Mr Holmes’ London

Out today: The Murder of Mary Russell, in which we meet a young Holmes, and also see a much older version of the Great Detective remembering those far-off days.  I hope you enjoy it.e-card 6 architecture

Key to The Murder of Mary Russell is the past of Sherlock Holmes, and especially the Victorian city through which he moved with such thorough and expert familiarity:

If London’s buildings and roads had changed since the days of his youth, even more so had the architecture of crime. Walking through London forty years ago, he could have named every dip, broadsman, and palmer who went by—along with the mobsman who ran him and the beak who’d last sent him down.

It looked like a cleaner city now. The Ripper killings, that bloody spasm that took place seven years after he’d moved into Baker Street, would be difficult today under London’s electric glare—though by no means impossible. And the average citizen was less likely to climb off an omnibus with empty pockets or wake up in an alley with a bloodied head—but it still happened. The dirt remained; it had just got pushed into the corners.

In case you’re visiting London in 1879embankment low res

and you want to just linger in the vicinity of places where Sherlock Holmes or Mrs Hudson might pass, Mr Charles Dickens Jr has some suggestions for you—and a caveat.


The early morning begins with an exercise ride in Rotten-row. In the afternoon, grand parade in the same place, with splendid show of carriages in the Drive. It is here that a stranger will get his best view of the London “world.”



If all you care about is not to be stared at, you may now walk about most parts of London in any ordinary English costume. If, however, you wish to go into the park during parade hours in the season, to the “Zoo” on Sunday afternoons, the Horticultural Gardens, or any other fashionable resort, gloves, chimney-pot hat, orthodox morning coat, &c., are still essential.


From the excellent site Victorian London:


Evening dress is not de rigueur in any part of any of the theatres, though on the whole it predominates in the stalls. Don’t wear a scarlet opera-cloak, however, if you can help it. It is commonly regarded by the initiated as strong evidence that its owner has come in with an “order.” Ladies frequent the stalls as much as any other part. At the Italian operas evening dress is indispensable in every part except gallery. This rule is rigorously enforced to the smallest detail, and it is hopeless to think of evading it.

(Dickens’s Dictionary of London 1879, An Unconventional Handbook, by Charles Dickens [Jr.], here.)

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The Murder of Mary Russell can ordered as:

A signed US hardback from Bookshop Santa Cruz or Poisoned Pen Books

An unsigned hardback or ebook from B&N/Nook or Amazon/Kindle

A UK hardback from Waterstones or hard/ebook from Amazon UK.


  1. Pat Hathaway on April 5, 2016 at 6:40 am

    My Kindle edition arrived in my morning email–can’t wait to start reading it. I’m so tempted to skip to the end and see if Mary is really “gone” but I’ll try to hold out as long as I can. I’m so excited!!!

  2. Sylvia on April 5, 2016 at 7:00 am

    I pre ordered the audible edition and it’s downloading now. Oh the agony of slow bandwidth!

  3. Lynn Hirshman on April 5, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Usually I read all my books on Kindle, but I have a complete collection of King hardbacks, and so I must wait for the mail…about a week, I’m promised. Can I wait? Will I break down and order a Kindle edition too? Stay tuned….

    • Judith on April 5, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      Exactly my dilemma. I’ll probably order the Kindle version. Waiting a week for the hardcover!! Oh my!!!

  4. C muir on April 5, 2016 at 9:46 am

    I would love an ecopy . but I read on nook and kobo, don’t particularly want a Kindle. Will there be an epub issue in the UK?

    • Laurie King on April 5, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      There should be, yes–although I understand the Nook is having problems in the UK, so I’m not sure how that will affect things.

    • Claire on April 6, 2016 at 10:36 am

      Hi, you should have got an email from Nook saying that you needed to transfer your library to the Sainsburys Entertainment . The murder of Mary (and all other King books) are avAilable on there, unfortunately this latest one is showing as unavailable, but I believe it should be available to order when they fix it. I have contacted them about it so hopefully it will show up soon.

  5. Nora on April 5, 2016 at 11:40 am

    It’s coming today! Wheee! Better get my work done before the mail person comes cause I doubt if I’ll do much after that!!!

  6. Linda Hay on April 5, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Woke up at four to begin my “read”. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Being closer to Clarissa’s age than Mary’s, I wish her joy in her new life.

  7. Diane on April 5, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Back from my disaster exercise as a victim and ready to read.

  8. Wendy Martin on April 5, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Ahhhhhhhh. Thank heavens for ebooks. I started at 4 am…read at the radiology lab waiting for my X-ray, in line getting the title changed on my car, then back home and back to it….much has been neglected, but luckily I had the day off, even though I had errands to get done, and now the first reading is finished. Oh my! Well done. So much to take in. Where do we go from here?! Other than read it again, of course!

  9. Deanne on April 6, 2016 at 3:55 am

    Have just checked my credit card statement as had no invoice from poisoned pen been charged £43 so book should be on the way, hope its been sent by air and not land.

  10. Diane on April 6, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    I have finished. What a wonderful read and a great story. Thank you so very much for adding such character and dimension to Mrs. Hudson. I will say no more so as not to spoil the story for anyone. I do look forward to your next book.

  11. Linda Knox on April 7, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    I have much enjoyed reading my UK edition of the novel , but please tell me, is there really a misprint on the title page of Part 1 when it says Susses, 13th May 1995 – surely it should be 1925??

    • Laurie King on April 7, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      Hi Linda, you’re right, sorry, it seems to have something to do with the way the publishers scanned the master, that read the American 2 as a 9.
      Yes: May 13, 1925.
      I hope everyone who sees it figures it out!

  12. allan cohen on April 7, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Ms King
    Just finished Murder of Mary Russell. What a treat and as good as the best in the series
    Many Thanks

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