A Russell Companion!

Due May 1: The Mary Russell (e-)Companion: all manner of information and tidbits concerning Miss Russell’s Memoirs, from What does their house look like? to What’s a copper beech?  Yes, there’s even a chapter on her sex life.MR Companion cover


The book page is here.

And I will over to you my humble and immediate apologies that this is exclusively an ebook.  I shall merely point out that if a bajillion people buy the thing, a hard version will surely follow.  So it’s all up to you.


  1. Matt on March 13, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Not one of my fellow volunteers at our public library just north of the Golden Gate Bridge reads ebooks. Each of them has been a fan of yours since your first book. We are disappointed, especially because you need a bajillion ebook sales to bring us a hardcopy.

    • C Beth Davidson on March 13, 2014 at 11:10 am

      It is actually the book publishers doing this to authors. The create one digital copy, sell it for regular hard copy prices, and have made extreme profits. Further, digital copies cannot be transferred, so it is less ownership than the hardcover.

      • Matt on March 13, 2014 at 11:41 am

        Gee, thanks c beth. I well know the publishing game. I also know that powerful and extremely popular authors can tell their publisher to sell hardcovers. Actually, even lesser authors can and do just that.

    • CMS on March 16, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      I will be one of the bajillion! Grin.

  2. Argyll Dorn on March 13, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Will this be available on Nook also? What is the square blue symbol on the top left of your email? Does it lead to more information or a new website? If so, how does one access it? Thank you. I just finished The God of the Hive last night and believe it to be your best thus far!

  3. Laurie King on March 13, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Yes, it will be available for Nooks. As for the blue box, I haven’t the faintest.
    Anyone out there know?

    • SilverBaba on March 13, 2014 at 11:45 am

      The blue symbol appears to be a date and time stamp. Hover your mouse over it and you can read it.

      • Laurie King on March 13, 2014 at 2:57 pm

        The mark sounds like something to do with WordPress and the subscription. Nothing important I’d say.

  4. Kelly Grondin on March 13, 2014 at 11:55 am

    This is so frustrating. I worked in publishing, so I know how these things develop. But as a firm print book user, I dig my heels in even more when they try to “coerce” me with exclusive e-content. And for book series like this that also appeal to my mom’s 70+ demographic, this is ludicrous.

    • Merrily on March 13, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      I will confess that I love my Kindle and now probably buy more books in e-form than otherwise, in part because of available shelf space. But I still buy print books, also, especially for authors I collect (like Laurie, whose books I buy in print, digital, paperback and audio!), and in the case of this particular book, it’s just so manifestly clear that it would be a memorable “keepsake” and gift book, were it available in print. Hopefully Random House will figure that out at some point.

  5. Merrily on March 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    This is very exciting and I love the cover, which is both elegant and evocative of the period. However, we need to get your publisher some good glasses – they ought to know that any true Russell fan is going to have to have this book in multiple formats! And it has the look of not only a beautiful book but a useful one. Seems a waste to have it only in electronic form.
    Oh well, we will just collectively have to purchase enough copies of this to make the publisher see the light!
    Looking forward to seeing you at LLC!

  6. Jimmie Lindsey on March 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I have read all 12 & LOVED them! Would love to have the new issue
    but even though my hubby bought me a Nook when
    they first came to the market. Read 1 book
    on it. I hated it. Never used again.
    Joke, books are not that much cheaper, restrictions
    on loaning them is ridiculous (my friends
    would not buy one) & no way to recapture
    any of your book investment if you choose.
    I prefer to wait till they come out in paperback
    if need be. Hope authors don’t bend under
    the pressure of publishers. They will loose
    my $$, if that is important. I don’t think Mary
    Russell would approve.

  7. Laurie King on March 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Friends, just to make this clear: there is no “they” here with the ebook. This is a project I am doing, with the help of various members of my beloved Team LRK. Because Kindle and Nook are user-friendly when it comes to feeding in a manuscript and having it magically converted into a book, Kindle and Nook are where we are starting. It’s a LOT more work to configure a manuscript as a print-on-demand work: very fiddly, often maddening, always time-consuming work, so for the moment, we’re putting that off.
    At present, my publishers aren’t interested in doing an actual hard copy edition. Personally, I agree with them: the idea is, we will revisit the possibility in five years, at the 25th anniversary, when there are a few more books in the series to work with.
    IF, however, this e-edition of the Companion proves wildly, madly popular, I will go back to my publishers and suggest that they might want to re-think a print edition sooner than 2019. That is what I meant by a bajillion sales: numbers will catch their attention and nudge them towards an earlier project.
    To reiterate: this Companion is all my work, along with friends-and-relations. There is no pressure from publishers, since I am the publisher here. I do not have a staff of hundreds; I have other books to write; I’m doing the Companion out of love for Russell, and for her fans.
    We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

    • Merrily on March 13, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      Oh, okay, if you say so, Laurie…but I’m still going to work to get a Bajillion copies sold!

    • Karen McCarthy on March 13, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks for explaining, Laurie. I understand your choice and plan, but I’m still sad. AND I will recommend that all my ebook-reading friends buy it so the bajillion will happen!

      • Matteo on March 16, 2014 at 8:59 pm

        Do any of you espousing the virtues of ebook crap ever walk into a bookstore like green apple in my little hometown of SF?

        • Laurie King on March 19, 2014 at 6:47 am

          I think you’d find most of us here walk into bookstores regularly, and spend money there. Certainly I make regular attempts to remind people of the importance of the Indies. But for some projects, “ebook crap” is the only way to bring it to the light of day. Someone like me hasn’t the time or the money to self-publish a hard-cover book, do its promotion, and arrange for distribution in small bookstores and large. Personally, I agree that a ebook is a lesser entity, but they have their own use, and their own particular beauty.

          • Merrily on March 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

            Elegantly said, Laurie, as usual.
            Personally should you start publishing stories on the backs of cereal boxes, I shall immediately take up that brand of cereal and start reading…

        • Merrily on March 19, 2014 at 8:14 am

          Of course, Matteo. And some of us have even spent our lives as librarians. I have more books at home than I can shelve. I love books, but I love books because I love reading, and there is nothing like carrying several hundred of them in your purse or pocket, as I do now with my Kindle.
          And I still love a good independent book store.
          We are all “people of the book.”

  8. Paige on March 13, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Really. Want.This.In. My. Hands. Just greedy that way! 🙂

  9. Kathy Reel on March 13, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Woohoo! I’ll definitely be buying a copy. So excited about this great resource for the Mary Russell books. I’ve loved them all and one day I will read them all again. Thanks, Laurie, for this wonderful gift to your readers. When can we order it?

    Kathy B. Reel

  10. MaryJane Danyluk on March 14, 2014 at 4:04 am

    Dear Laurie,
    I love the idea of both/all forms of your stories. I have hard copies of everything which is rare for me but I like the e-books, too. It was a little different to get used to but e-books are easier to read if you have rheumatoid arthritis. I think there are other conditions as well for which holding a book is work.
    Thank you for the ‘Companion’. It is going to be fun.

  11. DOC Williams on March 16, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Laurie — Thank you for clarifying the publication issue. I am a book-in-hand, book-in-Kindle, hardback library loan, read anyway I can get it kinda reader. I am from the older end of the “baby boom” yet have still enthusiastiy embraced technology as a means of connecting with others and delivering all information and pleasure reading I crave.

    I will take my Laurie King (and other excellent authors I follow) any way I can aquire them. It’s all about the reading! I applaude you for being an independent publisher!

    • Merrily on March 16, 2014 at 9:05 am

      Doc, I am so with you. As a librarian I have been saying for years that we shouldn’t be fearing that technology would “destroy books.” Reading is the thing – and if anything, television and video games have probably been a greater threat to that than anything else!
      Like you, I’m a reading omnivore – let’s see, I read print books, on my Kindle, and on my Ipad.
      And listen to audio books in the car.
      Laurie, by the way, is great on all of them…

    • Meredith Taylor on March 17, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Right with you as well. I entirely understand the love of book in hand. But I’ll read ’em in all the formats known. For travel, ebooks are IT. And this sounds great! Tell us, is the chapter on R’s sex life one line: “none of your business”? ;D

  12. Chris on March 18, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I shall dust off the Kindle for this one – will it be on sale on .co.uk?


  13. Diane on March 19, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    I keep looking for a little clicky button where I can hand over my credit card number and order my copy. Amazon seems to know nothing about it. As much as I love hard copies of things, having it magically appear on my Kindle is lovely.


    • Laurie King on March 20, 2014 at 6:33 am

      Team LRK hasn’t given Amazon the finished version yet, so it won’t allow us to post it for pre-purchase. Sensible of them, I suppose…

      • Diane on March 20, 2014 at 5:35 pm

        That would explain things. Thanks for the clarification….now we just need to wrinkle time so you can get it done while we are busy reading.

  14. Pamela Gibson on March 30, 2014 at 8:54 am

    I volunteer at a library, and see users of all media. The one thing they have in common is that they love to read. Whether I prefer print, audio or e-books depends on where I am and what I’m doing. I read, therefore I am. Is it May yet? How about now?

  15. scott tucker on April 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    scott tucker

    A Russell Companion!

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