Today I’m handing over to Mandie who has read and reviewed The Beekeeper by Stewart Giles, published by Joffe Books.
The Official Book Blurb
A shocking discovery starts a trail of mayhem on the Cornish coast.
Alice Green is a beekeeper in the small Cornish village of Polgarrow. She lives with her pet jackdaw in a beautiful cottage not far from the sea. One evening, Alice finds something strange under the hollyhock bush in her garden. The gruesome discovery will change everyone’s lives. And then Alice’s best friend Milly disappears . . .
Detective Harriet Taylor has just transferred to the area from Edinburgh. As she investigates a series of shocking crimes, she grows close to the old beekeeper and is determined to bring the criminals to justice. But who is really what they seem and who can she trust?
A crime mystery with a touch of black humour. You’ll enjoy this fast-paced and dark unearthing of the secrets of a sleepy Cornish village.
If you just looked at the title of this book and did not read any of the blurb you could be forgiven for thinking that this book will be quite nice and gentle… after all what could possibly be sinister about a beekeeper??? Yes on the face of it at the start Alice seems like a nice old lady who looks after bees and makes honey to sell at the local markets and has a pet jackdaw that she rescued. And that’s where the nice ends. Alice has a secret that ends up setting of a chain of events that ripple through the village.
Apart from the fact that she seemed permanently obsessed with the fact that her latest batch of honey seemed a bit funny, she really does seem like a nice old lady who is just trying to make ends meet after her husband left her.
When a hand pops up from under the bushes in her garden wearing her husband’s wedding ring she persuades her best friend not to say anything until Monday so that they can go to the market. When her friend disappears but her car turns up over a cliff in a nearby village you know that the two things are linked but not sure totally how. As more people die there seems to be only one thing (or person) that is a constant in all their pasts… Alice
I am not sure if I liked the character of Alice or not. She was definitely obsessed with her honey and offered it to anyone that visited. She also seemed a bit stereotypical for an elderly person… nosey with not many good things to say about anyone. But then again it was those exact traits that were used very effectively in leading the police in the wrong direction in their investigations.
Although not the senior detective on the case the main character in the police force seems to be Detective Harriet Taylor. She has transferred to Cornwall from Edinburgh after the death of her husband. She decided that a change of pace would be good for her to escape all the gossip surrounding his car accident as he was found with another woman. Being new to the community she was befriended by Alice and Harriet had no issues offering her a place to stay when it looked like she may be the next potential victim. I liked Harriet. Despite what had gone on in her past or maybe because of it she was determined to find out the truth.
Her boss is dealing with a wife who has early onset Alzheimer’s and so his focus is not totally on the case. His temporary replacement brought in from another force puts everyone’s nose out of joint by bringing in his own team and with only Harriet from the local force. When he determines that they know who the killer is and closes the case, she goes against his orders and keeps investigating, putting her own life in danger.
Although after a while I knew who the killer was and why they were murdering people it was still an engaging read as you were not actually sure who else would end up dead or how. If you are expecting a hard hitting murder mystery type story then The Beekeeper is not the one for you but that being said I did enjoy it and found myself chuckling occasionally especially at how Alice disposed of the t finger at the beginning. Am not sure that says more about the Authors dark sense of humour or mine. This is the first book I have read by Stewart Giles however I am now tempted to check out others that he has written.
My thanks to Joffe Books for the advance copy of The Beekeeper. It is available to purchase now and is available from the following retailers.