Sherlock Holmes and the Singer

Fifteen years ago, from Feb 12 to March 11, 2004, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom opened the doors of City Hall to men and women who wanted to marry a person of their own sex. An everyday thing, marriage, and these were celebrated with an upsurge of joy and disbelief—yet the courts closed it down, and it took years, absurd, pointless, humiliating years of struggle, before that piece of paper was offered again. Before a woman could refer to her wife or a man to his husband.

I am a storyteller. I make my statements through the acts and words of those figures on the page.

Sherlock Holmes is an interesting character.  A Victorian, of the upper classes, yet bohemian to his landlady’s despair, and comfortable with women, street children, and people of all sorts of social levels.

So what would Holmes have made of a transvestite singer in the Barbary Coast?

For the month of anniversary, “The Marriage of Billie Birdsong” (excerpted from The Art of Detection) is free to download, here.



  1. Jeanie Goldeen Conneran on February 15, 2020 at 10:37 am

    I have loved all of your books and can’t wait to read these next two books.

  2. Carla on February 15, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    How strange! I just finished reading this book the other day (The Art of Detection). We had something similar in Australia, there was a moment promptly squashed by politicians and it took until last year to change (costing unnecessary millions). I really enjoyed the back and forth between the two stories in that novel, and all the little hints to readers of the Mary Russell series. Just reading your thesis about the Trickster, now, which I am finding really interesting – and far better than my attempts as an undergrad, you should be proud!

    • Laurie King on February 16, 2020 at 6:40 pm

      I’m glad you can make out the text in the Trickster thesis, the digitization process isn’t super great, but thanks for persisting!

  3. Maya T Amis on February 18, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    I watched that unfold from the other coast, crying happy tears. There was so much joy! And of course, now it is the law of the land, and must – must – stay that way.

    • Laurie King on February 18, 2020 at 5:03 pm


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