Book Reviews

Honey Bee Murder (Honey Bear Cosy Mysteries 2) by Dahlia Donovan at Tangled Tree Publishing

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Barb on 24-November-2023

Book Blurb

George Bernard Sheth plans to spend July in the garden with his beloved pug, Bumble. He’s tending to his bees when a neighbour harasses him quite vocally. When the man winds up dead, all eyes are immediately on George and the many hives in his garden.

Murphy Baird knows without a doubt George wouldn’t harm a fly or a bee or an obnoxious rich businessman. He balances keeping his brewery going with trying to help solve the murder and preparing for the upcoming Highland Games. It’s not made any easier by the impending visit from his father.

As the mystery deepens, they find themselves not knowing quite who to trust.

Can they find the killer before George winds up arrested for murder?

Book Review

This is the perfect book for snuggling up to enjoy a peaceful afternoon all warm and cuddly before the fireplace. Let the action be inside the book instead of in your life. At least, that’s how it felt to me. I really enjoyed this mystery that takes place in a small village in the countryside of Scotland. The writing, setting, and characters felt authentic. The main characters, George and Murphy, have been friends for years and have only recently realized their relationship was changing. Now lovers, they are totally in tune with each other.


George is autistic and enjoys the solitude of his home and yard more than any other place. A beekeeper, he loves his bees and not only uses their honey for several of his own concoctions but also supplies Murphy who makes specialty meads for the pub he owns. When a new neighbor accuses George of sending bees to attack him (he’s allergic) George is momentarily speechless and then allows himself a few choice words with the neighbor, which are, unfortunately, overheard. When the neighbor is found dead in his home that’s filled with bees, George is in trouble.


Those who read book one may recall these amateur sleuths worked together to get Murphy out of a similar predicament. Now, they are at it again—this time to prove George innocent. The mystery is eventually solved but the best part of the story, in my opinion, is being with George and Murphy as Murphy offers comfort and support. As George tells him, he’s the only one who doesn’t hover and who knows how to simply be there for George to let him process in his own way. I appreciate an author who follows through with showing a character acting true to the way he might be expected to act with a particular diagnosis—in this case, autism spectrum disorder.


The book is fairly short and the mystery not very complex. The story is more about the men’s relationship and their roles in the village as well as their friends and family and support group. And, of course, they get a beautiful HEA after the mystery is solved. I’m looking forward to more in this series in their quaint little village.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author via GRRT for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 125 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 23-November-2023
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link