Mary Russell walked into my life with the first line of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, and took over. At the time, I had little knowledge of the Great War, England in the Twenties, or Sherlock Holmes, but that didn’t seem to matter to her, she just waited (graciously stifling her impatience) for me to catch up.
Fourteen books later, I have learned a great deal about Russell, Holmes, and their world. I have learned even more about myself and my world, since a central raison d’etre of reading history, even fictional history, is that it is a mirror, reflecting unexpected sides of our times and ourselves. Politics, women’s rights, religious expression, governmental oppression–all these and more wander through the Russell stories, so that although they are primarily, as Graham Greene called his books, “entertainments,” they also have the real-life grit and dimension that a crime novel demands.
But mostly, I enjoy the Russells because they’re fun, for the writer and (I am led to believe) for the reader. I hope you agree.
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For a chronology of the Russell & Holmes stories, click here.
Mary Russell's War
And other stories of suspense
The Murder of Mary Russell
The key to Russell’s sacrifice lies in Mrs Hudson’s past, and to uncover the crime, a frantic Sherlock Holmes must put aside his anguish and push deep into his housekeeper’s secrets, to a time before her disguise was assumed, before her crimes were buried away. There is death here, and murder, and trust betrayed. And nothing will ever be the same.
The Marriage of Mary Russell
Laurie R. King takes readers way back in her bestselling series with this exclusive ebook short story, as Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes embark upon the riskiest adventure of their partnership: their wedding.
In 1924, Russell & Holmes are on their way from India to California when they are swept into a case for Japan’s Prince Regent, involving blackmail, imperial secrets, and delicate international relations. The case takes them from one spring to the next, across two oceans and into the Bodleian Library, where the secrets are just beginning.
It begins one winter’s evening in the early Twenties when the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are seated by their fire, sharing stories about the unexplored portions of their past.
The Mary Russell Companion
Original writing, a collection of Russell-themed media, selected historical research, pictures, and countless Russellisms fill this large ebook.
Garment of Shadows
Russell and Holmes have traveled the world since their 1915 meeting on the Sussex Downs. Now they find themselves in Morocco. Although it takes some time before Russell knows quite where, since she wakes in a strange city with no memory, in unfamiliar clothes, and with blood on her hands–and to make matters more interesting, there seems to be a war on. Holmes, meanwhile, is swanning around in the Atlas Mountains, ducking bullets, happily oblivious to both the war and his missing amnesiac wife. Just another day in the life of Russell & Holmes.
In this eleventh adventure for the intrepid Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King takes readers into the frenetic world of silent films, where the pirates are real and the shooting isn’t all done with cameras.
Beekeeping for Beginners
The meeting between Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes—from his point of view. (Also available in print as an extra in the US paperback of Pirate King.)
The God of the Hive
Russell and Holmes have worked together to solve the most perplexing of cases. Now, The God of the Hive picks up where The Language of Beesleft off. Chased by those who want them dead, chasing answers to deadly mysteries, the consequences of what they find will circle the globe, and involve a man with a curious identity and a dangerous past. With the God of London’s hive watching them, it will take more than deduction if they ever want to see each other alive again.
The Language of Bees
Returning to summertime Sussex, Russell and Holmes anticipate problems with a beehive gone mad, but little anticipate what–and who–awaits them on their arrival. Bohemian artists, religious fanatics, and a thinned-down Mycroft: will wonders never cease?
(A Booksense Pick)
Setting sail from their adventures in India during the spring of 1924, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes turn their faces toward San Francisco. Russell knows that the time has come to close up the house and business interests she inherited on the death of her family, ten years before. Little does she anticipate the complexity of events her past is built upon, the layers of trust and betrayal that are locked inside her memory. Only Holmes suspects what lies therein–and even he is not prepared for the danger that unfolds.
This New York Times bestseller features the world’s greatest detective — and her husband. Mary Russell and her partner, Sherlock Holmes, are setting off for the wilds of India, jousting with maharajas and British spymasters alike as they search for a missing figure from an earlier age of colonial spycraft.
(A Booksense Choice)
Two old friends reappear, in decidedly different guise: the two “Bedouin” guides from O Jerusalem are in England, caught in a mesh of honor and justice and the death of a young nephew.
Mycroft Holmes has a little job that needs doing, in 1919 Palestine, where an unfinished war is about to blow up and Russell finds that life as a Bedouin is not all strong coffee and candied almonds.
A hound stalks Dartmoor by night, and Holmes calls Russell to the side of an old man from his past, Sabine Baring-Gould, the squire of Lew Trenchard.
A Letter of Mary
A first-century manuscript that would turn Christianity on its ear; the death of a friend; and Mary Russell as the private secretary of a misogynist colonel.
A Monstrous Regiment of Women
(Nero Award Winner)
Russell, just twenty-one, meets a charismatic feminist mystic in London and faces a choice about the future.
A Chronology of the Russell Memoirs
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice opens in April 1915 and covers the four years of Russell’s apprenticeship, ending in August, 1919.
O Jerusalem is set within the time frame of Beekeeper’s Apprentice (published out of sequence so as to tie in with Justice Hall) covering December 1918 to February 1919.
A Monstrous Regiment of Women begins on December 26, 1920 and ends in February, 1921 (with after-notes that reach forward some months).
(The long gap in the Memoirs, the thirty months from February, 1921 to August, 1923, is a time that clearly contains much of private concern to Miss Russell. She has, as yet, not chosen to share this time with her reading public, apart from “The Marriage of Mary Russell” and possibly the case described in “A Venomous Death”—for both see below.)
A Letter of Mary takes place in a few, from mid-August to early September, 1923.
The Moor starts towards the end of September, 1923, and ends in early November.
Justice Hall covers from Guy Fawkes Day (November 5) to December 21, 1923, with an epilogue five days later.
The Game begins January 1, 1924 and ends in early March 1924.
[Russell and Holmes are then in Japan for three weeks, events covered in Dreaming Spies]
Locked Rooms takes place between May and early June 1924, although it also contains events from 1906 and 1914.
[The Art of Detection, a novel not generally included in the Russell Memoirs, includes a June, 1924 case Holmes had in San Francisco while Russell was in Los Angeles. Her own events during this time may see future publication.]
The Language of Bees covers a three week period, from August 10 to August 30, 1924.
God of the Hive, being a continuation of LANG, picks up on August 30 and finishes the case on September 9, 1924 (with an epilogue dated Oct. 31, 1924).
Pirate King takes place in the last three weeks of November 1924.
Garment of Shadows covers the closing weeks of 1924, and sees January dawn in 1925.
[Events of January-March 1925 have yet to be revealed.]
Dreaming Spies opens in March 1925, although much of the action takes place a year earlier, in April and May 1924.
The Murder of Mary Russell also has two time frames: the modern one of May 1925, and Mrs Hudson’s story from 1855 to 1881.
“Mary’s Christmas” opens at an unspecified time (possibly 1921) but talks about events of Russell’s childhood, primarily from August-December, 1911.
“Mary Russell’s War” is Russell’s wartime journal kept from August 4, 1914 to April 6, 1915.
“Beekeeping for Beginners” opens on April 8, 1915, telling the story of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice but from Sherlock Holmes’ point of view. It ends shortly after the first Zeppelin bombardment of London, May 31, 1915.
“Mrs Hudson’s Case” is set in October 1918.
“The Marriage of Mary Russell” takes place in February 1921, just after the events of A Monstrous Regiment of Women.
“Birth of a Green Man” is undated, although it would appear to be some time in the early 1920s.
“A Venomous Death” is undated, but may take place in early summer, 1922 or 1923.
“My Story” and “A Case in Correspondence” take place in the spring of 1992, but talks about the 1924 events in God of the Hive.
“Stately Holmes” is set in December, 1925.