Some Murder-ous love from Kirkus

A book’s first review is always cause for nerves.  Do they like it?  Did they understand what I was trying to do–which means, did I do it right?22-199x300

The first one for The Murder of Mary Russell is gorgeous, thank you very much.  And because Kirkus reviewers tend to give a lot of the plot away, I’ve trimmed away the spoilers, so you can read this without fear of losing the chance of surprise.

Here you go, and thank you, Kirkus, for your starred review–whee!

King forswears the foreign intrigue that’s increasingly dominated her Sherlock-ian pastiches (Dreaming Spies, 2015, etc.) to return to the great man’s roots, which are surprisingly intertwined with those of his longtime landlady.

…King flashes back a generation, using a few suggestions from the Conan Doyle story “The Adventure of the Gloria Scott” to spin out the adventures of [Clara] Hudson…. and the fateful moment when her path crosses that of the young Sherlock Holmes….

When the story finally returns to the present, both Holmes and Russell will have a chance to shine; in fact, the case achieves a rare balance between Holmes, Russell, and the mystery they’ve been set. The real star, however, is Clarissa Hudson, whose touching, remarkable, and wholly absorbing life story offers not only a high point in King’s long-running series, but a compelling demonstration of the ways inventive writers can continue to breathe new life into the Holmes-ian mythology.

Pre-order a signed copy from Bookshop Santa Cruz or Poisoned Pen Books
Unsigned or ebook at BookshopB&N/Nook or Amazon/Kindle.


  1. Christine Z. on January 16, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Oh, I can’t wait to read this book!!
    When will the audio (CD) version be available? My 89 year old mother is hooked, but can’t see well enough to ready anymore. We have all the Russell & Holmes books on audio cd for her to listen to.
    I have never been so addicted to a series of books as I am with these.
    A captivated fan.

  2. Merrily Taylor on January 16, 2016 at 7:01 am

    And having had the pleasure of reading an ARC, I can truthfully say, EVERY WORD IS TRUE.

  3. Linda on January 16, 2016 at 7:40 am

    On a day of blacks and grays relieved only by the falling snow and the ice covered ground, what a harbinger of spring. Forty plus years of trusting Kirkus reviews, and an admittedly shorter stretch of fervently believing in Mary Russell and Laurie King, means I am certain that there is light at the end of winter’s tunnel. Thanks for sharing the good tidings!

  4. Suzie on January 16, 2016 at 9:46 am

    I am now nearly halfway through “Dreaming Spies” — having failed so far in my attempts to make myself read slower! Once again I am agog at LRK’s ability to create characters who are reminders that the people of the past were neither quaint nor more simple than ourselves, yet without losing how they actually might have been different from us.

    Plus — funny! moving! diabolically clever! and always surprising! So glad another is coming soon.

    • Laurie King on January 16, 2016 at 9:49 am

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying it, and isn’t it great to know the next one is only a few months away?

  5. Deborah on January 16, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I am so grateful to my cousin Jill for recommending The Bee Keepers Apprentice so many years ago. I have enjoyed the stories so much that I have the written and audio books. I seem to see things differently when someone else reads the story versus my reading to myself. This next addition to Ms. Russell’s list of adventures sounds exciting. Can’t wait!

    • Laurie King on January 16, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks to Jill! And I’m glad you’re enjoying them.

  6. Diane Hendricksen on January 16, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Tantalizing! Thank you for editing out the spoilers. Still an intriguing review making me more anticipatory concerning the book. I do so enjoy this series, and look forward eagerly to each new adventure.

  7. Laura Stratton on January 16, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    I just recommended “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice” to a local independent bookseller that sells both Youth and Young Adult /Teen books at farner’s markets. I sang Mary Russell’s praises .
    I can’t wait for the new book and am resisting looking up the full Kirkus review….. Oh Drats I’ll just wait until April. It’s a good reason to endure the Gray winter days.

  8. Janis Kiehl Harrison on January 16, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I’m beginning to gnaw on my recipe cards, waiting SO DARN LONG for this. (I’m currently transcribing some old family recipes found in a moldering “household accounts book” my grandmother kept.) I’m looking forward to spring, and this book is one of the reasons.

  9. Nora on January 16, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    While I’ve enjoyed all the LRK’s books, particularly love the ones closer to home. Although my favorite is still “Locked Rooms” because of the beautiful and scary flashback to Russell’s family – once started, I couldn’t put it down! Am tempted to reread the “Gloria Scott” after having it mentioned in the review! Not surprised at all that Kirkus gave her newest book glowing marks! Can’t wait!

  10. Helen Martin on January 16, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Remember you can always go back to the beginning and read through the series again. I do that every time there’s a new book. It’s interesting that the reviewer said “return to the present” which indicates either a total acceptance of Mary’s universe or a peculiar sense of present time. Waiting patiently.

  11. Wendy martin on January 17, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Not only have I reread and listened over and over, I have gone back to the specifically relevant Holmes titles (and irrelevant), to put those into the context of the Russell/Holmes saga, to get the timeline in order. Also to try to find the origin of Mrs Hudson, which I admit I have not yet done. Although I have found the horrible crook Hudson. All in good fun, Since I have a “Complete” Holmes that was my mother’s childhood copy, now about 75 y/o and falling apart that I was my introduction and I still treasure and is one of several copies on my shelves. Cannot wait for my next King addition to arrive.

    • Laurie King on January 17, 2016 at 8:05 am

      Preparation is everything! I hope you enjoy it!

Leave a Comment