THE DEATH OF BEES
This is a mystery – but not the type you’ll spend the entire novel trying to fuss out. It is the type of mystery that readers will grasp quickly, and wait for the characters to suss out. Although dependent upon a certain number of clichés about poverty, autism, drug abuse and religion, those faults do not prevent the book from being quite touching on a personal level. The author brilliantly paints the characters’ best traits through the eyes of the other characters, and their worst traits through their own voices.
Marnie and Nelly have been abandoned by their parents many times in their short lives; their parents were always more interested in alcohol and drugs than in a picturesque family life. But this time is different, and Marnie and Nelly must guard the secret of their parents’ whereabouts or face the end of their life together as sisters. Their nosy neighbor, Lenny, may make this secret impossible to keep. (HARPER, Jan., 329 pp., $25.99)