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Reader Reviewed
The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder by Sarah J. Harris

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Our narrator Jasper is thirteen years old. He has synaesthesia which means he hears sounds, voices etc as colours and recognises individual by those colours and not by any physical appearances. We spend nearly a hundred pages learning about the disadvantages of such a condition becoming aware of many of the lad’s traits which are similar to autism. He lives in a confused world misinterpreting interactions and events and “blowing up” in panic attacks. It makes for harrowing reading. A couple of years ago his mother died and shortly after her his grandmother. His father finds the boy difficult to deal with. Now something has happened. Jasper thinks he has killed his neighbour Bee. Jasper is a very unreliable narrator. To discover what happened he has to recreate the colours of the last day of Bee’s life and try to match them to the events of that day. He spends a lot of time surmising and then painting naturally in those colours. The investigating police officer, “Rusty Chrome Orange” is a saint who eventually the boy learns to trust, but the poor lad is suspicious of everyone else, even at one time, his father. How it all works is naturally steeped in colour. Interesting. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also luckyenough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • E.A. Rhodes - 'A murder described in colours not words – by a boy with problems. This gripping story is like nothing you’ve read before. Each character comes to life on the page and in your mind.'
  • Lynne Packer - 'I loved this book. It is a beautifully written book told with humour and senisity through the eyes of a young boy who sees life through colours. '
  • Amanda Keeling - 'Reeled me in hook, line and sinker. Loved the wonderful colourful descriptions and Jasper's innocence. Combined with a mystery that I was itching to have solved. Brilliant!'
  • E.L Norry -'Sarah J. Harris has created a brilliant cast of three-dimensional characters. The thirteen year old protagonist Jasper has autism, synaesthesia and facial blindness, so we can't help but root for him.'
  • Charlotte Walker - 'This is a good book. It does take time to read as it requires you to pay attention to the minute details throughout, but I would highly recommend it!'
  • Alison Burns - 'This is a very original take on a murder mystery. It also gives you some insight into the realities of living with the little understood conditions synaesthesia and face blindness.'
  • Cath Sell - 'With characters more colourful than a reader would normally expect this is a charming, if off-beat mystery and kaleidoscopic trip into the life of thirteen-year old Jasper.'
  • Bernadette Scott - 'An unusual murder mystery told by Jasper, a boy who sees sounds as colours and recognises people by the “colour” of their voices.'
  • Beth Kemp - 'Intriguing novel using complex voice to create suspense and uncertainty. Well worth reading!'
  • Sue Frances - 'Funny, original and moving. A highly recommended novel!'
  • Agnieszka Higney - 'A novel about an autistic boy-detective who sees colours and loves parakeets-interesting, but annoying!'
  • Andrea Rayner - 'This book is a page-turner that draws you in right from the start. Jasper is an extremely engaging character, but not a reliable narrator. It will keep you guessing right until the end.'
  • Carneika Washbrook - 'If you enjoyed reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, read this book. It has the same vibe and tone, but the author has matured in her writing.'
  • Catherine Purcell - 'When Bee Larkham (sky blue) disappears Jasper is haunted by the colour of her murder (ice blue crystals). Thoroughly enjoyable, immensely interesting, moments of heartbreaking sadness. A triumph!'
  • J.E. Burton - 'Wow what a book. Like nothing I’ve read before.'

Win Shetland DVDs SIGNED by Douglas Henshall!

Based on the novels by Ann Cleeves and starring Douglas Henshall, we have copies of Shetland the complete series 1-4 and Shetland Series 4 to give away to 3 lucky winners courtesy of ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

Each prize comprises of 2 Shetland DVD sets, the boxset from series 1-4 and then series 4, totalling 8 discs with a rrp of almost £60! Both sets will be signed by the star of the Shetland Series, Douglas Henshall.

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 26 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 8 May 2018.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 26/04/2018


The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder by Sarah J. Harris

Whatever happens, don't tell anyone what you did to Bee Larkham... Jasper is not ordinary.In fact, he would say he is extraordinary... Synaesthesia paints the sounds of his world in a kaleidoscope of colours that no one else can see. But on Friday, he discovered a new colour - the colour of murder. He's sure something has happened to his neighbour, Bee Larkham, but no-one else seems to be taking it as seriously as they should be. The knife and the screams are all mixed up in his head and he's scared that he can't quite remember anything clearly. But where is Bee? Why hasn't she come home yet? Jasper must uncover the truth about that night - including his own role in what happened...


'A beautiful, original novel, at once funny and tragic and brave' - Sarah Pinborough

'Intriguing, original and memorable - I couldn't put it down!' - Libby Page, THE LIDO

'Fizzing with wonderful quirkiness, completely original, and total believable, nuanced characters - a unique gem of a novel'
- Katy Regan, LITTLE BIG MAN

'An unusual and insightful read' - BBC

'A great protagonist... A must-read book for 2018' - STYLIST

'Highly original, fantastically written' - THE SUN

'Hotly anticipated debuts of 2018' - RED

'One to look out for' - OBSERVER

'Taps into a trend for novels depicting isolation' - SUNDAY TIMES

'This vivid story stayed with me long after I turned the last page.Sarah J. Harris is a strong new voice in British fiction' -

'I found myself not just drawn but expertly daubed in to Jasper's world, with its splattered sense of morals and innocence'
- James Hannah, THE A-Z OF YOU AND ME

'Jasper - whose world is both more colourful and more frightening than ours - is a character who will stay with me for some time. Harris has written a literary page turner that utterly captivated me. A stunning debut.' - Cass Green, IN A COTTAGE IN A WOOD

About the Author

Sarah J. Harris is an author and freelance education journalist who regularly writes for national newspapers. She became fascinated by synaesthesia and face blindness during her work as a journalist. THE COLOUR OF BEE LARKHAM'S MURDER is Sarah's debut adult novel. She lives in London with her husband and two young children.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd May 2018


Sarah J. Harris

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HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


448 pages


Crime / Mystery
Thriller / Suspense
If You Like...You'll Love
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Crime & mystery



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