Bring on the trumpets: it’s 2014!

Having given a review of 2013 yesterday, you may ask me, what plans does LRK have for 2014?  Not that I do Resolutions, but there’s a lot on my agenda, and yet more things crowding into the back of my mind.

Although before we do that, may I be the first to issue many happy returns of the day to Mary Russell, on her 114th birthday? Hip hip, hoorah, for Ms Russell!


(From here.)

First off: sorry, but as I said, there won’t be a new Laurie King novel in 2014.  I’m in the process of moving my pub date out of the very crowded month of September and back into the spring, when the poor Indie bookstores aren’t run ragged and readers aren’t completely distracted by the start of a new school year.  Also: weather, for those of us who like to tour.  I won’t reach the April pub date until the 2016 book, but they’ve given me a halfway point, for the long-awaited story of Russell in Japan, of February 17, 2015.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to disappear from your life in 2014: oh no.  Here’s what I know is going on so far:

Next week, Picador will issue their gorgeous editions of the first three Martinelli novels.  Aren’t Kate’s new jackets handsome indeed?

A Grave Talent

 To Play the FoolWith Child Chosen

And February marks Mary Russell’s 20th anniversary!  That’s right, it’s twenty years ago since The Beekeeper’s Apprentice edged shyly into the world, with a first edition of some 3000 copies (now worth a lot more than it did in 1994!)  Do you remember the cover?Beekeeper original

But, do you also remember the cover they originally intended to condemn it to wear?


Can you imagine what Miss Russell would have to say about that? The mere shadow of a  schoolgirl, with a bow in her hair, gazing up at the Big Manly Detective?  Shudder.  (You can review some of the book’s other covers at the bottom of this page.)

This summer, Picador will bring forth a brand new hardback 20th anniversary edition of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, with a new introduction by yours truly and a design based on their award-winning Adam Auerbach/Henry Yee trade paperback (here) except in what is called “paper over board” (that is, without a removable dust jacket.)  I’m so excited about this, not only because it’s going to be beautiful, but because Beekeeper hasn’t been available in hardback for a long time.  Libraries all over will be able to restore their LRK collection (and, I’ll be at the ALA conference to introduce it!) , and readers able to replace their tattered paperback with a book they can re-read dozens of times.cover-beekeeper

And, because it’s her 20th, you can expect to see a fair amount of Mary Russell—including a new, revised, expanded, all bells-and-whistles

Mary Russell e-Companion

(with Fun Things Aplenty!)

The Fun Things include annotated chapters of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, revisions of a number of things we’ve done over the years, and a number of new and original essays and stories.  Watch for it later in the spring (and if you’re not signed up for the newsletter, you might want to do that now, so as not to miss anything.)  I do know that it will be an ebook, to go with our other TeamLRK efforts, here.

Meanwhile, over in England, new editions of the missing Russells are finally on their way. A Letter of Mary and A Monstrous Regiment of Women will be out shortly, with The Moor and Justice Hall soon after.  Their book page is here.

Later in the year—we’re hoping before its end—Les Klinger and I will be co-editing a new collection of Holmes-inspired stories: In the Company of Sherlock Holmes.  The list of contributors is extraordinary, gob-smacking, just plain died-and-gone-to-book-heaven amazing.  Sara Paretsky, on Holmes?  Gahan Wilson?   Larry Niven and Harlan Ellison and Michael Connelly and Lev Grossman and…?  Yep.  You’ll want a copy for absolutely everyone on your Christmas list.

And around that time, we’ll also start our annual torture-the-readers ritual of throwing out hints and tastes of the new book, with a Pinterest page, excerpts from the story, cover art, contests, giveaways, all that stuff that leave you panting for more.  But hey, why should we wait until then?

The title of the next Russell will be—

(announced in the newsletter, next week…)








Let the speculation begin!


  1. Kathryn on January 2, 2014 at 6:46 am

    I can’t believe it has been 20 years since I met Mary Russell. I know that cover very well because it is in my bookcase, and had been read many times. Can’t wait to read the new title, and will be so happy to read the new book!

  2. Meredith on January 2, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Twenty years! I fell in love with Russell and Holmes somewhere in the second chapter and have been reading the series ever since. I had previously encountered Kate Martinelli and so was already a LRK fan. Thank you Laurie, for all the great books. (I’m a big fan of the stand alones and not quite stand alones, too.)

    Happy anniversary!

  3. Kathy Reel on January 2, 2014 at 9:14 am

    A very happy birthday indeed to Mary! 114 and still going strong! I was interested to see the 1st edition cover, Laurie. I bought my treasured 2nd edition, which you beautifully signed, at Bouchercon, and it has the same cover. So, while I don’t have a coveted 1st edition, at least I have the same cover. So cool. It will always be one of my most precious books. Thank you for twenty wonderful years of Russell and Holmes. I sure wish I could attend the 2014 Bouchercon, but I will catch you and the FOLs at the 2015 one in Raleigh.

    In the Company of Sherlock Holmes sounds like an amazing book, and I will put it on my to-buy and to-read list immediately. I must add that I simplly love your use of the term “gob-smacking.” It’s such an energetic, fun phrase. It matches the twinkle that you always seem to have in your eyes that says, “there will be adventure ahead.”

    So, here’s wishing you and yours a fantastic 2014, Laurie! Thinking fondly of you and the beautiful, gracious Zoe.

    Kathy Reel

  4. Doug Sweet on January 2, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Thank you for so many years of enjoyable reading, not just with Russell and Holmes, but in Folly and Touchstone and the Martinelli series. I’ll presume to say hello on behalf of my friend, Linwood.

    One question has nagged at me for years: why hasn’t the Russell series become what would surely be a knockout HBO or PBS series?

    Best in 2014. Impatient to see what happens in February 2015.

    Doug Sweet

  5. TheMadLibrarian on January 2, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Sadly, I suspect that with all the other Sherlockian series going on (Sherlock, Elementary,, even something as adaptable as the Russell/Holmes works would get short shrift, if not pegged as a wannabe. We don’t want it labeled as trying to hop on the bandwagon with all the other acclaimed series, but as excellent on its own merits. By the way, I’ve been wondering who would be a good casting choice as Mary Russell in Beekeeper’s Apprentice — it would have to be a relatively young looking actress, not conventionally pretty, but able to hold her own against a Sherlock.

  6. Laraine on January 2, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Laurie, I just finished your superb “Bones of Paris”, with great pleasure (and more than a few lovely moments of, ‘oh, my, I will just put this down for a moment before I discover what this new development means!). Thanks so much for you many years of writing so far: I am looking forward to the next, but I certainly see the wisdom of shifting your publication schedule to allow a bit more focus and comfort in travels. Have a wonderful 2014. I’m working on my dissertation, so don’t comment often, but I do follow along on the blog. Thank you.

  7. Margaret Wood on January 2, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Russel and Holmes are so fixed in my mind already that I would not want to watch a TV version. What I would LOVE is a Kate Martinelli et al series on the small screen. I think we’re ready for it. (And I am a rather prim 90 year old!)

  8. Samantha Tyler on January 3, 2014 at 12:44 am

    Sherlock Holmes has been my friend since I was in 10. I discovered Laurie R. Kings books when I was 12. I happen to be almost 25 now. The wonderful realization that these characters have been with me the majority of my life definitely changes my dull day to one of wonder and reading. Thank you.

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