‘This was Meggie.  Meggie, whom John had placed on so high a pedestal that it couldn’t be Ian who made a mere woman of her.’

I enjoyed reading Maureen Lang’s Bees in the Butterfly Garden.  The story picked up speed slowly but the storyline aroused my curiosity so that I had to keep reading, and before long I was turning the pages, eager to find out what happened next.

The book opens with Meg, who has been kept in the very best of schools for young ladies, going to her father John’s funeral.  It is not long before she discovers that he was a professional thief who strove to keep the truth from her.  She is told by her father’s fiance Kate and his young partner-in-crime Ian that John protected her out of love, but Meg believes her father never told her where his wealth came from because he didn’t believe she could be a gifted thief.  Meg, therefore, sets out to show that she can be as skilled at crime as her father.

There are two men fighting for top position in New York’s underworld after Meg’s father’s death – Brewster and Ian.  Meg must choose which of them she will partner with to prove herself as a thief.  She is naturally drawn to Ian, but he is determined to protect her out of love for John’s memory.  However, it soon becomes clear that Meg will partner with the despicable Brewster rather than give up the idea of becoming a thief, so Ian reluctantly plans a robbery with her which, if they succeed, will make Ian top dog.

Ian and Meg’s plans are somewhat complicated by John’s fiance Kate who, as a new Christian convert, has inconveniently – for them – developed a conscience.  Kate rather sweetly interfers when she discovers that Meg is planning to betray her kind friends with whom she is spending the summer under the guise of designing a butterfly garden for them.

Notwithstanding Kate, Meg and Ian discover to their cost that the gold is guarded by more than a safe.  They come face to face with Jesus Christ and, like the thieves crucified with Him, must choose whether they will submit to Him or turn away.

After a slow start, this was a very enjoyable read.  I particularly liked the fact that each chapter was headed with an appropriate little quote about the proper conduct of young ladies in society, or on the theives’ code.  I would recommend it.

I am grateful to Tyndale House for providing me with a complimentary electronic copy of this book for the purpose of a review.