Laurie King's 10th book, The God of the Hive, in the Mary Russell series is a continuation of book nine, The Language of Bees. Returning are Damian and Estelle Adler, bad guy Thomas Brothers, American pilot Javitz, Inspector Lastrade of Scotland Yard, Mycroft Holmes, and of course Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes. In this book however, the source of the trouble is revealed as Mary and Sherlock, with the help of woodsman, Robert Goodman work to save their family and themselves from insidious machinations. It all sounds a bit melodramatic, but this series does tend toward the intense without being ridiculous. I have yet to read 10 books in a mystery series without finding them predictable and formulaic, not so with this series. I love Mary Russell, a resourceful sleuth, who is of course a woman unlike her Victorian counterparts. I have looked forward to these books and reading one a year is just about right.
While the reader knows the identity of the "god of the hive" early in the book, Mary and Sherlock's search creates the tension. Since the characters are separated through 75% of the book, the narrative follows each until they come together towards the end to pool their information and nab the perpetrator.
King does an excellent job of making the reader care about the characters while delivering a tension filled mystery as well as a historical look at Victorian England, though primarily London. I would not jump in and read just this book, or even its predecessor. There is too much interesting back story in the previous novels, starting with the first, The Beekeeper's Apprentice. It is well worth it to start at the beginning and enjoy the entire story of Mary Russell.