrobat, team up with explorer James as they travel the world in a hot air balloon racing to get a mysterious treasure Indiana Jones style. It was greatly satisfying to experience this late 1800s adventure, getting to see interesting locales and very memorable characters. It was a little like James and the Giant Pe ...more
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: vro, 2020
I received a copy of this book through Voracious Readers Only in exchange for my honest review.

I really wanted to like this book, the whole concept of it sounded incredibly interesting and fun from the description. I don't know what it was about the book that I found extremely confusing and difficult to understand. If anyone asked me what the plot of the story was, I don't think I could accurately tell them. I think that there was just so much going on that at times I felt the need to re-read th
Chitra Iyer
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Colonel and the Bee by Patrick Canning is an adventure spanning Europe. It has a mix of murder, excitement and treasure hunting. I honestly don’t remember the last time I read a book with such exquisite language delivery. It is not an easy job to address and to generate interest in readers with the vintage language used but the author was more than successful, I must say!

Ok, so without any further ado, let’s get to the review.


Beatrix is an acrobat associated with a travelling circus.
Described by the author as Around the World in 80 Days meets The Wizard of Oz, The Colonel and The Bee is a story, I would deem, worth being remembered as a classic.

Written in the style properly given to it's setting, everything about this novel is quite perfect. It's characters are flawed but we love them despite that; and they make mistakes that alter their courses for the worst, yet we easily forgive them and root for them still. 

The Colonel is an eccentric, unpredictable  character. He is od
Stanley McShane
Hoo-boy is this one a douzy! The novel hit all my buttons: unique, intriguing, adventurous, historical, surprisingly sharp female protagonist coupled with the swash-buckling theatrics of a male co-protagonist, and absolute non-stop riveting action.

Beatrix is a barely teenaged female acrobat in a 19th-century European traveling circus held captive owing her age by an abusive ringleader. The dashing and mysterious English Colonel James Bacchus attends the same private showing where she performs a
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: patrick-canning
Adventure awaits the night Beatrix escapes her circus life and joins with Colonel Bacchus. Beatrix is an abused acrobat and when she spies the Colonel in the crowd at a show she's immediately drawn to him, as her luck would have it she runs into him again later that night as she runs away. Reluctantly, the Colonel allows her to accompany him on his trip in a huge hot air balloon to find a missing artifact and more intrigue along the way. Beatrix, now called Bee, is now on the adventure of a life ...more
Colin Garrow
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
When a young circus performer escapes her abusive ring-master boss and teams up with a ballooning adventurer, she isn’t at all certain she’s made the right decision. However, the pair set off on the trail of a criminal and the mysteriously named Blue Star Sphinx in a four-storey hot air balloon named the Ox. But Beatrix soon finds they are not just dealing with a thief, but with a killer.

Featuring a fascinating and oddly-matched pair of central characters (The Amazing Beatrix and an The Colonel
Jenna | Bookmark Your Thoughts
"If there was one thing to know about the Colonel, it was that his brand of reasoning was peculiar and entirely his own. If there was a second thing to be known, it was that his methods often showed results."

A brilliantly written story full of humor and wit, Patrick Canning's The Colonel and the Bee features an epic "around-the-world" adventure with rather peculiar characters and a grand treasure hunt. After escaping her brutal life in the circus, Beatrix "Bee" becomes part of the Colonel's crew
Sarah Eustache
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fiction - Fantasy - Adventure

Thank you to the author, Patrick Canning for sending me a finished copy of the Colonel and the Bee in exchange for an honest review. 

This book follows two characters in a hot air balloon house, side note, I think that the front cover of this book is absolutely awesome and helps me imagine the house that floats within the pages of this book. 

I loved the descriptions of the air balloon, with three different stories and tons of treasures, it made my imagination go wild.
Rosie Amber
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Colonel And The Bee is a fantasy adventure. It is set during an unnamed historical era of discovery and has some similarities to steampunk.

It opens in Switzerland, with Beatrix who is a thirteen-year-old circus acrobat. One evening she grabs a chance to run away with a mysterious man, whom she saw earlier in the audience.

Colonel Bacchus is an eccentric collector and adventurer, who travels in a hot air balloon known as an Oxford Starladder. It consists of a four storey, wicker-framed home wh
Book given by me by the author in return for an honest review.

So, I loved the story, I really did, I just couldn't get over the mistakes that were made, it completely made me DNF the book! For example: there are no mountains near Antwerp and Holland isn't a country at all! I don't mind mistakes, but a quick google search would've helped. I really, really liked the story and I'm really intrigued, but as an European myself, I notice these mistakes and it just bothers me and it made me not enjoy th
K.E. Woodruff
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Patrick Canning’s The Colonel and the Bee is a fanciful story that spans across countries and continents. Fleeing from her abusive master at the circus, Beatrix follows Colonel James Bacchus as well as an unusual band of characters in the hunt for a wanted criminal and the world’s greatest treasure, the Blue Star Sphinx. But they are not the only ones in search of the precious artifact...

Read my full review at: http://sevendaysaweek.co/the-colonel-...
Kaili (Owl Book World)
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and it definitely made me want to travel more!
S. Daisy
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a fictional adventure novel set in the 1800's. Beatrix, known as Bee, is a young girl who ran away to join the circus as an acrobat. Her stubbornness and tenacity is only rivaled by her sharp wit and equally sharp tongue. These traits of hers keep her perpetually at odds with Ziro (her employer), his whip, and his two strange knife-wielding guards. Colonel James Bacchus is an eccentric lady's man and thrill seeker who spends most of his time flying around the world in the building-sized ...more
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Colonel and the Bee is a rip-roaring steampunk adventure in the lines of Adele Blanc-Sec and Thrilling Adventure Hour’s Colonel Tick-Tock. It’s fast and pippy and cavalier.

It can’t be read without ridiculous posh English accents rattling around in the mind.

The characters are all larger than life and frankly they might break out into a Gilbert and Sullivan song at any moment.

Unfortunately, the over exaggerated verbosity of the period makes it hard to follow at times.

It was fun, but there we
Alicia Smock
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Is everyone ready for a fun story to read? Is everyone ready for an adventure? Is everyone ready to travel the world without leaving their home? Is everyone ready to throw caution to the wind and just go out and live life? Is everyone a fan of stories like Around The World in 80 Days, Howl’s Moving Castle, Romeo and Juliet, and Treasure Island? Then it is time to pick up and read author Patrick Canning’s newest novel, The Colonel and The Bee.

Beatrix dazzles the crowds with her amazing acrobatic
(Ellie) ReadtoRamble
I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Book Sirens. All opinions are my own.

I was really intrigued by this book when I read the blurb and as someone who really likes to read books with adventures and treasure hunts, I was eager to give it a shot. I did struggle to get into this book, I think both because of me being in a bit of a slump and maybe I was a bit confused about the time in which this book was set.

In this book, we follow Bee and James as they join
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Overall, a fun and somewhat rowdy ride. A little bit of mystery and a smidge of steampunk. This story has a good plot, although I found the ending to be a bit anticlimactic. I liked the characters-the dashing Colonel and his sort of sidekick, Beatrix ("Bee"), a runaway circus performer. The book includes an amusing cast of secondary characters. I could see there being another book about the adventures of the Colonel and the Bee.

Two detractors: I thought the language was a bit clunky, and there w
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Too many big words for my taste as a non-native English speaker, but a fun read
Gemma Bray
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The adventure genre is not always my cup of tea unless it’s written well, Patrick has definitely done very well with The Colonel and the Bee. He keeps you wanting more from every chapter of the book, I love how he’s taken you on a magical journey to travel the world without leaving your home! He has taken elements and ideas that I love to find and then used his amazing storytelling to mix everything together!

Each character is very different and unique which I love as characters are sometimes har
Ooha Biddala
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beatrix was a circus girl, flying from trapeze to trapeze, in between whippings from her cruel ringleader and escaping from the memories of her past. Into this bleak outlook, walks a man with flowers in his hat and charm on his lips, promising adventure, excitement and most of all, tickling her curiosity in a way it had never been tickled before. Maybe he wasn’t as ready to indulge this curiosity of hers as she was to be indulged, but, as a circus acrobat who had already revealed her scars to th ...more
Marion Marchetto
Teen-aged Beatrix is a traveling circus acrobat in the employ of the Machiavellian Ziro. He is abusive toward his star performer but then he is abusive to all his employees. Beatrix (Bee) longs for the day when she can leave the circus and be free of the beatings and abusive language. Of course her smart mouth is what gets her into trouble on most occasions. During what is to be their final performance in Switzerland, Bee spots a peculiar gentleman in the audience. He is wearing a John Bull (top ...more
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