TAoD day


The publication day for a new book is a time of tension for a writer. (Although come to think of it, when ISN’e2’80’99T a time of tension for a writer?) Yes, the PW, Kirkus, Booklist and Library Journal reviews are in, and positive, but now the newspapers wait in the wings, pens sharpened. And there’e2’80’99s the question of numbers’e2’80’94will devout Russell fans spurn this book because it has Kate in it? Will Martinelli readers scorn to buy it because it has Holmes in it? Will I be flamed by Sherlockians, because Holmes speaks in it? Or will the book simply fall into a black hole and never be heard from again, causing my publisher to curse my name and cancel my contract so that I have to live in my car with my mother, my husband, and my two cats? (The kids have their own cars.)

This is my baby, whom I’e2’80’99ve lived with since September, 2004. I’e2’80’99ve labored over it, fallen in love with it, hated it, despaired over it, sweated and chuckled and obsessed over it, written and rewritten and changed and polished, turned loose and snatched back and perfected and wondered over. It was finally given a name, after long discussion and the rejection of a hundred possibilities, and then cover art came and the baby had a face and a name. The page proofs left my desk in October, and theoretically THE ART OF DETECTION was finished, but even then I found goofs and blew up over the wrong font used in the Holmes typescript section and fielded typo queries from the proofreaders and early readers of the ARC.

And then it shipped, and landed in the stockrooms of bookstores around the country. And today the booksellers have unpacked them and displayed them on the shelves, and patrons walking by the New Books shelves will spot the cover, and’e2’80’a6

Thank you all for your kind words this past year, and I hope you absolutely love the book.

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  1. Vicki Larson on May 30, 2006 at 1:39 pm

    I never buy hard cover books. They require too much money and too much space. Well, rules are made to be broken, and this is one I guess I will have to break. I have been waiting entirely too long already to wait another year. So, hats off. Thanks for your endeavors. Have fun on your jaunts. Leave us a crumb occasionally on this site if you can. I still wish you could make middle America. Sigh.

  2. Anonymous on May 30, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    I’m just sitting here enjoying coffee and a bagel and getting ready to do my daily words (writing) while I wait for the bookstore to open! I’m planning to play hookie for a day and drive up to Seattle (your closest hit for me) to finally meet you and get your signature.

    I usually donate my new hardbacks to our local (tiny) library, so, I’ll probably buy two this time around. I’m a junkie for books, what can I say? 😎

    See you in Seattle, Kim

  3. WDI on May 30, 2006 at 2:54 pm

    I’ve been waiting for this day ever since I knew you were working on a new Martinelli; the addition of Russell and Holmes just makes it better. I have a whole lovely afternoon planned around its purchase — first the book, then lunch at my favorite Japanese restaurant. I will be forced to tear myself away later in the afternoon, and am going to endeavor mightily not to stay up all night finishing it!

    Congratulations and enjoy your tour; I only wish you were getting somewhere close to southeastern Virginia (I do like the Joseph-Beth in Lexington, but it’s just a bit too far away . . .).

  4. Terminaldegree on May 30, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    I never buy hardback books, either. Except for yours.

    Congratulations on the new creation.

  5. Anonymous on May 30, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    I’ve read it, and I love it. A local chain bookstore (sorry, independents) had it out on Sunday, so I read it on Monday.

    I thought the font for the Holmes portion was great, and the ending (pre-epilogue) was just wonderful, very very touching. Can’t say more or I’ll give it away.

    I also enjoyed Leah Garchik’s column making an appearance (and she did too, of course.) Her column almost makes up for Herb Caen being dead. I love her “overheard” section each day.

  6. Anonymous on May 30, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    will be driving to my local bookstore this afternoon, a long awaited meeting of Mary and Kate. Love them both, so am looking forward to seeing what Kate makes of it all.

  7. Erin on May 30, 2006 at 6:22 pm

    Squee! I am forcing myself to wait until after work to pick up your new book. I wanted to pick it up at lunch, but I figured that would be detrimental to my productivity for the rest of the work day.

    I’m sad I can’t make it to one of your events this year; I really enjoy hearing you speak. Hope your tour goes wonderfully, though=)

  8. bani on May 30, 2006 at 7:16 pm

    Fantastic! Congratulations! I just may have to buy this ASAP myself. 🙂

  9. Patricia Mathews on May 31, 2006 at 2:27 am

    Got it and devoured it!

    Two questions but I don’t want to publish any spoilers. one about *racial* attitude ca. 1924; the other about “short story” vs. “novella length.”

    Other than that, loved it.

  10. Terminaldegree on May 31, 2006 at 5:13 am

    My copy came in the mail today! I’ll devour it starting tomorrow! (If I start it tonight I’ll never get to sleep.)

  11. Jaimee Drew on May 31, 2006 at 8:22 am

    I also don’t wish to spoil the ending for anyone, but wanted to say thank you for the unique way you’ve created a great ending.

    I hope you don’t have to suffer too much nonsense about said ending, although I think you can probably handle it.

    Thanks for a great read, and everyone should buy a couple copies to keep Laurie out of her car and at her computer where she belongs. Can’t wait for Touchstone.

  12. Chris on May 31, 2006 at 8:39 am

    My flight lands in San Francisco tomorrow at 4.35pm. As soon as I have checked into my hotel, I will be in Borders Union Square to buy TAOD, as no, I cannot wait until August for the UK edition (although I will buy that too, and maybe allow someone else to read the original copy!).

    I will be poolside at my log cabin in Sonoma this weekend, without sun protection, in order to read this with no spoiling of said copy!

    Thank you once again for an (anticipated) great read. A highlight of my literary year…

    All the best

  13. AJ on May 31, 2006 at 2:35 pm

    I conned an innocent clerk at a tiny Waldenbooks into selling me TAoD a day early (the folks at Borders, what with their computerized inventories and all were far too savvy and lectured me about release dates…) and am happily dawdling me way through it now. I force myself to read bits at a time, because I know that when I’m finished, it’ll be another year until your next book.

    And although it’s a bit surreal, hopping from one narrative voice to another, that is not a negative, but a pleasure for me, as I get to satisfy two thirsts at once. It’s funny how startled I am to be reminded that I am reading a Martinelli book, when we switch back to her storyline, because I’ve usually become so wrapped up in the Holmes voice that I’ve forgotten about the rest of the world. Then again, from your lovely descriptions of her thoughts about reading the ms., Martinelli seems to feel the same way.

    Thank you for the fun!

  14. Carole on June 1, 2006 at 6:28 am

    Never fear, Laurie, this devoted Russellian couldn’t wait to pick up her copy yesterday. I’ve only read one other Martinelli book so some of the references go right over my head but that’s okay! I’ve just started reading the ‘pastiche’ and I’m enoying it a lot. Too bad Gilbert was the victim, I’d like to have met him.

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