The God of the Hive (2010)


Two clever London gentlemen. Both wore City suits, both sat in quiet rooms, both thought about luncheon.

The younger was admiring his polished shoes; the older contemplated his stockings, thick with dust.

The one was considering where best to eat; the other was wondering if he was to be fed that day.

One clever man stood, straightening his neck-tie with manicured fingers. He reached out to give the silver pen a minuscule adjustment, returning it to symmetry with the edge of the desk, then walked across the silken carpet to the door. There he surveyed the mirror that hung on the wall, leaning forward to touch the white streak—really quite handsome—over the right temple before settling his freshly-brushed hat over it. He firmed the tie again, and reached for the handle.

The other man, too, tugged at his tie, grateful for it. The men who had locked him here had taken his shoes and belt, but left him his neck-tie. He could not decide if they—or, rather, the mind in back of them—had judged the fabric inadequate for the suicide of a man his size, or if they had wished subtly to undermine his mental state: The length of aged striped silk was all that kept his suit trousers from tumbling around his ankles when he stood.

To Buy a Copy

Bookshop Santa Cruz (ask for a signed copy!)

What They Say

Booklist (starred): Using short chapters and wielding her virtual pen like a burnished sword, King allows readers to race through this gloriously complex second half of last year’s Language of Bees….How Mary, Holmes, and Mycroft solve [their] conundrum—usually while separated from one another—is delineated in resplendent prose. The nascent and rocky development of air travel and international telephone lines; the effect of a winsome and intelligent child on perhaps overintellectual adults; descriptions of locales and places via scent, texture, and color—all of it makes for utterly absorbing reading.


Panorama of Westminster Bridge

Explore Mary Russell’s World.

Read Laurie’s thoughts on writing The God of the Hive on her blog, Mutterings.

Download The God of the Hive‘s reading group guide.

God of the Hive named one of Booklist’s 101 Best Crime Novels of the Past Decade



From Claude Friese-Greene’s ‘The Open Road’.
1920s footage of London, in color. Views of Westminster Bridge begin at 08:37. (Via



Click the Houses of Parliament from Westminster Bridge (above) to visit the gallery