Talking Dreaming Spies

For those of you who didn’t get a chance to see one of my Dreaming Spies tour stops, the good folks at Anderson’s Books in Naperville, IL have posted a nice interview about writing the book, the Bodleian library, being inducted into the Baker Street Irregulars, Russell’s Twittering, and writing Sherlockian erotica, all over on your YouTubes:


  1. Kirk Hardcastle on March 25, 2015 at 8:14 am


    I am currently working on a novel titled The Suicide of Sherlock Holmes, so imagine my surprise when I read the title of your next Mary Russell book! I’ve been a Russell devotee since the beginning, and have moved on to your other books and e-books. Loved your Naperville interview. Just for fun, here are a couple snippets from my novel, exploring Holmes’ mind:

    Holmes on thinking:

    “How on God’s earth did you ever figure that out?” Watson exclaimed, mouth agape.

    “Stop it, Watson. Just stop it, man! One doesn’t ‘figure’ things out. Thinking is not calculating, or solving a problem. A child could have arrived at the same conclusion! Thinking is not the domain of the higher mind. Every mind has the ability to combine pieces of information, all the myriad shreds and bits and chains of data. All that is observable or perceivable. The mind interprets these things, it finds relationships, it synthesizes. It combines and intertwines. It connects and compares and then rotates it all and does it again, and again, and again. This happens without one’s manipulation or interference — if one will just let the mind execute its designed function. The product of this work is deduction, and conclusion. There is no mystery in thinking on a higher order, Watson. One merely must discipline one’s mind, quell the temptation to let one’s thoughts lose focus or stray in the slightest. The mind is then free to do its extraordinary, miraculous work. This is altogether natural. One merely must get out of the mind’s way.”

    Holmes on justice, crime and mercy:

    “Why is it,” Watson asked, “that you are so fervent in devoting your mind to the pursuit of justice, to eliminating the criminal element?”

    Holmes replied, tapping the ashes from his pipe into the heavy brass bowl on the side table. “Because quieting the mind enough to pursue evil thoughts to their natural conclusion, it becomes obvious that wrongdoing is not just wrong when it comes home to roost, when one gets caught. Bad deeds inherently can only play out in undesirable ways — for those committing them as well as for the victims of such acts. There is no such thing as ‘getting away with it.’”

    Watson explored the idea for a moment, and then asked the contrasting question: “Well then, if every mind is capable of drawing the same conclusions, why ever do people commit crimes — acts that can only bring them harm in the end?”

    Holmes allowed a hint of a smile to touch his lips, a sad, resigned smile. “Sometimes a part of the mind breaks, or bends, or merely snuffs out like a spent candle. It develops a dark space beyond which light and reason cannot reach. This darkness is an illness, a blight on the mind’s ability to find the inevitable conclusion. So the mind concludes inappropriately, and foul acts lead the afflicted one astray. I do not wish to eviscerate crime, Watson. I am compelled, driven by a desire to help those who are so broken.”

  2. Beverly Summers on March 25, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    This interview is a blissful fix for the unabashed Russell & Holmes addict!

  3. Mary Ann Martina on March 26, 2015 at 8:35 am

    This was a delight. I’ve read all of Laurie’s books, most of them several times, but I’ve never seen an interview. She is every bit as engaging as I would have expected-and funny. It was great!

  4. Cathy Hendrickson on March 26, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    But of course Sherlock loves Mary! In “The Moor”, Sherlock’s godfather remarks on how it’s obvious Sherlock is in love with Mary.

  5. The Bold Flying Officer on March 30, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Splendid interview Laurie. How interesting to hear the author’s voice and observations … especially that you are not an “outliner”. Your fingers tell the story as they hit the keyboard – making it up as you go along.
    I thoroughly enjoyed “Dreaming Spies” and liked the references to Falstaff and Prince Hal (Henry V in waiting) – look out for the BBC quartet covering Richard II, Henry IV pts 1 + 2 and Henry V – well worth the watching.
    Keep scribing my dear.
    Mike – TBFO

Leave a Comment