Christmas in the Dark

I love Christmas stories.

Well, I love Christmas in general, but stories set in country houses with decorated trees, and snow outside, and the smells of baking and the sounds of carols…all of that goes so beautifully with knives and poisons, doesn’t it?

Christmas in its nature is a solstice celebration, an assertion of light in the darkness.  And in the hemisphere of mystery tales, Christmas stories are a touch of darkness against the light.  Family, gifts, happy children, rich food….and death.

Or at least crime, of some kind.  And in the case of a very young Mary Russell, Christmas is an ideal time to pick up criminal tips and a piece of equipment that will become iconic of her in her later memoirs: her throwing knife.

“Mary’s Christmas” is that tale of young Mary and her rascally Uncle Jake, which is in the collection Mary Russell’s War.
Last year, Team LRK did an illustrated version of the story, and this year my publishers are giving it away. It’s structured as a sweepstakes, but the story will drop into your in-box on the 20th.  Just in time to give you a touch of light in your darkness. The giveaway is here.  Enjoy!

(And for the other Russell Christmas tale, “Stately Holmes,” go here.)


  1. Roberta on December 18, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Ms. King I have fallen in love with Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes as a married couple Your writing is wonderful and has kept me engaged and entertained through the first 8 books of the series. In addition, I have listened to all of them on Audible. The narrator has made them come to life—right off the pages, as it were.

    I know at some point the series will come to an end, but I will then go on to listen to other books you have written and hope that I am equally as delighted with them, as I have been with the Mary Russell series.

    • Laurie King on December 18, 2019 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks for this, Roberta, I’m glad you’ve fallen for Mary Russell–and for the reader, Jenny Sterlin. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series, and that branching out brings you pleasure, as well.


  2. Julie A Garcia on December 18, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    There’s no two ways about it, LRK, you simply need to write FASTER!!

    • Laurie King on December 18, 2019 at 10:36 pm

      I’ll try…but life does have a way of getting in the way.

  3. Adriene Grzenia on January 3, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    I too, have fallen in love with the Russell/Holmes marriage/partnership–what a delight. Jenny Stirlin is outstanding as the narrator of this series. I had never really read Holmes’ stories before, but love this Holmes. I have delved into other Sherlockian novels but find yours superior.

    I have listened to all the books again this summer and The Beekeeper’s Apprentice more than a few times. The Beekeeper’s apprentice is so deep and rich and nuanced–I find something new each time I listen. Ms. Stirlin is Mary to me–I hear the giggle in the narrator’s voice, I hear her perturbation with Holmes.

    Please keep writing Ms. King. And thank you for hours of entertainment.

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