How about a Throwback Thursday?

Going through some files the other day, I came across a few unexpected voices from the past—so I thought, hey kids, let’s have a couple of Throwback Thursdays here on Mutterings!  So, how about some old covers that didn’t quite make it into the real world?

I’ve talked before about the original proposed cover of Beekeeper–Beekeeper original

and you may remember the first hardback cover of A Grave Talent–Unknownbut before Bantam did their first paperback–


they tried this:GT scan

How would that cover work for you?


  1. Fran Toler on August 14, 2014 at 6:41 am

    How much control/input into the design of a book cover? As an aspiring novelist, I have been curious about that. A professional colleague of mine (13 books published) indicated that the writer has to be vigilant.

    • Laurie King on August 20, 2014 at 7:21 am

      Fran, “vigilant” is a good description. What usually happens is, I make some suggestions that the art department totally ignores, which is generally for the better. They then send me the proposed cover, in which I find things that need changing, and by and large they go along with my suggestions. I’ve had a couple of covers I really had to object to, and usually they made those go away. However, all this applies only to US and UK covers–the rest of the world just does their thing and when I see it, I have to look inside to figure out what the book is…

  2. Skip Collinge on August 14, 2014 at 7:53 am

    I am a gigantic Holmes fan ( and now just as gigantic a Laurie fan) so it was really the title that caught me and I would have bought the book no matter what the cover was about. I was hooked after reading the liner notes as it was such an interesting proposition and a new take on Holmes.

    That being said, while the revised cover was very clever, I doubt I would have picked up the book off the shelf based on the cover alone. “The segregation of the Queen” had to be a Holmsean reference, and that was the trigger that made my hand go to the book and gave me the start of hundreds of hours of pleasure.

  3. Merrily Taylor on August 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    I think the original BEEK cover with Holmes is a bit too ordinary, although of course I would have bought it! Can’t say I find the strange daisy on “A Grave Talent” appealing; I guess I would wonder if it had to do with a maniacal florist, or something!

  4. Meredith Taylor on August 16, 2014 at 12:16 am

    I have heard from reputable sources that writers talk not of plot points but of covers. (Also which deductions will not cause the IRS to choke.)

    All of these remind me why I like the recent ones so much. I am the proud owner of a copy of the fluorescent-leaf plus angel version of A Grave Talent. Any relationship to the story perhaps coincidental!

  5. Chris on August 16, 2014 at 3:11 am

    I have to say that my favourite cover of TBK (prior to Allison & Busby’s) was the Collins Crime Club hardback edition. Back in the day (really, was this the 90s??) it was the cover of the CCC edition of With Child that first caught my eye and the rest is now history!


  6. Joanne on August 20, 2014 at 5:59 am

    The original Beekeeper’s cover would certainly have caught my eye but truly, I prefer the one I first read. I think it was from St. Martin’s and it was very plain. I found it on the ”New” shelf in the library. All I saw was the spine which had a very old-fashioned look to it. Rather Victorian or Edwardian, perhaps. Something in my head said, ”Sherlock Holmes retired to keep bees…” I lifted it off the shelf and have always thought how grateful I am that we went to the library that day. Thank you, Laurie, for years of pleasure.

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