Sunday, April 14, 2013

Telling the Bees; Peggy Hesketh

Title: Telling the Bees
Author: Peggy Hesketh
Publication Year:  2013

Publisher: Penguin/ Putnam
Edition: eGalley/ARC
Source: Edelweiss and Amazon Vine  
Setting: California
Date Completed: April - 2013
Rating: 4/5 
Recommend: yes 

Tell the Bees was a different type of debut novel. It felt like part mystery and part "Intro to Beekeeping."

Albert Honig is an elderly, 80-something man who has lived his whole life in the same place. Raised on this very farm country of orange groves in California, his life has not been about people, it's been about bees and beekeeping.

He's a man who has been content with his life of routine, tending the bees, staring at the sky at night and everything that is simple and uncomplicated. Yet as I read more and more about Arthur, I could see he seemed very judgmental of others which seemed odd for someone who never interacted much with people.

One day Arthur realizes that he hasn't seen his neighbors, Claire and Hilda Straussman in some time. He goes next door to check on them and finds their door unlocked, no response to his voice, so he walks inside their home. They are both dead, apparently murdered and so he calls the police.

Investigating the deaths is Detective Grayson who seems to be losing his patience with Arthur. Arthur is not being very helpful when he's asked direct questions, which makes him look a little suspicious.

The patient reader, through earlier memories of Arthur, will learn about his 70 year friendship with sisters Claire and Hilda, as well as information about their murders. For a man who seemed to be such a loner, he knew quite a bit more about the women than one would expect.

I read that this story was a fictionalize account of real life events, and although the story was more about the people than it was about the actual murder, I found it to be a well written debut. Each chapter begins with a blurb about bees or beekeeping, when introduces the events that follow. I definitely learned something about bees and beekeeping, but probably more than I needed to know.

A good story that moved along at a decent pace.


  1. I'm reading this and enjoying the bee info and the mystery!

  2. This sounds good to me and I have a feeling my mom would love the beekeeping aspect.

  3. This sounds interesting and Albert sounds like an interesting character!

  4. Intriguing that it's based on actual events. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  5. Sounds like somehting that I would like to read in the future. I will keep an eye out for this one.

  6. The beekeeping snippets sound like an added bonus to a very good story. Glad you enjoyed it!

  7. The beekeeping aspect I find very interesting as well as it being a debut novel.

  8. I'm not sure I want to keep any bees, but the mystery part sounds good.

  9. This sounds really good, and I am in the mood for some honey now. :)

  10. The mystery part sounds good but I am not sure if I would have patience with all of the beekeeping anecdotes.

  11. Hi Diane I have an award for you, if you would like to participate :)

  12. Thanks for the review, Diane. I might look into getting it from our library. I like both the bees part, as well as the mystery.

  13. I had seen this one on Edelweiss and wondered about it. It sounds good and now I wish I had requested it.

  14. Not sure about the beekeeping, although it sounds like you could skim over those parts. Otherwise, it sounds lovely.

  15. Sounds good. I saw this on Vine but no way I could add yet another book to the schedule. So for now it's going on my (large) to-read list!

  16. I have this ARC sitting on my shelf. I really must get to it soon!

  17. sounds interesting! I just added your blog to bloglovin, this means I will read your blog bright an early, from my phone. A terrible habit but I'm enjoying starting my day :)

    Hope you are well!

  18. I'm intrigued. I esp. like the chapter headings. I wonder if it gets weird.


Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.

(I apologize for the word verification, spammers spoil it for all sadly.)