The Beekeeper by Stewart Giles Joffe Books Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 22 May 2017
The Beekeeper is a solid British police procedural that will readily appeal to fans of Midsommer Murders and the like. DC Harriet Taylor transferred to Polgarrow from Edinburgh after the death of her husband. The sleepy Cornish village has little crime, and until now a handful of burglaries have been the extent of Taylor’s experience.
Alice Green is an elderly beekeeper, happily living alone after being abandoned by her promiscuous husband. Her best friend lives next door. But the day after a shocking discovery, her friend disappears and Alice, greatly concerned, contacts the police. Soon it becomes apparent that Alice’s neighbor was murdered. Not long after, the body (only the upper half) of an elderly man is brought up by fishermen, and another man dies in an explosion. Someone is killing elderly residents of Polgarrow. The case is of such concern that outside detectives are brought in and Taylor is assigned to the team. While investigating, Taylor strikes up a friendship with Alice. Little does she realize, the killer is hiding in plain sight.
I enjoyed The Beekeeper. It is a solid police procedural that reminds the reader that we readily overlook the elderly, considering them to be harmless, incapable of the extremes of emotion/action leading to murder. Alice Green is an odd, not altogether trustworthy woman, but her actions though suspicious are never suspect - at least not in Taylor's mind. Preconceptions lead the visiting detectives into folly, only Taylor admits uncertainty. It is an important reminder that preconceptions color what we see, and make us overlook the significant and the obvious.
4 / 5
I received a copy of The Beekeeper from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Description A shocking discovery starts a trail of mayhem on the Cornish coast. Alice Green is a beekeeper in the small Cornish village of Polgarrow. One evening, Alice finds something strange under the hollyhock bush in her garden. The gruesome discovery will change everyone’s lives. 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 murderer to justice. A crime mystery with a streak of black humour. You’ll enjoy this fast-paced and dark unearthing of the underbelly of a sleepy Cornish village.