Telling the Bees by Peggy Hesketh
Albert Honig is an elderly bachelor beekeeper, content living alone with his bees as his constant companions. Once he was friends with the girls next door, Claire in particular, but an incident years ago suddenly ended their relationship. Years have gone by and all three continue on with their lives, never interacting. Albert senses something is wrong next door and discovers that the Bee Ladies (as his next door neighbors are now known in the neighborhood) have been killed during a burglary. Who would want to rob the elderly sisters? Can the secrets of the past solve the mystery of the present?
Told by Albert, the novel leisurely moves between the present and the past unveiling aspects of the main character’s lives little by little. Albert can be frustrating at times to both the investigator and the reader, fixated on his bees more so than on the investigation, or so it seems. Each chapter opens with a bit of bee lore or knowledge and everything he relates does have meaning. A well-crafted mystery and study of family.