This installment in the adventures of Russell and Holmes finds the pair back in England after an extended absence, dealing with the unexpected appearance of Damian Adler, an artist with a very close connection to Holmes who needs his help.
Against all my expectations, I've very much enjoyed reading this series. King is an excellent writer. Her prose is great, her characters interesting and she can weave a plot with the best of them. It was disappointing, therefore, to find myself underwhelmed by this particular work. I'm not sure what made me feel that way. The novel started out strongly and while the excursion into beekeeping technicalities was possibly less than compelling, the appearance of Damian set the scene for an interesting mystery. However, somewhere around the middle of the narrative I started to lose interest. Not enough to put down the book and not enough not to want to read the next one, but enough to make me feel I don't have to rush to find out what happens on the other side of the cliffhanger ending.
Still, even when King's not at her very best, what she writes is well worth reading. This offering falls into the 3-1/2 star range.