LRK, Sherlockian?

When I first started writing the Russell books, I took great care to assert that these were not Sherlock Holmes stories, that they were about Mary Russell, with Holmes a supporting actor. Which they are, clearly.

The original proposed cover for Beekeeper's Apprentice.

The original proposed (and rejected) cover for The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.


As I’ve mellowed, I have become more interested in the character of Holmes, curious about how this man with the brilliant mind and cold heart would be changed by his apprentice-turned-partner. I went so far as to write an actual Holmes pastiche, inserting it into the midst of a Martinelli novel (The Art of Detection.) And over the years, I’ve written a number of academic essays on The Gent With the Pipe, including “Watson’s War Wound,” “A Holmes Chronology,” and an introduction to The Hound of the Baskervilles (collected in Laurie R. King’s Sherlock Holmes—not to be mistaken for anyone else’s Holmes.)

Still, it’s always a bit of a thrill to be taken (or, mistaken?) for a Holmes expert. Two such thrills came up recently. First, I shall speak to the assembled masses, or however many of them manage to crawl from their beds for a Sunday morning panel, at Bay Area Sherlock:


No, I don’t think Benedict Cumberbatch is coming, although there will be cosplay lookalikes.


And two, “I” am being taught in the course on Sherlock Holmes at Politics and Prose in DC this fall, when Beekeeper’s Apprentice joins Michael Chabon’s Final Solution and Anthony Horowitz’s House of Silk in what promises to be a fascinating discussion of, Interpretations of Sherlock Holmes II, beginning September 8.holmes

If anyone joins in at either of these, do let me know how it went!


  1. Merrily Taylor on July 30, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Laurie, well of course you are a Sherlock Holmes expert! You might recall that five or six years ago, you (that is, BEEK) were also on the syllabus at Washington and Lee University, for a freshman English seminar on Sherlock Holmes and his descendants, so to speak. I sat in on the course and found myself the resident expert on Kanon….(-:
    It was great!

  2. The Bold Flying Officer on July 31, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Your reference to Benedict Cumberbatch intrigues me, Laurie. Do you have an opinion of the BBC’s retelling of the stories in the present day?

    Mike aka TBFO

  3. Libby Dodd on July 31, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Well done and well deserved.

  4. Tim H. on July 31, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Most impressive and well deserved.

  5. Catharina on August 4, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Congratulations, Laurie, on your induction! But, because I am a writer, and editor, and teacher, I can’t help myself… Seriously? The Baker Street Irregulars have Buy-Laws? What laws are they trying to buy? When they call themselves Irregular, I did not realize they were referring to their use of homophones. Please tell me I am just misreading the fuzzy photo.

    • Laurie King on August 4, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Catharina, no doubt this refers to the BSI’s origins as a drinking society: who is buying this round?

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