Mary Russell: My Story Part 2

Follow Mary Russell’s account of the story behind how and why Laurie R. King came to have the Russell/Holmes memoirs, as described in Laurie’s prefaces to the first four Russell books. Further chapters to come each week during the Fifteen Weeks of Bees every Monday on Myspace, or Tuesdays in Laurie R. King’s blog, Mutterings.

Mary Russell: My Story


Any literary agent whom I put in charge of my memoirs needed to be, first of all a woman. She needed to be strong-minded enough to resist the blandishments and threats unleashed upon her once the nature of these manuscripts came to light. And since I thought it best to begin with someone with links to Mary Russell above any links to Sherlock Holmes, I cast my mind over my relatives: cousins of various stripe abound, but search as I might, I could find no combination of literary interest and common sense.

Next, I sought out the descendents of my university friend, Veronica Beaconsfield, only to find that the current generation lacked the wit of their grandparents.

So I went further back, to my childhood in San Francisco, and there, in the early weeks of 1992, I found the person I sought. The granddaughter of a childhood friend, she was in the early stages of a literary career—her first novel had been accepted at a New York publisher—but she was also sensible enough to balance the demands of children, travel, a husband with his own career, and a complex household. And an untold benefit: She had a background in Old Testament theology!

Without delay, I began to assemble the manuscripts and prepared to send them off to Ms King in California—but before I could do so, catastrophe struck.


  1. Mary Clemens on February 10, 2009 at 10:05 am

    It was the preface of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice that sucked me in lo these many years ago. I am loving that we are now hearing from Mary herself how these tales came into your hands. Thank you for making Mary Russell such a wonderfully vivid and alive character. Counting the days until The Language of Bees arrives. All the best.

  2. Laraine on February 10, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Marvelous, Laurie. Thank you for this glimpse. Adventure ahead!

  3. Carole Bell on February 11, 2009 at 7:20 am

    Due to an illness and now retirement, I visited a local library and found your beautiful books. I just couldn’t get enough of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes! I read them out of order the first time, then in order the second time and loved the stories. Their interesting escapades and the story of their developing romance was just brilliant. I wanted more details but recognize that what is hinted at and left unsaid just spurned my imagination! Wow. Thank you for such great story lines and for reawakening my love of the immortal Sherlock Holmes.

  4. Lenore on February 11, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Hmmm. If Russell considered Veronica’s descendants, but not her own, this must mean that she and Holmes never did have children together.

  5. Lynne on February 12, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Or their children/grandchildren were too close to the situation or unavailable. A grandchild of Russell and Holmes would probably be climbing Everest or running a think tank to eradicate AIDS and malaria in Africa or something.

  6. Audrey Walker on February 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I read Locked Rooms first as I had chosen it as a member of our library book committee based on a Kirkus review. I immediately went out and purchased all the prior stories. I’ve read and reread them many times and was desperate for a new book. I cannot wait til it’s published and thank your incredible brain and imagination for creasting such believeable characters. Have you ever considered making a film or are they too long to compress into a mere 2 hours? I now have something to look forward to. Audrey Walker, Verbank, NY

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