The Termite Queen: Volume One: The Speaking of the Dead by Lorinda J Taylor
Approx. 131,320 words.
Published on April 5, 2012.
In the 30th century, an off-world expedition brings back a giant termite with a behavior that suggests intelligence. During the planning for a first-contact expedition, Kaitrin Oliva, a linguistic anthropologist, falls in love with the entomologist-leader, a complex man hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, civil discord is brewing on the termite planet as the Queen's Chamberlain plots a murder ...