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

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  10,532 Ratings  ·  945 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
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Bantam
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Matthew Dominguez When Peter James West goes to answer the door in chapter 51, the encounter was his taxi picking him up a half an hour early to head to the funeral of…moreWhen Peter James West goes to answer the door in chapter 51, the encounter was his taxi picking him up a half an hour early to head to the funeral of Mycroft. See chapter 59. Later, a brief mention by Mary reveals she went to West's home but there was no answer before the funeral. West had just left before her arrival. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 28, 2012 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 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.

Elizabeth Hunter
Jul 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, mystery
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
Jun 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 29, 2010 rated it liked it
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
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
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Diana Sandberg
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing

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 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
May 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads, mystery
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
Linda Baker
May 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
BJ Rose
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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!
K.A. Wiggins
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another excellent entry in the series. This is perhaps the most James Bond-ish of the lot; political machinations, spy action, secrets and danger all 'round.
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: brit-tripping
I don't know about this one. I have enjoyed the series so far as pleasant, fun reads, but this book started out with a lot of promise to be better than all the others that came before. I was thinking it'd be a 4-star read. But as the book progressed I found a couple of things really annoying and unlikely - I should say, more unlikely than usual as these books require a fair suspension of disbelief - so I was dissatisfied by the end. (view spoiler) ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jul 12, 2010 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
Barth Siemens
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, mystery
Now that I have finished this book, I can review The Language of Bees, which is the previous book in this series. Some of Laurie R. King's books stand alone well enough to be read out-of-series-order; this book is not one. So much in this book follows a story that was set in the leading book that I would have been quite disappointed if I had only planned to read this book.

On the other side of the coin, I actually had both books in my library waiting to be read. Woo, hoo! See my review for the ea
Robert Sickinger
May 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
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Mary Russell's Motivations (spoilers) 1 25 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 2018 novel, Island of the Mad, sees Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes travel from London's Bedlam to the glitter of Venice's Lido,where Young Things and the friends of Cole Porter pass Mussolini's Blackshir
More about Laurie R. King

Other books in the series

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (1 - 10 of 15 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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