Good works & immortality
Things are moving along with the LRK fundraiser for Heifer International. In case you haven’t caught this news, every dollar we raise on the Amazon and Cafepress stores by May 21 (Arthur Conan Doyle’s 150th birthday!) will be turned over to Heifer International, to be used to send beehives (or goats—we like goats) to poor communities around the world. It’s a great cause—and to show just how much I appreciate Heifer, I will name a character in the next Russell novel after one of the direct donors who sends Heifer two or more hives through the Team LRK page.
Here’s your chance, not only to do good, but to achieve immortality in the pages of a Laurie King novel.
And in the meantime, over at Myspace, Mary Russell continues to celebrate the Fifteen Weeks of Bees, explaining how she came to give her memoirs to Ms King. This, week nine of the Fifteen Weeks, finds the intrepid duo this far in the story:
In 1992 Mary Russell, having searched for someone to edit her memoirs, located the granddaughter of a childhood friend from San Francisco. However, before she could contact Laurie, the rural Sussex home that she shared with the aged Sherlock Holmes was invaded by, and I quote, “a ravening pack of Sherlockians.” These American enthusiasts (were they Brits, they would have been Holmesians) surrounded the house, forcing Russell to summon their neighbour Patrick, (grandson of Patrick the farm manager) and a member of the local dramatic society, who had once played a rather flamboyant stage Holmes. Russell and Holmes packed up their memorabilia and prepared their home for a siege. After dark, they installed the actor in their house to mislead the Americans, and drove away.
The house in Oxford to which we retreated was in the northern part of the town, a tree-studded area of large brick houses inhabited by dons and their families. It is close enough to town that a stroll to the Bodleian and Radcliffe libraries, even with an arm full of books, is a pleasant interlude; it is far enough from the center that the wrangle of bells of a Sunday morning is amusing, not headache-inducing.
My house is like all its fellows on the street from the outside, with high walls on all sides, a gravel drive at the front, and a narrow turret glued onto one corner. The house and its garden are too nondescript for any passer-by to bother with a second glance, and as far as the neighbours are concerned, the owner is an independent older woman who spends much of her live traveling and working on her academic studies, which (it being Oxford) could be Romanian campanology or liver flukes of the upper Nile.
Once upon a time, Holmes had arrived at my student flat through an upper window, setting off an elaborate and circuitous traverse of Oxford’s roof-tops in the snow.
Fortunately for us, this time I was permitted to drive through the elaborate and circuitous city roads in the actor’s Mercedes.