Beekeeper, renewed!

Today we’re celebrating twenty years of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, when Mary Russell was introduced to the world and her “author” (or—editor?) Laurie R. King encountered the joys and madness of a fan community.  Yes, I’m talking about you guys.

Today also marks the sale date for the gorgeous new Picador hardback:

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, Twentieth Anniversary Edition:

Beekeeper's Apprent#11FA9AD

There’s a fresh new LRK foreword, a fresh correction of a few stray typos, and a fresh new cover that makes you just want to run your hand all up and down it for a while.

(…and isn’t this cover a whole lot better than the original proposed one the pair nearly got saddled with?

Early beekeeper coverOh, shudder!  There’s other cover art here from Beekeeper’s history, here.)

But this one is new!  It’s shiny!  It’s so very cool! This is a book to give your teenagers, to suggest to your library, to use as bathtub reading—replacing that tattered and dangerously swollen paperback edition you’ve had for fifteen years, perhaps.  (The 20th Anniversary edition is also available in a paperback, if you prefer, but where’s the fun in that?)

If you’d like a signed copy, you can order one through Bookshop Santa Cruz, here.

And through Poisoned Pen Bookstore, here.

Or unsigned through:



Barnes & Noble

Oh, a whole new era for lovers of Russell & Holmes.  Thank you, Picador books.  And thank you, readers, for making Picador believe that enough people might like a hardback version to justify a brand new edition, twenty years on.



  1. Merrily Taylor on May 27, 2014 at 5:31 am

    It’s UPS’ing itself to me as we speak, Laurie, can’t wait. I still fondly remember the first time I read BEEK, and how I was joking to friends that I planned to lie down by the bookstore door until the sequel was published and I could get my hands on it. Thus began many years of “joy and madness.”

    May all enjoy this wonderful book anew, and may more people find and love it for the first time!

    And thanks to you for creating this world for us –

  2. Carol Rogers on May 27, 2014 at 6:49 am

    I loved this book from the first chapter. I have read and purchased everything and I love having the books, even though I cannot read many of them because I need large print. Thank goodness for Kindle.

  3. Laraine on May 27, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Warmest congratulations, Laurie! You created this milestone, by your diligent, precise, determined exploration of this brilliant pairing way back at the beginning. Thank you.

  4. Carly on May 27, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Does this mean those copies ordered through Bookshop Santa Cruz will finally be signed and shipped?! Thanks so much for bringing Mary to us all those years ago. It wasn’t quite 20 years ago for me, but will 12 do?

  5. Libby Waterford on May 27, 2014 at 8:57 am

    All I can say about the early cover is yikes!
    The new edition is beautiful. I reread Beekeeper’s Apprentice at least once a year. Can’t wait to pick up a fresh copy, as mine are all falling apart.

  6. Kathy Reel on May 27, 2014 at 9:18 am

    This book is so special to me, Laurie. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to buy the anniversary copy, and, of course, the hardback is the way to go. It will be a great addition to the 2nd edition copy I bought at Bouchercon last fall. You continue to be such an important part of my reading life, and meeting and becoming one of the Bees at Bouchercon has further enriched my life to reading and beyond. You are the link, Laurie, to so much good.

  7. Heather on May 27, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Hey, I didn’t see my cover – apparently I have a first edition, 10th printing? of the hard back. Copyright page says First Edition: February 1994 with the numbers 10 through 1 in descending order beneath it. The jacket says the jacket was designed by Henry Sene Yee and the jacket illustration (of Mary) by Alan D. Dingman.

    My copy is in pretty good condition, considering I’ve read it at least a half dozen times.

    Cheers on the 20th anniversary!

  8. Alice on May 27, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I’ve only been involved in the world of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes since 2005 but what a huge part of my life they have become. I cherish the friendships I’ve found through these books, not the least of which is the friendship I’ve been had with you, Laurie.

    “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice” has given birth to so many on-line friendships and communities. Of course as the co-moderator of Letters_Of_Mary Yahoo group, I think it is the best, but then I’m a wee bit prejudice.

    Congratulations on this 20th Anniversary release of the book that started it all.


  9. Lola Fiur on May 27, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I can’t get the original out of my head, now you’ve brought it back. Along with a silly song of the pub timem …”and then along came Mary…”

    love the cover, best, Lola

  10. Meredith Taylor on May 29, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    My beloved Vroman’s had a little trouble finding the hardbacks, but here it is!

    And, Heather, you have a so-called first/first: take very good care of it, especially the cover, and get Laurie to sign it! It’s a grand thing!

    best to all/Meredith

  11. Meredith Taylor on May 29, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    My beloved Vroman’s had a little trouble finding the hardback copies, but now it’s here!

    Heather: you have a so-called first/first edition. Take very good care of it and especially the cover, and get Laurie to sign it. It’s a grand thing!

    best to all//Meredith

Leave a Comment