Name that baby!

You thought that once the Fifteen Weeks of Bees were over, we’d be finished with contests, right?  Ah no, we’re just beginning.

How creative are you feeling?  Well, sharpen those pencils and wits, kids, because Laurie needs a title.  That’s right, The Green Man just doesn’t do it.  As a working title, sure, because it’s about a man who lives in the woods and is a little bit of a Trickster—but this is New York publishing we’re talking about, not some New Age, Burning Man, hippie crap. 

What’s wrong with “The Green Man”?  I’m glad you asked (because you can bet I did.)  To quote: It doesn’t have the layered nuance of The Language of Bees.  It doesn’t seem either upmarket or suspenseful.  It’s not tantalizing.

In other words, a mix between * yawn * and Huh?

So here’s your chance to name LRK’s next baby: The Adventure Formerly Known as The Green Man.  You can hit the tab over on the right to follow what I’ve had to say about it, you can check out the Wikipedia article on the Green Man, and I’ll tell you that it’s about Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft (lots about Mycroft) and spies (spies are important) and the Green Man—aka Robert Goodman—and Damian and Estelle from The Language of Bees and boats and planes and trains and cars and…

And since any contest needs a prize, let’s say we’ll put the author of the winning suggestion in the book’s Thanks page, and send him or her a signed ARC as soon as we get them.

Any thoughts?  These are titles that have already been yawned and Huh?ed over:

The Green Man

The Man who Spoke in Leaves

Eyes in the Green  

John Barleycorn Must Die  (yeah, sure)

Jack of the Wood

Eyes in the Green

Voice of the Green

Speaking in Leaves

A Man of the Green

Are we having a good time yet?


  1. R.J. Anderson on August 1, 2009 at 11:05 am


  2. Kiyomi on August 1, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Treatise on the Man in Green:
    An Anthropoplogical Study

    (feel free to vary/substitute words)


    A Quantitative Analysis of the Habits of Spies

  3. Laidee Marjorie on August 1, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Laurie, I have some questions for you that would help me and perhaps others as long as they don’t turn out to be spoilers:

    How long do we have to submit ideas?

    Since many of your Russell titles refer to location, place, setting, is there a main setting for this one?

    And how much will this piece feel like a direct continuation from LANG (those three little words at the end)? Should/could the title be a direct reflection of “The Language of Bees” a la “All Creatures Great and Small” then “All Things Bright and Beautiful”? Do these do have more of a matched set feeling then the other books in the series?

    Is Goodman the same person as Brothers aka all those other names?

    You should sell “John Barleycorn Must Die” to Val McDermid or Lee Child. Perfect for them.


  4. CindyD on August 1, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Did you know that there is a Laurie R King crossword puzzle on the last page of the August edition of Bookpage? also at

  5. Laurie King on August 1, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I’ll need this in a couple of weeks, three at the most.

    This one is set in the Lake district and London, mostly.

    The book follows immediately on the heels of The Language of Bees, chronologically and thematically. If the titles link, all the better, but it’s not a deal breaker if they don’t.

    And Goodman is a new character, unrelated to Brothers.

  6. Parcourir on August 1, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Random ideas:

    The Voice of the Wood

    The Voice of the Forest

    The voice of the leaves

    The words of the leaves

    The illusion of leaves

    The deception of leaves

    (sorry; the cadence of “The Language of Bees” gets one into an intellectual rut, though that title is one of my favorites in the series.)

    Forest of illusions

    The forest voice

    The darker wood

    The darker earth

    The words of the green

    The star and the green

    And I’m afraid there stands the limit of my creativity for the moment.

  7. Jackie on August 1, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Green Shadows

    A Shadow of Green

    Hidden Green

    Green Silence

    Hidden Green

    Masked In Green

  8. Amy McWilliams on August 1, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Speaking in Leaves
    The Riddle of the Green Man (or The Secret of the Green Man; an homage to classic Holmes adventure titles)
    The Forest Talks
    Conversations with the Green Man
    Brother of the Forest
    Hidden in the Leaves (Or Hidden in Leaves; a play on pages in books, perhaps)
    The Old Gods

  9. Amy McWilliams on August 1, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Sorry–I carried that first one with me down the page for some reason. 🙂

  10. KT on August 1, 2009 at 12:57 pm


    The Green Knight
    Cracklings and Stirrings
    A Stirring in the Leaves
    Voice Verdant

  11. Strawberry Curls on August 1, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    What fun!! The first thing that jumped into my head was:

    “Of Hives and Forests” (or Bees and Trees perhaps??) and “Walking with Bees and God” (or The Divine) “You Can’t See the Forest for the Bess” (OK that is just silly. Hummm, obviously I must put more thought into this.

  12. Strawberry Curls on August 1, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    That last one should read “You Can’t See The Forest For The Bees” but it still is probably more frivolous than you wish.

  13. Kiyomi on August 1, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    The Taxonomy of Bees (or substitute spies or agents)

  14. KarenB on August 1, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Speaking to the Trees sprang to mind. We’ll see if anything else pops out.

  15. Mark Iliff on August 1, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Westmoreland Masque / Cumberland Masque
    The Unblinking Eye
    Waggle Dance
    Whitehaven for St Bees
    The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood
    From the Wood
    Taking Flight

  16. Mark Iliff on August 1, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Russell of the Leaves 😉

  17. LRH on August 1, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    A Good Man in London

    And I second Waggle Dance, since that could be interpreted as bee-spy behavior.

  18. Crystal Elerson on August 1, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Where the Grass Grows

    I Spy Something Green

    The Beekeeper’s Family

  19. thelittlefluffycat on August 1, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Hidden In The Trees
    The Silence of Trees
    Green Grow The Secrets
    Green Is Their Hue
    My Brother’s Keeper
    My Little Eye
    Green in Memory
    Leaves of Memory
    Leaves In Memory
    The Forest (as in, “for the trees”)
    Forest of Secrets
    A Green And Secret Place

    I’ll keep thinking! 🙂

  20. Carlina on August 1, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Mmm…good ones folks! I’m game, but let me digest it. When’s the deadline? This IS fun! And I LOVED LANG! I’ll post my thoughts on it (LANG) in the VBC later. I really like it and I really loved Russell this go round.

    Hope things are well 🙂 !


  21. Carlina on August 1, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    *in Emily L./Gilda Radner voice* Nevermind. Missed that post up there. Ok a couple of weeks. We can do it :)! I’ll submit my ideas soon!

  22. Jeff Posey on August 1, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    The Insinuation of Spies

  23. Ashley W on August 1, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Shadow on the Hive
    The Emerald Queen
    The Hive on the Fell
    A Drone Among Queens
    Password of Identity
    Buzzing in the Brush

    This game is fun. 🙂 I can’t wait to see which one is picked (and to read it!).

  24. La Donna on August 1, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Does the emerald stickpin or Mary’s emeralds appear?

  25. Ellen on August 1, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I always like titles that come from a quote:

    The Direction of Sunbeams

    (From “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” – Henry David Thoreau)

    Or perhaps more fitting to spies and leaders:

    Fighting the bees.

    (From A. Lincoln – “When I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees.”

    Or directly relating to the Green Man:

    A gleam on a blade of grass.

    (a quote about the Green Man from William Anderson, in “Green Man: The Archetype of Our Oneness with the Earth.” San Francisco: Harper Collins. ISBN 0062500759.)

    I’ll need to puzzle this one out a bit more!

  26. Strawberry Curls on August 1, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    How about the Buzz In The Forest or The Hive In The Copses.

    I keep thinking Swarm also, The Swarm In The Forest, Or Agents of the Swarm. Myths and the Swarm. Now you have done it, my brain won’t let this go. It will keep churning out lame titles.

  27. Strawberry Curls on August 1, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    HIve Intellegence and Tell the Bees

  28. Michael on August 1, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    The Ancient Green
    The Secrets of Green
    Beneath the Green
    The Green of Ages

  29. Sara on August 1, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    AUGH! I just spent brainpower and time on writing a lovely list of titles which seem to have been lost in the posting process. If they reappear, forgive my tired and whiny brain. Here’s the highlights:

    Emerald Renaissance

    Verdant Sleuth

    and my personal favorite,

    “The Sagest of Men.” I like it cause sage means both ‘green’ and ‘wise.’

    OK, now I’m sure my previous post will appear and I’ll look like a sleepy moron. Good night.

  30. Mirk47 on August 1, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    I like Strawberry Curls’ suggestion of “Hive Intelligence” a lot; if you switch it around to “The Intelligence of Hives” you get a similar cadence to “Language of Bees,” while getting several levels of meaning. Also, I found a quote by James Sanborn: “When I accepted the commission, I had something of an epiphany in the research I did about the agency, actually the science of espionage. I realized there is a connection between the sciences and the invisible forces of man.” SO, how about, “Invisible Forces of the Green Man”?

  31. Julia L. on August 1, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Can’t be references to the Green Man yet, can there? It wasn’t ‘coined’ until 1939? Jack in the Green is just as boring….

    How about…

    Effigy of a Green Man

  32. Donna on August 1, 2009 at 9:39 pm


    Here are a few suggestions – perhaps one or two may kick-start your creativity…
    Have no doubt you will find a title yourself given the time to set aside past allegiance, etc. Suspect a day or two removed from any lingering disappointments and tiredness will renew your mental prowess and voila!…

    Besides: Forest Green (and the varying shades within that hue) is my favorite color so I’m definitely rooting for you.

    Illusions in Green
    Forest of Illusions
    Wars and Illusions
    Illusions and Wars
    Forest of Secrets
    Secrets in Green
    Hives and Illusions
    Secrets of the Hive
    Sages, Symbols and Secrets
    Conversations in Green
    Conversations and the Green Man
    Conversations with Jack
    Scenes in Green
    Green Secrets
    Secrets Illustrated
    The Green Man Exposed
    Exposure in Green
    Uneasy Peace
    Reduction of Identity
    The Secrets of Bees
    Combing the Green
    Between the Wars
    The Hidden War
    Roaring Bees
    Language of the Green
    Language of the Forest
    Symbols in Green
    Symbols of the Forest
    Symbols and Illusions
    Seen and Unseen
    Hidden in Plain Sight
    Look Back, Look Ahead
    Green was the Dragon
    Forests of War
    War Illusions
    Camouflage and Illusions
    Deep Camouflage
    Forest Camouflage
    Hive Camouflage
    The Camouflage of Bees
    Flying Illusions
    Connections and Camouflage
    Green Transparent, Forest Opaque
    Opaque in Green
    Forest Fancies
    A Forest of Illusions
    Speech in Green
    Pagan in Green
    Forest Pagans, Uneasy Silence
    Conflicts and Silence
    Hidden Agenda, Hidden Wars

    I know you will think of the perfect title – one that reflects the many levels and nuances sure to be found in this latest venture… Dig out your thesaurus, throw a “naming party” for close friends and family, play a few rounds of Pictionary or any other creative game while you converse about possible titles and it won’t be long before “Aha!” rather than “Huh?” is heard.

  33. Kelly on August 1, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    “Tongues of Green”

    “Apiary Invaded”

    “Wax Occult”

    “To Wax Occult”

    You’re right. This is quite fun!

  34. Megan on August 1, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    It’s very late and I’m tired, so I’m sorry if someone’s already posted this, but the first thing I thought was The Language of Trees. Rhyming and continuity. Or something. Cheers.

  35. Michael on August 2, 2009 at 4:41 am

    or “The Secrets of Trees.”

  36. Laurie King on August 2, 2009 at 5:28 am

    The Green Man was not a figure in anthropological circles until Lady Raglan pinned down the name in the 30s, but as a figure, he’s been around for a long time–pub names reflect local people and events, and Green Man pubs abound.

  37. Tim H. on August 2, 2009 at 6:08 am

    Sisterhood of the meadows, Sheperd of the trees
    Woodsman and the beekeepers
    Coyote in the woods (Too north american?)
    Loki in the forest (You did say trickster)
    Loki’s disciple
    Bees in shadow
    Heart of the green

  38. Rebecca K. on August 2, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Bees in Green Country
    Bees in the Green
    The Green Man’s Bees
    Bees on Green Leaves
    Whispering Bees
    Bees in the Foliage
    Foliate Bees
    Green Foliate Bees
    The Trickster’s Bees

  39. Mark Iliff on August 2, 2009 at 7:10 am

    By Beck, Tarn and Fell
    A Dappled Knave

  40. Terry L on August 2, 2009 at 8:35 am

    My first thought was also

    The Language of Trees

    as mentioned above.

    Probably not the right thing, though… how about

    Whispering Leaves

  41. Strawberry Curls on August 2, 2009 at 8:47 am

    My brain just won’t let this go, in the shower this morning it kept bugging me (sorry) and came up with:

    The Trail of the Bees (or Swarm)
    The Illusive Bees (or Swarm)
    Tracking the Lights
    The Path of Bees and Light
    Illuminating Truths
    The Movements of the Hive
    Pathways to Family
    The Family of Brothers

  42. Jana Eoll on August 2, 2009 at 10:32 am

    The Honey Seekers

  43. Sue Boiko on August 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Bee Prepared
    Bee Alert
    The Good Bee Woods (as opposed to E Nesbit’s the Would Be Goods)

  44. Jessara on August 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    If I post these, I hope my mind will stop coming up with new ones when I’m doing other things. The site ‘The Megalithic Portal’ shows many Lake District features suggesting nicely complicated scenes.
    The Goodman Hive – I was just looking in the book ‘Santa Claus- Last of the Wild Men’ and it has some startling associations with Goodman.
    A Greenwood Mask
    A Hive of Wode (n.b.- OED says ‘madness’ is one definition of ‘wode’; associated with Trickster behavior in the Santa Claus book)
    The Greenwood Hive
    The Greenwode Man
    The Greenwode Dance
    The Foreign Greenwood
    A Greenwood Brother
    The Greenwood Watcher
    The Forest Hive
    The Travels of the Bee
    Travails of the Hive
    A Hive in Travail
    A Portal in Green
    The Green Portal
    The Hive of Green Men
    The Hive of Wild Bees
    A Wild Hive
    The Hive at the Spring
    The Spring and Hive
    The Spring Beehive
    A Skin of Honey
    Past of a Hive
    The Memory of the Hive

  45. Ann Stowell on August 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Secrets Hidden in Green
    Illusions In Green
    The Language of Green
    The Man in the Shadows
    Unseen Shadows
    The Shadow of the Croft
    Secrets and Silences

  46. Strawberry Curls on August 2, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Whew, Jessara, so glad I’m not the only person who gets caught up in these things. 🙂

  47. ME Mahoney on August 2, 2009 at 4:00 pm


  48. KarenB on August 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Some phrases that caught my ear while reading thru Green Man and John Barleycorn lyrics – I couldn’t quite make a title out of them, but thought they might spark something within your fertile brain:
    the nut brown bowl
    three furrows deep
    rich green robes
    sultry sun of summer

    more phrases from poems:

    “All greenness comes to withering” – from 13C poem
    green groves of memory – from The Green Man by Lauren Raine
    The Thought of Plants, Speaking Thru the Oak, from The Green Man by William Anderson
    Intelligence with the Earth – from something by Thoreau

    and one more by me The Song of the Trees

  49. Donna on August 2, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    You all are sooooo creative! This really is fun. Just hope Laurie has as much fun processing all the ideas…. 🙂

    Forests Shafts
    Illusive Illuminations
    Forest Depths
    Drink Deeply of the Green
    Tankards, Travel and Illuminations

    Must stop…. this could become addictive… 🙂

  50. Hilary Baker-Jennings on August 2, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    The Painter of the Trees

    I’m just going off Damian’s fondness for painting the Green Man…

  51. Anna on August 2, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Going with another Green Man related myth, what about The Wild Hunt?

  52. Nikki on August 2, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    For the James Bond fans: On Mycroft’s Secret Service

    For the What the Heck?! Factor: Who’s Ya Grand-daddy? Shelock Holmes

    Okay, okay, I’ll try to be serious from here on out…

    Wait, I have nothing serious to say unless you think The Foliate Head would sell books. Nah, probably not, but it sounds cool anyway. And The Bloodsucking Head evokes creepy mental images. The Disgorging Head? That’s just nasty!

    The Green’s Afoot?
    Fairies, Ferries, and Foliate Heads?
    Renaissance Men?

    Nope. Still not one serious idea. I’m going to bed now.

  53. Nikki on August 2, 2009 at 7:43 pm


    Are you sure calling this post Name that Baby! was such a good idea? This book would seem to have themes tied in (at least in some ways) to rebirth, and Russell and Holmes just inherited a toddler in the last book. Some folks could get the wrong idea, dontcha know. 😉

  54. Leanne on August 2, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    I very much like several of the previously suggested titles.

    Getting my ideas out so I am not plagued by thinking about this, too:

    The Last Fingers of Leaf (from The Wasteland)
    The Grass is Singing (also from that upbeat text! Sorry, I was just thinking about Gatsby all day for some reason, and it’s a short leap to Eliot from there)

    What about just Trickster?

    The Green Interpreter (as in The Greek Interpreter, poor Mycroft! So glad he is redeemed in your books)

    For that matter, Interpreter of Leaves

    Watching Green

    Gods and the Green

    Gathering Green

    What about Shakespeare? As You Like It is full of forests and spying!
    Tongues in Trees
    The Penalty of Adam

    Oh my, titles are fun but I have to stop or I’ll sit here for an hour… I can’t wait to see what the title will be. So I can salivate over reading it someday….

  55. GatorPerson on August 3, 2009 at 4:41 am

    Homo Sapiens Viridis, A Quandary

  56. Sonja on August 3, 2009 at 4:54 am

    This is fun indeed! If only it didn’t make me insomniac… 😉

    Out of the Green
    The Portrait of the Green Man
    The Hive Community
    The Massacre of Males (I like the rhythm in this one, although it has nothing to do with what you told about the story)
    The Intelligence of Bees
    The Hive’s Bonding
    Forces of Nature
    A Study in Green

    That’s it for now.

  57. 2maple on August 3, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Random thoughts…hopefully not already said …

    The Wispering Woods
    The Layered Leaves
    Varigated Voices

  58. Cathy on August 3, 2009 at 5:56 am

    First, I’d like to say that I really like the title _The Green Man_ because it seems so fresh and different, but at the same time a fun little throwback to prior naming patterns a la The Invisible Man.

    Having said that, I only have one submission:

    Of Men and Trees

    Can’t wait to read the book!

  59. Jan in Norman, OK on August 3, 2009 at 6:07 am

    Talking Leaves (old Native American term for book).

    Green and Pleasant Land

    Sing All a Green Willow

    By the way, I don’t see anything wrong with The Green Man.

  60. Sarah on August 3, 2009 at 6:18 am

    The Woodwose Contingency

  61. Merrily on August 3, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Well, it had occurred to me awhile ago that “Art in the Blood” might be a good title for this book, since it refers back to Canon and to Damian, and in addition might be considered a sort of pun – is Brothers not attempting a sort of art with his work in blood?’
    And then there’s “The Horned One,” or “The Horned Man,” other persona’s of the Green Man, although perhaps too close to the original title.
    Will keep thinking…

  62. Mary L on August 3, 2009 at 7:57 am

    How about just Greenman, leaving off “The”?

    Or: Verdigris

    Green Graves

    The Green of the Moon

    Green Truth

    The Color of Truth

    Blood Green

  63. Heidi on August 3, 2009 at 8:22 am

    The Green Man Whispers
    The Whispering Green Man
    Whispers in the Green
    Fey Whispers
    Fey Whispers in (or of) the Green
    The Dance of the Green Man

    Well, anyway, those are a few suggestions. Good luck, Laurie, titling things is not my favorite thing in the world!

  64. CapallGlas on August 3, 2009 at 8:29 am

    I can understand the need to avoid ‘the Green Man’ as it is a common title of New Age materials, and perhaps not as literary as one would hope for a book about Holmes and Russell.

    Perhaps a bit of a thought to ‘Robin Goodfellow’ or ‘Puck’ using the phrase ‘Goodfellow’s Dance’ which refers to being lost in the woods, or ‘Puck’s Tune’ which is what lures you into the woods to become lost.

    A ‘Mask of Leaves’ would continue the Green Man theme, as well as the thought of spies and secrets. “The Spiral Path’ would conjure up an image of labyrinths and shadows, but might again lead back to New Age publications.

    ‘Dark Green Shadows’ might be too generic, as would a reference to a ‘Three-pipe Problem’.

    Thank you, as this is a fun way to spend a moment with some sunshine and a morning cup of tea.


  65. Janet on August 3, 2009 at 8:51 am

    I suppose The Language of Trees is just too close to the prior title for the publisher’s marketing department to swallow?
    It could be nice since the story flows from The Language of Bees.

  66. Heidi on August 3, 2009 at 9:42 am

    One last thought: I hope the suggestions inspire you, Laurie, but there’s a part of me hoping that you’ll still name it yourself. You could always award the prize to the person who inspired you the most.

  67. Ann-Marie on August 3, 2009 at 11:12 am

    I don’t know much about the plot, but the first thing that sprang to mind was “A Goodman is Hard to Find”….

  68. Pat Floyd on August 3, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Here are a few thoughts:
    A Voice in the Wood
    A Voice in the Forest
    The Language of Leaves
    The Speech of Leaves
    Talking Leaves
    Eyes in the Greenwood
    Hidden in the Green
    A Green Disguise
    Spying in Green
    The Green Spy
    Cloaked in Green
    Cloaked in Leaves

  69. GatorPerson on August 3, 2009 at 11:54 am

    The Conundrum of the Homo Sapiens Viridis. Well, that’s layered, upmarket, and tantalizing, also requiring people to say “Huh?”

  70. Laidee Marjorie on August 3, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    I thought about bees, nature, the Green Man, England, London and the Lake Districk (aka Lakeland). I thought about the fact that MREG’s name came from a quote, but that most of the books were not named that way. So here is my first attempt. There may or may not be a second! By the way, I tried to not read the other suggestions so as to not be swayed by them, so if I repeated another idea, I apologize in advance:

    “Down in Green Pastures”

    AUTHOR:Old Testament
    QUOTATION:He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 1
    ATTRIBUTION:Psalm xxiii. 2.

    “The Memory Be Green”

    AUTHOR:William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
    QUOTATION:The memory be green.
    ATTRIBUTION:Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2. [text]

    “The Ends of the Earth”

    AUTHOR:Old Testament
    QUOTATION:The eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.
    ATTRIBUTION:Proverbs xvii. 24.

    “The Greenest of Things”

    AUTHOR: Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)
    QUOTATION: Those eyes the greenest of things blue
    The bluest of things grey.

    “The Worker and the Drone”

    “Collecting the Nectar”

    “Nectar From the Drone”

    “Of Foliage Dense”

    “The Prankster of Lakeland”


  71. Dana on August 3, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Deliverance of the drones…?

  72. Korina on August 3, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    De-lurking to say *gah!* Merrily beat me to my idea, Art in the Blood. What about The Lonely Hive?

    I loved loved loved The Language of Bees. Just wonderful. (Also, about pooped my pants when I got to ‘to be continued’.


    PS I just noticed, in the very bottom of the left corner of this page, there’s a tiny smiley! 🙂

  73. Mareth Griffith on August 3, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Maybe, hmmm…
    The Green Knight…

    I was quite taken by the connection between the green man and other wood spirit mythology – fauns and satyrs and the like.
    Perhaps, the Green Faun, or The Voice of the Faun?

    Thanks ever so much for the chance to throw spaghetti at your wall and see if anything sticks.

  74. Edna Myers on August 3, 2009 at 11:18 pm


  75. Ruby J Whatsherface on August 3, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    You know, it’s really most unfortunate that the words “tree(s)”, “leaves” and “green” all have that nasal, unpleasant “-ee” noise. “Green” in particular is a very ugly word.
    Anyway, despite multiple brain-rackings, the only title I can come up with at present is Taking Dictation from Trees. More later in all likelihood.

  76. Laraine on August 3, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    The Watching Wood
    Carved Spirit
    Living Wood
    Wood Watcher
    The Silence of Wood

  77. Roxanne on August 4, 2009 at 7:16 am

    *I’m* having a good time. Research is right up my alley.

    Is there a deadline for submission of a title? My apologies if you stated it and I just missed it.

    Thank you,

  78. Rylie on August 4, 2009 at 8:15 am

    I’m not creative, but here are my suggestions:

    Into the Green
    Secrets in the Green
    Truth in the Green
    Man and Myth
    Man Behind the Myth
    The Ties that Bind
    Ancient History

  79. Rebecca on August 4, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Have you considered a play on the word “canopy”? Although it can mean a shelter or covering, in terms of trees, it also serves to obscure the ground or the sky depending on your point of view. I don’t know precisely what the story is about but considering the rest of the books, it could be a reference to be what can be seen or not seen through the canopy. Sorry for no concrete title, just that word came to mind.

  80. Mary L on August 4, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Riffing off Strawberry Curl’s suggestion: To Tell the Hive or maybe: Go Tell the Hive

  81. strawberry curls on August 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Since the phrase “The Language of Bees” was taken from Holmes’ book on bee culture, I wondered if something else from that book might be appropriate for the next title. That’s is where I got Hive Intellegence. Some suggestions:

    The Way of the Hive
    Loyalty to the Hive (taken from “A bee has no loyalty to the keeper, only to the hive”)
    Bee Play
    The Future is All
    The Call Of The Future
    Password of Identity

  82. Chris on August 4, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Since there will be much of Mycroft how about


  83. Kathy on August 4, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Green Jack

  84. Jan in Norman, OK on August 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Tell the Bees
    The Beekeeper’s Son
    Spies in the Land
    Flies in the Honey
    The Beekeeper’s Brother
    Hive of Spies

  85. Karen on August 4, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Playing off some of the other suggestions:

    The Hives That Bind

  86. Kathy on August 4, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Face in the Leaves
    The Mask
    Green Magic
    King of the May

  87. Bethany on August 4, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Foliate Spies
    Green Plants
    Casing the Green
    Woodwose Shadows
    The Secrets of Vines
    Family Trees

  88. Ruby J Whatsherface on August 4, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    I have some utterly random, general ones that were floating ’round my brain and which probably won’t fit the story at all!

    A Far and Rising Sound
    The Remaining Unfortunates
    Spies, Lies and Six Dead Innocents
    The Resounding Cry of STOP
    An Inkling as to Motive
    The Bootlaces of a Madman

    And my favorite (at least in this case), The Keyhole in the Oak Tree.
    Gosh, this IS fun!

  89. Whitney on August 5, 2009 at 3:47 am

    Hrm. I have to get the puns out of the way first:

    The Russeling of the leaves

    Sorry about that.

    The Metamorphosis of Blossoming
    Animal, Vegetable, Mystery
    The Foliage Facade
    The Wisdom of the Wandering
    Hidden Ties

    I’m sure they’ll be popping into my head all day!

  90. Nikki on August 5, 2009 at 5:09 am

    If all else fails, click on this random title generator site. 😉

  91. Tiffany on August 5, 2009 at 5:10 am

    First, I like the title “The Green Man” But if we must change it…

    The Foliate Head
    A Verdant Riddle
    An Assembling Hive
    Acanthus Characters
    Agents of(or for)the Hive
    A Study in Green
    Shades of Green
    Green Agents
    A Green Dialect
    Verdant Vernacular
    The Linguistics of Spies

    Looking over the other suggestions- I really like Jan’s “Hive of Spies” and Leanne’s “The Green Interpreter” Good luck with the writing- a big fan!!

  92. Laidee Marjorie on August 5, 2009 at 6:19 am



    “Verdant Vernacular”

    “Grammar of the Green Man”

    “Conclave of the Hive”


  93. Claudia on August 5, 2009 at 7:01 am

    I think “The Tongues in Trees” might be an intriguing title, after this Shakespearean quote from “As You Like It”:

    “Sweet are the uses of adversity, Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head; And this our life, exempt from human haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything.”

  94. Kait B. Roe on August 5, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Titles are sooooo important to me. They are the first intro to anything and I am one of those people who always want the title to be intricately connected to the plot, characters and sub story. So how does one title a book before it is written? Working titles aside, there is something magic about a title, and despite my concerns that one can’t title something without reading the whole thing… here is my attempt at guessing what will be important in the novel formerly known as The Green Man.

    Damien and Estelle will figure prominently, along with Mycroft (who will be furious at the lack of respect he was shown in the last installment). Family, then, seems to be a promising theme: how family is interwoven and interpreted in the greater context of Russell and Holmes and how their families are more chosen than natal, despite the blood links. So as I sit thinking about these ideas… I like the idea of Blood Relative, or Relativity, (an homage to the intelligent little boy, Levi, who died too young– though Einstein won’t have come up with his theory yet,) or Brothers in Arms, or Children of Art (Damien and Estelle, as well as the Holmes Brothers are all children of artists, and Russell’s mom was no slouch with her garden diary) , or the Artful Children, or Family Trees. Something along these lines would be interesting, as well as have some mystery around them. Rather than stick with Holmes references (bees) one could go with Russell references (Begats, if you will) or lineages.

    However, I strongly urge you to tell your publisher, that you won’t get a ton new readers with this book, but you will certainly not be losing any either, especially after the cliffhanger from Bees. Tell them your public is going to read the book no matter what it is called (Language of Bees part II comes to mind!) The Green Man would have been perfectly fine with me and I am sure the rest of your readers. In other words, tell them not to worry. We read the novels you write because they are great novels, not because the titles necessarily jump out at us.

  95. Mary Frum on August 5, 2009 at 7:21 am

    My suggestion for The Green Man:

    Into the Gloaming

  96. A. M. Gray on August 5, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Would “Random Woods” work?

  97. Michelle Forkner on August 5, 2009 at 7:21 am

    The Leaving Man

    Green are the Leaves

    A Leaf is a Terrible Thing to Waste (lame, I know)

    Spies Like Us

    The Spying Eye

    Leaves and Grass (a take on Walt Whitman- Leaves of Grass)

    My Leaving Spy

    Of Bees and Leaves


    Thanks for allowing participation! (“Long-time listener, first time caller.” [Gross Pointe Blank])

  98. Laidee Marjorie on August 5, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Kait B.,

    I thought at one point that Laurie should name the new book “Be Continued”. That way when people read LANG, they would know where TO go next! To “Be Continued”! Silly of me, very silly.


  99. Ash-Lynn Rai on August 5, 2009 at 7:36 am

    ‘Watchful eyes’

    This could refer to the ‘green man’ who looks down at us from buildings around the world.

    Or to the way Mycroft is always in the backdrop looking over his brother.

    Or to the spy work that Russell and Holmes will be doing.

  100. Marisa Fife on August 5, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Random off-the-top-of-my-head suggestions:

    Child of Pan
    Daughter of Pan
    The Hunt for the Green Man
    Verdant Whispers
    The Mystery Within the Trees
    The Green Masque
    The Mark of the Green Man
    Footprints Leading Nowhere: Chasing the Green Man
    The Hunt for the Green Man Killer
    The Green Man Mystery
    The Face in the Woods
    The Haunted Wood
    Mystery Within the Green
    The Green Man Murders
    The Tree Man

    and some silly ones:

    Death by Ent
    Attack of the Killer Shrubbery
    The Tree That Ate Poor Alice
    The Leaf Man Commeth
    The Tree Man Stole My Baby


  101. Sally S. on August 5, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Different Dieties

  102. Marlyn on August 5, 2009 at 7:44 am

    The one that popped into my mind instantly was “Leaves of Green”. Kinda lame, I know, but I really like “The Green Man”.

  103. erin on August 5, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Tricks of the Mind
    The Woodsman
    Man of the Forest
    Woodsman’s Riddles
    Spies among the Trees
    The Forest’s Secrets

  104. Scott on August 5, 2009 at 7:53 am

    A Study in Verdigris

  105. Scott on August 5, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Or possibly a play on the multiple meanings of the word sage…

    The Sage Old Man
    The Knowledge of the Sage

  106. Scott on August 5, 2009 at 7:57 am

    The Hive in the Hedge
    The Spy in the Shrubbery
    (ok, i was just having fun there 😉

  107. Cherie Monte on August 5, 2009 at 8:11 am

    The Bonding of Bees

    Mycroft UnderCover

    The Secrets of Bees

    Suspicious Jaunt

    Covert Trickster

    The Invisible Ruse

    The Epitome of Formidable Men

    Suspicious Redemptions

    Suspicious Spectators (as is the quiet green men in the trees/buildings)

  108. Teresa on August 5, 2009 at 8:15 am

    keep the bee theme language maybe in some way… To Bee or Not?

    or in text 2B r Not 2Bee, lol. or just 2Bee.

    it could go on… Beeing and Becoming… or would that be Beecoming?

    i liked The Green Man… sorry they didn’t like it.

  109. Deah on August 5, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Resurrection of Viridios


  110. Katie on August 5, 2009 at 8:25 am

    The first thing that jumped to my mind was….

    A Green and Pleasant Land

    …from the English hymn and Blake’s poem. It makes me think of the kind of sinister overtones to the hymn and the Children of Light in The Language of Bees, and all the different ways the title can be interpreted.


    A Pagan Green
    A Sylvan Hunt
    The Agent in the Green

  111. Lynanne Fowle on August 5, 2009 at 8:27 am

    I’m new at this, but with Mary Russell being the primary focus, you should play on the word God but include her… such as “The Goddess and the Green”

  112. Janet on August 5, 2009 at 8:29 am

    How about…

    “A Rogue in the Woods” or substitute any synonym for woods, such as “thicket”, “weald”, “copse”.
    Weald and copse sound Holmes/Russell-ish to me.

  113. strawberry curls on August 5, 2009 at 8:39 am

    “The Tree That Ate Poor Alice”

    Marisa,is this a reference to the Alice in LANG? I hope not.

    AKA the slut in LANG

  114. StarGazer on August 5, 2009 at 9:14 am

    I was on fire with curiousity by the title _The Green Man_ but I guess if it doesn’t cut it, we can help come up with some alternatives.

    A Voice in the Trees
    The Voice of the Trees
    The Wispering Leaves
    The Quiet of Wandering

    I’m sure I’ll be thinking of them all day, but that’s all I got for now. 🙂

  115. Into the Woods on August 5, 2009 at 9:20 am

    What about Into the Woods or In the Greenwood

  116. Elizabeth Irwin on August 5, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Hello, Ms. King!

    When I read your posting above regarding a new title for “The Green Man”, and you mentioned “a man living in the woods who is a bit of a trickster”, the first trickster who came to mind for me was the Norse god Loki.

    While I don’t think “Loki” necessarily makes a more engaging title than “The Green Man”, I did a little research into literature involving Loki. In the old Norse poem “Lokasenna”, Loki decides to incite conflict amongst the gods with taunting, or as stated in the poem “mix their mead with malice.”

    Mead is brewed from honey, so….

    my title suggestion is “Mead and Malice.”

    I’m excited to hear of the next book! Thank you for telling the tales!


  117. Cherie Monte on August 5, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Eyes in the Distance

    Traveling Eyes

    The Nimble Brothers

    Cryptic Eyes

    Eyes that Mystify

    Insidious Watching

    Insidious Observations

    The Less Scrupulous

    Under Scrutiny

  118. Sarah on August 5, 2009 at 9:52 am

    There’s always UNLEAVING, but the marketing people won’t like it either because it’s hard to spell.

    I actually like THE GREEN MAN–nicely British, reminds one of pubs as well as fertility rituals. Leaving off “THE”, as somebody suggested above, or making it plural, GREEN MEN…


  119. Tiffany on August 5, 2009 at 9:56 am

    You can send in more than one entry right? Here are more titles…

    A Face in the Hive
    Apis Mellifera Verdant
    Colony of Spies
    Three Drones
    The Apiarist’s Brother
    The Secret Colony
    The Beekeeper’s Brother
    A Green Interpretation

  120. carol on August 5, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Leaves a spy

  121. Beatrice on August 5, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Beware the Idles of March
    Wild Honey
    Dark Colonies
    Evolution of a Hive
    A Face In The Crowd

  122. Cherie Monte on August 5, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Swarming Suspicion

  123. John G. Butler on August 5, 2009 at 11:19 am

    A Deception in Camouflage.

  124. Teresa on August 5, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Brother, brother, go find your brother.

  125. Cathy H on August 5, 2009 at 11:59 am

    A Brood of Wasps

  126. Maggie on August 5, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    The Paper Wasp

  127. Meith Jons-Forsberg on August 5, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Mastery of Growan
    Mastery of Mystery
    Mastery of Hive
    The compliment of Growan
    Hive of Growan
    Primary Color Hive
    Restful to the Eye
    The Door of Mastery

  128. Lynda Sexton-Kellett on August 5, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    The Verdant Voyeur

    The Face in the Trees

    Eyes Under the Green Canopy

    The Truth Seekers

    Mycroft and the Case of the Green Man

  129. Moll Frothingham on August 5, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    What about “The Wearing of the Green” — as a play on words, referring to the Green Man, as well as acts of rebellion–if this involves spies?

    Can’t wait to read it!

  130. Kathryn Anderson on August 5, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Several good ones above, including “Study in Verdigris.” It made me think, why not play on other canonical Holmes titles?

    Example: “The Case of the Green Man”
    “The Adventure of the Green Man”
    “The Disappearance of the Green Man”

    I like “The Green Man,” myself.

  131. Nin on August 5, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Words of Pan

  132. Kathryn Anderson on August 5, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Since I suspect the new book relies heavily on the action that’s happened in “Language,” how about a title that reflects the closeness of the books?

    The Flight of Bees
    Flight of Bees

  133. Katie on August 5, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Since you’ve mentioned that Mycroft will be vital to this story, it reminded me that one of my favorite ways you’ve continually described him as a “bookeeper” that keeps tracks of more than just pounds and yen. So several ideas that could play on that:

    Settling Accounts
    Unsettled Acounts
    Balancing Accounts
    Unbalanced Accounts

    By now you’ve caught the pattern here :o)

    To get more theatrical/literary, there’s the Puck/Green Man angle.

    Restore(ing) Amends (‘and Robin shall restore amends’ or anything from that last soliloquoy in Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream)
    Speak of the Devil (which is more of a sinister tone, but apparently was a way to call on Puck, who knew?)

    In that same vein, apparently Puck comes from the word “unsettled” in many languages, which fits in interestingly.

    Good luck with the book naming!

  134. Steve Spicer on August 5, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Phineas Woodman

  135. Donna on August 5, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    The creativity from this readership just keeps amazing me. Can’t imagine how inspiring this could be for our AUTHOR!

    I really like the idea of juxtapositioning Mycroft’s protecting British intrests through his intelligence organization – infiltrators beginning the attempt to destroy democracy and the building of a single new family who’s emotional well-being is, at this stage, so very fragile.

    This new character – “the green man” a.k.a Robert Goodman (is he indeed?!) may be the unseen – perhaps barely seen – protecting presence that both assists Mycroft (and probably Holmes too) in some mysterious way while somehow safeguarding Estelle and Mary or perhaps Damian…

    I suspect that’s why the original title was The Green Man – Goodman is somehow the unseen benevolent champion (as in the chivalric code) of this episode. Perhaps a play on Goodman’s role or his name might be the way to go. (Though add me to the list of those who liked ‘The Green Man’ in the first place.)

    The word “good” has numerous listings in any thesaurus. Robert the Bruce is definitely a, if not the foremost Scottish champion so any link between he and Robert Goodman might be something you wish to encourage.

    Robert the Bruce and the Spider is a well known tale. We might be drifting away from Bees but Spiders are rather beloved in literature and may be an image to weave into this title… Just think what delicious webs are to be woven!

    Have fun Laurie!

    (Not sure which is the lesser headache… not thinking up a good title or having hundreds of suggestions for that title. At least the suggestion list has humor included! And at best may be very inspirational! 🙂

  136. Steve Tully on August 5, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    A touch of emerald madness

  137. Lauraleen O'Connor on August 5, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    The Secret of the Green Man
    The Green Man’s Secret

  138. Canzonett on August 5, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Wow. What with all the summer term duties, I have been so busy I haven’t checked your blog or the forum for quite a while. Now I finally remember surfing by – and this is the first item that somes up. Brilliant …

  139. Damian Gordon on August 5, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    How about;

    The Good Man
    Hard Choices
    Deceits and Other Lies
    Broken Holmes
    Fool Me Once
    Sub Rosa
    False Face

  140. Canzonett on August 5, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    The Foliage Labyrinth
    Family Foliage
    Leaves of Consequence
    Breath in the Thicket
    Underwood Refuge
    Prophesy unto the Wood
    Prophesy against the Forest (Hes 20,46)
    Which lives by itself in a forest (Micha 7,14)
    Counted for a forest (Jes 32,15)
    A fire in the forest (Jer 21,14)
    Kindle the forest
    A leafy track

  141. Canzonett on August 5, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Sylvan honey

  142. Canzonett on August 5, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    The Trickster Eremite

  143. Peggy Blanchard on August 5, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    The Viridian Jester
    The Dark Wood (thanks to Dante!)
    Hunters in the Green Wild
    The Cernunnos Conundrum

  144. Kay Sturm on August 5, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    In homage to the spy stories of Eric Ambler – Green for Danger

  145. Cherie Monte on August 5, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Eyes of Deception

    Through the Spyglass

    Eyes Undercover

    Men of Deceit

    Not to be Deceived

  146. Carlina on August 5, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Random thoughts and trying to link the title back to LANG

    The Rise of the Colony
    The Birth of the Colony (I suppose this could be the bees and the Holmes family…I dunno)
    The Birth of the Hive or The Rise of the Hive
    Art in the Blood (Hey its worth a try! Plus I suspect they’ll be much of it in this novel)

    More later…

  147. Carlina on August 5, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Oh and if we want deception:

    The Deception of the Drones…

  148. Cherie Monte on August 5, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Protectors of the Hive

    The Shrewd Guardian

    Guardian of the Innocent

    Guardian in Disguise

  149. Adriene Heslop on August 5, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    The Tongue of Trees
    Operative Odin
    Operation Odin
    Watching Woden

  150. John T. Bychowski on August 5, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Lots about Mycroft, so how about:

    My Keeper’s Brother


    The Keeper’s Brother

  151. Lauraleen O'Connor on August 5, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    What the Green Man Saw
    The Eyes of the Green
    Soul of the Green Man

  152. Livia Poljak on August 5, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    The Woods Have Eyes…

    Don’t know really, that is what popped into my mind when i first saw the wikipedia page about the Green Man. The eyes just stood out, and since you mentioned spies…

  153. Jennifer Folsom on August 5, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    An Agent of Bad Fortune

    The Intelligencer and The Charlatan (a spy and a trickster)

    The Intelligencer’s Confidence (A spy’s secret or confession)

    The Furtive Wood

    A Colony of Agents

    A/The Grove of Intrigue

  154. scoaz on August 5, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Perhaps . . .

    Verdant Secrets

  155. scoaz on August 5, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    I thought of one more . .

    Blind Man’s Bluff

  156. doretta on August 5, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Rustling Leaves

  157. Jennifer on August 5, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Since it has a lot of Mycroft, how about Brother’s Keeper?

  158. Meredith on August 6, 2009 at 12:00 am

    I go out of town for a little, and look what happens! How about that — 142 responses, an all time record, yes? Some nifty ones, too.
    Actually, I quite liked THE GREEN MAN. The good John Lescroart said that of his 14 books, he only gave titles to 6 of them (but gee whiz).
    Not too many thoughts so far:

    The Man in the Tree
    Oak and Ash and Thorn (that’s swiped from Kipling, actually)

    I’m going to stick up some key words on my mirror and see if my unconscious comes up with something else. best//Meredith

  159. Sara on August 6, 2009 at 3:31 am

    Anyone else feeling bad for LRK, because she has to decide and weed amongst our ever-growing list of comments?

    And kudos to everyone’s creativity!!! (I’m still pulling for mine, but I love reading everyone else’s!!!!)


  160. Amylizzie on August 6, 2009 at 6:24 am

    My contribution 🙂

    The Renaissance of the Soul


    The Father of Nature

    The Coming of Days

    And there you go! 🙂

  161. Alexandra on August 6, 2009 at 6:37 am

    The first thing that leapt to my mind on reading your post was the title:

    A Supposition Of Bees

    Though I cannot say why, or if it’s entirely appropriate either. But there you go, that’s my offering.

    As someone who has difficulties coming up with titles for my own humble writings, I truly appreciate how difficult it is for your good self. My editor nearly blew a gasket when she read the working title for my next SF novel: ‘Come The Inquisitor’. I’m almost sure someone is going to suggest I change that one. *grin*

  162. Laura Phelps on August 6, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Wow, lots of great ideas here! Count me in as liking the original title. The Green Man is short and sweet and fits with other titles in the series: O Jerusalem, Justice Hall, The Game, and Locked Rooms.

    But of course, I have a couple of ideas, which someone may already have suggested. I’ve kind of lost count.

    Brother’s Keeper – I like John’s suggestions concerning Mycroft, but this way the title could be taken to be about Russell and Holmes protecting/helping Mycroft or the other way around, or both at the same time!

    For a different type of play on words – Hide and Keep

  163. Evelyn Rysdyk on August 6, 2009 at 7:54 am

    The Dancing Bee

    Bees communicate the distance and direction of a food source through a complex code of dance movements. Like a spy network, they communicate in a way that others can not decode.

  164. Linette on August 6, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Eyes Between the Leaves
    The Hidden Green
    A spy in the Hive

  165. Lynette Okelberry on August 6, 2009 at 9:47 am

    portrait in green, growan man, or woodsman.

  166. Merrily on August 6, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I’m staying away from all things relating to trees, woods, bees etc as they seem to have been covered. I did have another suggestion – “Circles,” as we’ve already seen the stone circles, and we have the circle of Holmes’s life, and of his son and grandchild.
    I hope someone is keeping track of these for our Esteemed Founder!

  167. strawberry curls on August 6, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    The Hubris of the Bees

    The Hubris of Men

    Honeybees and Hubris

    Monumental Hubris

    I seem to be stuck here so I’ll go away now. 😉

  168. Meredith T on August 6, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I’ve tried to read all the previous ideas so as not to repeat, but I don’t trust my unconscious not to grab an earlier one! with that note:

    Shadow Masters

    Queen of Shadows
    King of Shadows (one of my fav Shakespeare lines “Believe me, King of Shadows, I mistook!”

    Flights, Shadows


  169. Briana T on August 6, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    A Pattern in the Leaves / The Pattern of Leaves

    The Eloquence of Trees/Leaves

    The Syntax of Trees

    The Watcher in the Woods (or Watchers in the Woods)

    The Shadows of Branches

    Whispers in the Woods/Forest

    Murmurs in the Trees

    Peering through Leaves

    Viridian Eyes

    The Viridian Man (I’m a Latin teacher–I have to get those Latinate words in!)

    Subterfuge in Green

    The Subtlety of Pan

    This is fun!! 🙂

  170. Donna on August 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    ” To quote: It doesn’t have the layered nuance of The Language of Bees. It doesn’t seem either upmarket or suspenseful. It’s not tantalizing.”

    Obviously not enough “Green Man” pubs – or for that matter “real pubs” in NY (taverns and bars don’t count)… and “not tantalizing”? Guess it could be confused with little green men and the SF genre… As far as “upmarket” goes maybe the title should not depend too heavily on the cover artist… Or “suspenseful”; well 168 comments so far have me on the edge of my seat… ?

    “…and I’ll tell you that it’s about Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft (lots about Mycroft) and spies (spies are important) and the Green Man—aka Robert Goodman—and Damian and Estelle from The Language of Bees and boats and planes and trains and cars and…”

    (Sorry if I’m repeating someone…)

    Espionage and Expeditions
    Unseen Champion (or “Guardian”)
    Guardian in the Green
    Glimmer Beyond the Web (or Hive or Comb)
    Patterns of / in the Honeycomb (or just “Comb”)
    Gadzooks! He’s Green
    The Green Man Cometh
    Deviltry in the Forest
    Red Hands Green Man
    Beginnings Threatened

    Now let’s see… in 1925 Benito Mussolini (Il Duce) announced he was taking dictatorial powers over Italy…

    T. S. Eliot wrote “The Hollow Men” which ends:
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.


    Unseen Endings
    Unseen Entrapments, Unseen Endings
    Monsters Overt and Covert

    (Hitler wrote “Mein Kampf while in jail in 1925)

    Monsters, Madness and Looming Wars
    Silent Wars, Silent Sentinel
    If Leaves Could Talk
    Swarming Hordes, Coming Battles

    Enough for now… 🙂

  171. strawberry curls on August 6, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    The Poetry of Espionage

    Spying Out the Land

    The Concervative Bohemian

  172. strawberry curls on August 6, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Well, heck, make that The Conservative Bohemian.

  173. Canzonett on August 7, 2009 at 1:17 am

    He found him in a desert land (Deut 32,10)
    Thorns of the Wilderness
    Pastures of the Wilderness

  174. Bettina on August 7, 2009 at 3:19 am

    The Kernel of the Trunks

    (…trying hard – and failing – not to think of: Goethe’s Faust: “So this, then, was the kernel of the brute!”)

  175. Bettina on August 7, 2009 at 3:55 am

    “Selective Weeding”

    >Selective weeding is for those areas where you desire selective elimination of vegitation. The
    desired effect is to allow more managable plants to dominate the treated area.>

    Not knowing the plot of a novel makes finding a title a difficult task. Feels like shooting in the dark. But then my mother used to say: “Where one cannot see, one must not be ashamed to touch.”

    “Shrubbery Vision”

  176. Pete P on August 7, 2009 at 5:58 am

    Low the Whispering Woods

  177. Jenny on August 7, 2009 at 9:26 am

    The Green Blade (from the hymn, “now the green blade riseth”)
    A Green Shade (“annihilating all that’s made/ to a green thought in a green shade”)
    The Green Wheat (“wheat that springeth green”)

    You could also play with ideas of mythical forests from the Middle Ages, like Avernus, Arden, Sherwood, Broceliande… Merlin was caught in a tree once, by a sorceress named Vivian. (Nice symbolism for the villain and Russell: power trapped by a more-powerful woman.) The Tree Tomb or The World Tree would be a good title.

    There’s also the Tree of Life, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Charity. And the Cross was sometimes called the Tree. Green Fruit of the (Poison) Tree? or how about Nectar from the Tree of Life? (Okay, that’s probably going a bit too far, but at least it’s bee-related.)

    I can’t wait for the next one. I’ve been a Laurie King fan since 1995, and you just keep getting better. Thanks for all you do.

  178. Amy McWilliams on August 7, 2009 at 10:40 am

    The Intelligence of Trees
    The Forest Primeval
    Of Intelligence Primeval
    Rime of the Ancient Woodland
    Whatever Remains (or What Remains)
    The Queerest of Men
    Living by His Wits

  179. Donna on August 7, 2009 at 10:49 am

    More Chestnuts… 🙂

    Forest Coverings
    Of Spies and Foliage
    Spies in the Woods
    Threatened (or Imperiled) Lives
    Deep Cover Forest Glimpses
    Of Spies and Threatened Lives
    Did the Nightingale Sing?
    Who Heard the Bird(s) (giggles)
    Song of the Woods
    Songs in the Forest
    Cacophony and Chaos
    Dissonance and Fragile Lives
    Peripatetic Espionage
    Lucifer Disguised
    Possibilities of War
    War Looming, Branches Enclosing

    … if punts are used… (I know they are not on your “transportation list” but they are so attractive… conjuring up such romantic images… though are on the slow side for escaping…)
    Poling and Deep Cover
    Poling through Woods (or Forest) Grim
    Jewels and Dross: Punt Through Forests Dark

    Ah, I really have to get to RL now… and this is so addicting – so FUN (comparatively)!


  180. Sara on August 7, 2009 at 10:54 am

    While I still like ‘The Sagest of Men’, I reread this:

    “The book follows immediately on the heels of The Language of Bees, chronologically and thematically. If the titles link, all the better, but it’s not a deal breaker if they don’t.”

    and thought that if “The Language of Bees” was the first title, then the subsequent book should obviously be

    “…And What They Heard.”

    Happy reading.

  181. Mary L on August 7, 2009 at 11:36 am

    So, a couple more: If it’s about spies, then something to do with Joshua?

    Joshua’s Brothers
    Joshua’s Hive

    Of course there’s always “The Curious Incident” or has someone already published that one?

  182. Ellen on August 7, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I’ve been thinking some more on this subject:

    Smoking the hive ( connection to bees and smoking out spies!)
    The Sweet Assault (from “The Bee” by Emily Dickinson)
    An ear for furious Latin (from “The arrival of the Bee Box” by Sylvia Plath.)

    I am so looking forward to seeing the winning entry!

  183. carolyn fetsko on August 7, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Tree’s a crowd
    The Root of all Evil
    Can’t see the Forest
    Cause of the Trees

    is he grouchy??then how about “Forest Grump”

    Ok..I am quite through

  184. Suzy Thompson on August 7, 2009 at 6:37 pm


    Sorry, I just couldn’t resist…

  185. Donna on August 7, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    More musings for your spreadsheet:
    (oh if only you do fine a gleam of gold amidst this huge pile of slag…)

    All Covered in the Western Wood
    The Old Man in the Woods (or Forest or Grove or Copse or whatever…)
    Traps Snap – Thunder Claps
    Creeping Softly o’re the Green Wood (maybe “from the Green…)
    Mysterious Rustlings, Watching Woods
    Softly Creeps the Green
    Softly in Green He Comes
    Disguise and Recognition

    (Really Laurie; if you can read through these without pulling hair out then it’s only because you must be laughing madly…)

    Chasing Bees, Ducking Swarms
    Rising Thunder
    The Family Holmes
    Diary of Coming Madness
    Journal From the Eye of the Storm
    Conversations from the Hives
    Of Men and Furies
    What the Green Man Saw

    (I really did like “The Green Man” but what does this side of the continent know…)

    Journey to the End of the Wood (or Forest)
    Unearthing Swarms
    Leave it in the Woods
    The Brothers Holmes
    The Brothers Holmes; Savta Mary

    (Not a clue… that’s really not a title but a state of mind…)

    Clues in the Deep Wood
    Sight in on the Bees
    Metamorphosis in Green
    The Metamorphosis of the Hidden

    (Hope you don’t put all these suggestions on Post-Its, stick them up on the nearest fence and fire darts (or guns (paint?), or bombs (water of course) or whatever is handy) at them… Might be good therapy though…)

    Midnight’s Woods
    Darkness Begins
    After Dark; Hidden Sentinel
    Double Deception (or Triple or whatever number is needed)
    probably better as: Deception Doubled (or Tripled or whatever…)
    Holmes on the Home Front
    Formidable Fraternity

    Ok, Ok; enough… I give up. For now. There are two and a half days left… hehehe 🙂

  186. Donna on August 8, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Woven in Green Garb
    Sleeping Woods, Slumbering Spies
    The Greening of England
    Good and Grief in Green (or Good, Grief, and Green)
    Catching Green Shadows
    Giving Up the Green

    hehehe; and you thought we were out of preposterous ideas…

    If The Bees Could Talk Would We Listen
    If We Could Hear the Bees
    Convoluted Conundrums in Green
    Give it Up for the Green Man

    I’ve always liked “Emma Lathen: titles… (what a pair!) so maybe:

    Going for the Green
    Green Grow the Spies
    Murder Within Woods
    Spies and Rising Sap
    Death Against The Grain
    Woody Mayhem
    Green Grows the Forest (or Woods)
    Murder on the Go

    Ok, Ok, no outright appropriations allowed…

    Leaving the Green
    Wearing Green
    The Wearing of the Green
    If Leaves Were Green
    When the Green Woods Beckon
    If Only He Were Green
    Overwhelmed by the Green
    Art In Green
    Green Art, Green Lives

    had enough yet? hehehe; there’s still time to conjure more farcical flights of fantasy… 🙂

  187. Kelly on August 8, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Wooden Tongues

    Shadowed Green

  188. Mark Iliff on August 8, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    The Cunning Man’s Pursuit

  189. strawberry curls on August 8, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Final try.

    In The Shadow Of The Stones

  190. Donna on August 8, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Green Dreams, Grey Deeds
    (or Black Deeds / or Black Acts – well you get the idea…)
    Dreaming in Green Shades
    Gracious Me! I’m Sure He Was Green
    Green Games
    The Great Game; Shades of Green (or Shades of Green: Playing the Great Game)
    Shadows in the Forest: Playing The Great Game
    Green Glimpses
    Green Lenses
    Ms. King, Ms. King; Are You Sure He Was Green

    (foolish grin… and ready to duck when you throw your computer at me… :))

    The Great Game: The Green Man
    (or The Green Man Plays the Great Game)
    If The Green Man Talked
    As Told By The Green Man
    Speech in the Green Woods
    Hidden Green in Plain View

    (Are you sure you want to give us until MONDAY to keep this up?!?!?!)

    O, Green Man
    The Peaceable Green
    The Green Man: Nemesis On Guard
    Nemesis: Guardian in Green

    (Hope you are “vacationing” away from this website for the weekend – battiness on this side of the page is enough don’t you think?)

    Jumping Jehoshaphat! Don’t Just Stand There, Mr. Green!
    If Green Were My Thing I’d Drink Deeply of the Woods
    Did You See What The Green Man Saw
    Seeing Red, Being Green
    Red Hands, Green Man

    (You do know that English now has 1,000,000 words listed in the dictionary…. we’ve barely begun to tap the possibilities… and so far repeated words is pretty astronomical…)

    The Green Avenger: The Great Game
    The Great Game: Green Revenge
    The Forest Apart
    Green Man: Forest Screen (or Forest Screams)

    (Wasn’t there a contest for recently “worst title”? Or was that “worst opening paragraph”?…)

    Deep Cover, Green Camouflage, Dark Stirrings
    Refuge in the Forest (or Woods)
    The Green Thing Makes Me Scream
    If Greatness Was Green
    The Greatness of the Green Man
    Sacrifices, Subterfuge and Sabotage: Art in the Great Game

    (LRK humming under her breath: “…just a few more hours.
    That’s all the time you’ve got. A few more hours…”)


  191. Maggie on August 8, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    The Greening of the Hive

    Greening can mean rejuvenation, contrasting the lost swarming hive in The Language of Bees with Holmes’ attempts to restore the hive and everything it symbolizes. Greening also allows for the significance of the Green Man’s influence for good or ill.

  192. Lenore on August 8, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    The Forest and the Trees
    Honey from the Rock

  193. Maki on August 9, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Had to contribute!

    • The Language of Birds
    (A sequel to The Language of Bees. ‘The Language of Birds’ in Norse mythology means a sign of great wisdom)

    • Blood and Deception

    • The shadow of Green Man

  194. Canzonett on August 9, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Mímir’s Well
    Green Desert
    The Green Chapel

  195. Joyce on August 9, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    I really did edit it down a bit — here’s the short list:

    The Tree Oracle (another of the Green Man’s traditional names)
    The Green Oracle
    Gathering the Hive Song
    The Honey Thieves
    Ear to the Hive
    The Message Keepers
    Circling the Hive
    The Green Jest
    In the Trees, Listeners

  196. Jessara on August 9, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Just when I thought I was done:
    A Trick of the Light
    I wonder whether Laurie will feature Goodman as a merry force of nature, or as an irresistible force for turmoil. In fact, he’s the complete opposite of Mycroft.

  197. Daemon Condie on August 9, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Green Gods
    The God of the Woods
    The God in the Woods
    The Family of Man
    The Glade
    Falling Leaves
    The Turning Leaves
    so far, that’s it……

  198. Ashley Crosby on August 9, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    I’ll give it a shot.

    To Catch a Spy in the Woods
    The Eyes in the Woods
    The Emerald Spy Theory
    Creeping Among Emeralds
    The Act of Viridescence
    A Viridescent Voice
    Wreathed in Ivy
    To Spy on Emerald Voices
    Viridescent Jack
    The Viridescent Nature of Barleycorn
    Outwitting the Beekeeper’s Brother
    It Takes Spies and Green Men
    Spying Over Emerald Woods
    Spying Over Jaded Woods
    The Voice in Fallen Leaves

    I’d call that plenty.

  199. Terri on August 9, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Pagan’s Passage
    The Path to Enlightenment

  200. Karen on August 9, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Good luck selecting from all these wonderfully creative entries!

    Many Kinds of Madness
    Swarming Into the Green
    Grey Eyes, Green Man

  201. Donna on August 9, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Absolute last – yes I mean it – the very last post in this section… (well almost the last…
    No! I mean it, the absolute last…

    Honeyed Conversations
    (or Honied) – depends on what spelling Russell likes…
    Honeyed Conversations, Hidden Doings (or Actions or Deeds or Spies or…)
    Forest Subtleties; Honeyed Conversations
    A Bite of Honey While Danger Lurks

    (Mmmmm; a moment while I become “un-sticky” (unstuck?) again… now there’s a thought!

    Sticky Subterfuge (or Circumstances or Ends or Spies or…)
    Sticky Situa… naaaahhh been done… Wickets? Well maybe Sticky Wickets; Sticky Ends
    Sticky Pitch: Forest Coverings

    (For goodness sakes… get off of “cricket” – that was Lord Peter, not Holmes… Holmes punted; and I don’t mean American Football either…) (Ok… then…)

    Rustling Forests; Storm Warnings
    Rustling Forest: Holmes Front (NOOOO!)
    The ABCs of Spying and Escaping (giggle)
    Red Herrings and Bees
    If the Five Red Herrings Spoke the Language of Bees (grin)
    Timetables, Tickets and Trickery in Green

    (…well there was a 1923 edition of an ABC in that trunk…)

    Dance Craze; Danger Haze
    Shimmy or Tango; It’s the Bees Knees
    Of Men, Maps and Motors
    Searching Men; Engaging Motors
    Bees in the Trees and What the Green Man Heard

    (I really am running out of… No! Wait…)

    Terror, Tangos and Travel
    Trains, Planes, Spies and Lies

    Ain’t We Got Fun? Yes! We have No Bananas: Using Popular Culture as Codes, Distractions and Misdirections / a Handbook for All Really Good Spies Between 1918 and 19…

    Green Cheese and the Green Man

    (Ok Ok, I just threw in the cheese but then Campbelltown had a great dairy that makes really good cheese and Clan Campbell – well they are (or certainly were) very fierce warriors – Campbells make up a large part of many present day Scottish Highland units – their clan Black Watch tartan is used even now by the Royal Regiment of Scotland and other military units…) If Russell is “hidden in the depths of Scotland” she may need a bit of Argyll protection – not to mention sustenance…)

    Chestnuts, Cheese and Chasing Illusions

    (or there is Wummle, a soft mould ripened cheese which is wrapped in a green rind, from Torphins up near Aberdeen…)

    Guises and Names: the Green Man and Royal Concerns
    Goodman; The Green Man Unveiled

    (Might be fun to read about the “King of Kippen” and his visitor the “Guidman o’ Ballengeich”… so just how did Robert Goodman get his name? – both names have strong royal connections… not to mention that the Windsors only had their new name since 1917…)

    Green Guises; Guessing Games
    Swarms, Gaggles and Green (I said “gaggles”, not “giggles”…)
    Grateful for the Green

    You’ve GOT to have enough ideas by now! Right?!?!?!? Pass the cheese boys and fill up my glass.; I can’t stand any more… besides, there are some very good suggestions in these comments that didn’t come from me…

    And heard in the distance… “So long, farewell
    Auf Weidersehen, goodnight. I hate to go and leave this pretty sight… yeah, yeah, I’m getting to the “champagne…”


  202. Doreen on August 9, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    I like the bit at the end of the Wiki page, where the Green Man in Sanskrit is also known as ‘The Face Of Glory.’ I also like ‘A Council Of Leaves’ and, depending on the timing of the story (I don’t remember when exactly ALOB ends) ‘May Day’ and ‘Lord of the May.’

  203. Carlina on August 9, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Apologies if this has been done:

    Woden’s Labyrinth

    I still fancy Art in the Blood…yeah yeah…call me a purist ;)..

    BTW, I love what you’ve done with Mycroft! If I think of something else, I’ll send it along.

  204. Poetic Justice on August 9, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    I tried to cover a few of the categories mentioned above. Hope these help you!

    Wild Hunt (which is sometimes said to be led by Woden)

    Silent Forest

    Balance of Nature

    Fraternal Blood (in case the relationship between Holmes and Mycroft is tested)

    Honeyed Thorns

    Grove of Lies

    Lunar Madness (tying into Damian’s pseudonym as The Addler, his moonscapes, Estelle’s name, and Brothers’s madness)

  205. Sara on August 9, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Here is my suggestions:

    House of Leaves

    The Old Ways

    The Stone Man

    The Demon and the Man

    Okay, I’m out for now.


  206. Ruby J Whatsherface on August 9, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Ladies and gentlemen, Donna has lost her mind. There will be no search party, and refreshments and dancing will be held in the ballroom at a completely unreasonable hour. Kindly update your schedules.

    Anyway, I thought of a few more, just for the sake of the sacred Last Minute, and any potential lameness and/or silliness will not kill anyone! Here they are:

    One Mossy Deathbed
    The Painted Corpse
    Breaking the Sky
    The Forest Made of Keys
    A Most Regrettable Lack of Scruples
    The Right Way to Undo Things

    Oh, and Setting Fire to Flappers, just for fun.

  207. Teresa on August 10, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Nothing but an old cave. [this is part of a line in the Green Knight tale; upgraded to modern English]

  208. Teresa on August 10, 2009 at 6:00 am

    Voice in the Dark.

  209. L. Inman on August 10, 2009 at 6:10 am

    All I’m able to think of is

    Voices in the Leaves

    — which doesn’t quite get at the “murmuring of innumerable bees” feel I’d want to try for, but still sounds mysterious.

  210. Joanne Ringle on August 10, 2009 at 6:19 am

    I like the following:

    I Spy Three Simple Eyes

    The Green Man and Ultraviolet Sight

    The Multifaceted Green Man

  211. Donna on August 10, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Ruby J Whatsherfac: You’re quite right… apologies…shuffles toward reformatory… wistfully listening to sound of loud party in distance… Sighs and picks up copy of LANG to reread… 🙂

  212. AHF on August 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I liked The Green Man. I don’t find anything yawn about it. Makes me think of The Third Man, The Thin Man, and The Green Knight.

  213. Julia on August 11, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    If this book ties up the story in The Language of Bees, it will probably have more about Damian Adler and his daughter, Estelle. Therefore I would suggest that this book be titled The Painter and His Daughter, although this does not seem to fit with what Ms. King has previously mentioned. Perhaps another reasonable place to look for a title would be in the passage of The Language of Bees where it discusses Woden and the Green Man.

  214. hooloovoo on August 11, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    (The )Woodwose

    (The )Foliate Head

    Either with or without the ‘the’s if that’s not obvious.

    Trees and Deities

    Men of Acanthus and Clover

    The Curious Incident of the Tree in the Forest (lol)

  215. Rachel Rogers on August 12, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Just a few ideas. Best of luck, Ms. King, naming a baby is a daunting task!

    The Cunning
    The Semantics of Trees
    The Canon of Spies
    Dominion of Trees

  216. Sara on August 12, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    More suggestions:

    The Good Man

    The Family

    The Spy Master

    For God and Country

    The Detective’s Brother

    The Woodsman (I think someone already suggested that).

    Okay, hope that helps….


  217. Sara on August 12, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Oh…and if it is a lead on from the Language of Bees…how about the Language of Leaves 🙂


  218. Ray on August 13, 2009 at 4:02 am

    Cultivating Designs
    A Cultivating Design
    A Culture of Intrigue

  219. Sara on August 13, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    AAAH! There’s another Sara?!?!? We must talk!

  220. Gail on August 15, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Ok here are my contributions

    A Time of Leaves
    A Time of Greening
    The Life of Leaves
    The Underside of Leaves
    Good Traveling
    Resurrection Path
    Cedars in the Wilderness (this whole thing just seemed to cry out for something Biblical – this is from Isaiah 41:19 in the TANAKH since Russell is Jewish.)

    I can’t wait to hear what you pick and to read the book!

  221. Antonia on August 17, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    This should be fun 🙂 Here are my ideas:

    Green Speech
    Green Speaking
    (The) Tangled Wood

    I may come up with more later. Do you know yet what part of 2010 it’ll be coming out in?

  222. CapallGlas on August 24, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    So, I’ve been in the studio all day, and colorful images of trees and leaves have permeated my most recent works.

    Vermilion Leaves
    Emerald Paths
    Green Invitation
    Grey Shadowed Paths
    A Dark and Shadowed Path
    Oak Shadows

    Just an evening thought or two over tea and honey.


  223. nathalie on August 27, 2009 at 2:35 am

    Greenman makes me think of greenmantle by John buchan…or of course of the old greenman that is so fashionable right now with new age.
    What about … The voice of the forest

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