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Death By A HoneyBee (Josiah Reynolds Mysteries, #1)
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Death By A HoneyBee

(Josiah Reynolds Mysteries #1)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  4,724 ratings  ·  543 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
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 16th 2010 by Worker Bee Press (first published March 23rd 2010)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,724 ratings  ·  543 reviews

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Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Cheryl (Collier)
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" ...more
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Arielle Gordon
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sharon Michael
Mar 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: murder-mystery
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
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
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
May 16, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the feisty protagonist of this book, the first in a series, which I hope to continue reading.
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
I was set to give this book at least 3 stars until I got to the end - and there was no ending! I really hate it when a book just stops in the middle of the story in order to entice you to buy the next book in the series. I had the Kindle edition which provided a couple of chapters of the next book, but it still did not give any resolution to the story from the first book. I really feel cheated when I read a book, especially a mystery, and expect it to be wrapped up somehow at the end, and instea ...more
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery

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
Olivia Tuttle
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book. I liked that Josiah is not perfect and that the characters are quirky . The house sounds like a dream house to me. I would love it.
Josiah does some things that I wouldn't have done but I like that because it shows how imperfect she can be instead of being portrayed as perfect as in some novels.
Matt is her best friend and is devoted to her even though she is sometimes "mean". He is gay and has a friend Franklyn who is quite likable is not afraid to speak his
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very good. gritty for a cozy. could have done without the dog killing. will read the next one.
This started out as a decently entertaining murder mystery. The victim is a beekeeper and "bee charmer" (sort of like a horse whisperer) who is found dead with his head in a rival beekeeper's hive, apparently stung to death by hundreds of angry bees. Quite an original premise. The rival beekeeper is Josiah, a female, who is the protagonist and mystery solver.

Josiah is fifty, overweight, prone to eating a whole carton of ice cream when she is stressed out, has arthritis and asthma. So not your t
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this cozy mystery. Hoping at some point the second installment will be offered as free/or very cheap. Set in Kentucky, an retired art history professor has taken up beekeeping. When one of her nearby fellow beekeepers winds up dead - head first in one of her hives, the police look to Josiah as their main suspect.
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery
I was attracted to this book by the location – Bluegrass, Kentucky. Sweeping countryside, race horses, old and new money; a grand place for a murder mystery series.
Josiah Reynolds – somewhat bizarrely named as she’s a woman – is a bee keeper. She was formerly a professor of art history, married to a professor of architecture who designed their extraordinary home, the Butterfly, which is almost a character in its own right.
Unfortunately for Josiah, said husband left her for a younger woman and pr
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book a page-turner, and I've started in on the second in the series.

Keam evokes the bluegrass country vividly, both its ecosystems and its bucolic-over-undercurrents human society. Keam clearly knows her stuff about beekeeping (we also keep bees), and it was nice to see that relayed accurately for a change!

In the reviews I've seen, the main quibble seems to be about the "cliffhanger" ending. OK, technically it's a cliffhanger...but since this is Book 1 in a series of (at this writin
O. D. Book Reviews
Description: This book is about a mysterious death on the property of a Beekeeper. The beekeeper, Josiah, quickly becomes the prime suspect and must do her own investigation to find out who the real killer is.

In Short: This is a great mystery novel that keeps you guessing until the end. This book is unique because it has elements of humor, some heart racing action, and even fun little tid-bits from history and interesting facts about bees. If you like mystery novels similar to the Murder She Wr
D.A. Lawson
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Sharon Kennedy
Apr 05, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Sep 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really enjoying this start to a new mystery series, with a retired art history prof heroine as the star, a crusty old gal that don't take b.s. but will take a chance and now makes a living as a beekeeper. One of her marketing rivals at the local farmer's market turns up dead, very dead, with his head inserted into one of her hives, and the bees are extremely irritated by this. This story moved along in an entertaining and engaging manner. However, I didn't like the next book starting with ...more
Norma Huss
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
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
Elizabeth Bailey
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
I ended up reading the whole Josiah Reynolds series by Abigail Keam. I found the Kentucky history interesting. Josiah's age is similar to mine and I cheered her on as she fought for her life and style of living. It's an easy read and very entertaining. You definitely have to like the "series" style of books that give a cliff hanger ending which makes you want to read the next book in the series.
Glenyce England
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've been wanting to read all of the books in this series, but work never permitted. Now since I've retired, the first two book series I want to read is this series and the Craig Johnson's Longmire series. I urge everyone to read Abigail Keam's "Death By" series, which as far as I know, there are eight of these books so far. Very interesting reading, with something happening around every corner. Great book series! ...more
I enjoyed this cozy mystery. I learned about beekeeping and some about Kentucky's history too. I liked the main characters as well. Fun read. ...more
Julie Robinson
A light read. I wasn't looking for anything too deep when I chose this book. I do think that there wasn't a very good flow between all the characters involved in the plot. ...more
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Death by a Honey Bee

Death by a honey bee was an interesting read. I'll be reading more from this author as she has characters that endear themselves to you.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: "Death by a Honeybee" by Abigail Keam 1 4 Aug 04, 2012 02:19PM  

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Hello Gentle Reader,

I am Abigail Keam, the award-winning author of the Josiah Reynolds mystery series.

"Death By A HoneyBee" won a gold medal from Readers' Favorite.
"Death By A HoneyBee" and "Death By Drowning" both were Finalists in the USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books List.

I am a professional beekeeper and have won 16 awards for my honey. I live in a metal house overlooking the Kentucky River. I have t

Other books in the series

Josiah Reynolds Mysteries (1 - 10 of 15 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 (Josiah Reynolds Mystery #7)
  • Death By Derby (Josiah Reynolds Mysteries #8)
  • Death By Design (Josiah Reynolds Mysteries, #9)
  • Death By Malice (Josiah Reynolds Mysteries, #10)
  • Death By Drama (Josiah Reynolds Mysteries, #11)

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