Me & Edgar & Agatha & friends

That shriek that rattled the country just before 10:00 pm EST was me reacting to the sound of my name from the podium at the Agatha Awards: Malice Domestic’s choice of Best Historical Mystery is Dreaming Spies, by Laurie R. King!


I was nominated for an Agatha once before (for The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, in 1995) and the convention chose me as their Guest of Honor three years ago, but the award teapot (this convention, after all, focuses on the Traditional Mystery) eluded me until now.

Best of all, I got to sit at a table with the awards of three other friends on it: one each for my friends Barbara Peters and Rob Rosenwald, joint recipients of the Poirot award (for which I got to conduct the conference interview, which ranged over subjects from the state of modern publishing to whether or not they had the requisite RomCom “meet cute”–which, it turns out, they did, over accusations of cheating at cards)LRK, Barbara, Rob

…and also on the table was Margaret Maron’s Agatha for Contemporary Mystery (for the gorgeous 20th and—alas!—final Deborah Knott story, Long Upon the Land.) Here are three of the four of us winners:


In general, Malice Domestic is a really fun conference, casual and filled with dedicated book-lovers. I was pleased this year to hear that Good Friends Alice W. (who took a couple of these pictures) and Merrily T. would be going,LRK, Alice, Merrily

along with more-or-less locals like Bill M. and eminent Sherlockians Peter Blau and his wife Bev Wolov (a Smithsonian lace expert!)

My trip to DC came on the heels of a quick 36 hours in New York, during which I fit in dinner with friends, meetings with Picador (who do the stunning paperbacks of the early books) and Random House’s enthusiastic Team LRK, and the Edgars Awards banquet of the Mystery Writers of America. There I had the honor of giving the Ellery Queen Award (for work in the mystery-publishing field) to my friend Janet Rudolph, whose passion for Crime is exceeded only by the joy she takes in fine chocolates.  I introduced her by saying:

It’s not often a person is given the chance to speak for an entire community.  I am so pleased to be the one to stand up here and say, Janet, we love you. We honor and respect you. We stand amazed at your unflagging energy, your unfailing good will and optimism, and your endless creativity in celebrating the genre.

We, the world’s scribblers, give you our thanks, our affection, our Ellery Queen Award–and, more to the point, our chocolate.

Janet Rudolph.

And then handed her the MWA statue, along with a box of chocolate truffles.

The Edgars banquet also involves, of course, drinks in the bar before and after with friends like SJ Rozan and Dan Stashower and Laura Caldwell and—well, it wouldn’t be a black tie party without Les Klinger.IMG_1365

You can read about MWA’s 2016 awards, here.

And think about joining us for the fun, in New Orleans or Honolulu!

Against violence

I’m involved with a fundraiser and program to help stop violence against women.

First, there’s a Russell Basket.uguxltcadxbmpwejuzxe

This includes a signed hardback of The Murder of Mary Russell, a copy of Dreaming Spies, and one of the gorgeous big Dreaming Haiku posters, all in a handsome Random House book bag.  They’re requesting a $75 donation, and it’s not a raffle or drawing, it’s first come first gone, and there are only ten: for details, go here.

Second, I’ll be doing a Google Hangout on Sunday night.event_theme

That’s right, you can watch and chat while I visit you in the comfort of your own home (no, you don’t need to tidy up first, or even get out of your pyjamas.)  There’s various instructions, but if I can handle it, I’m sure you can.  That’s Sunday night, 8:30 Eastern Time, and we can all sit around with our Easter baskets and compare who got the best chocolate eggs.  For details, click here.

Agatha and me

The list of nominees for this year’s Agatha awards is now up on the Malice Domestic web site.banner

Malice, which takes place in Bethesda the first weekend in May, celebrates “the traditional mystery,” and Dreaming Spies is one of the attendees’ top choices for “Best Historical Mystery.”  This is a great honor–I mean, just look at the others in just this one category:

Best Historical Novel:
Malice at the Palace, Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
The Masque of a Murderer, Susanna Calkins (Minotaur Books)
Dreaming Spies
, Laurie R. King (Bantam)
Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante, Susan Elia Macneal (Banntam)
Murder on Amsterdam Avenue, Victoria Thompson (Berkley)

Voting takes place during the conference.  The entire list of nominations, offering a lot of weeks of great traditional crime stories, is here.

Fun Times with Laurie!

Every so often we add Fun Stuff to the web site. Such as a one-page Russell & Holmes colo(u)ring book (click to link) with scenes from the Memoirs:R&H colouring book

Or panels for the ongoing Russellscape:

by Sabrina Flynn

by Sabrina Flynn


by Sara McLelland

by Sara McLelland


by Laurie King (really? yeah–it's a collage.Thus proving anyone can do one of these Russellscape panels.)

by Laurie King (really? yeah–it’s a collage.Thus proving anyone can do one of these Russellscape panels.)

Well, here’s a new project to madden you:DS balloon

The Dreaming Spies origami balloon. To go along with the book discussion guide and the Pinterest page and the book trailer and…well, those are all here.

We had fun with it at the Friends of Russell dinner in Raleigh last week, and now it’s yours, too.

If you succeed, send me a photo!

Ten winners!

Congratulations, winners!

We drew ten names last week for the new paperback of Dreaming Spies–Dreaming Spies low Res JPEG

and they’re headed for the post office today! Congratulations to:

Russa, Jane, Norma, Marilyn, Nancy, Laurie, Libby, Seth, Verity, and Diane!

And if your name isn’t here, but you’d like a signed or inscribed copy of the paperback anyway, I’ll be heading down to Bookshop Santa Cruz this week to sign some, they’d be happy to add your order to the pile.

Happy Paperback!

The Dreaming Spies paperback comes out today, which makes for a good excuse to give you a pretty card.

DS pbk ecard maple

I took the photo in the moss garden in Kyoto, at precisely the time of year that Russell & Holmes were in Japan. (Not, I should note, a thing that always happens, and a hazard if you’re writing autumnal scenes having only been to a place in the spring…)

Anyway, the paperback is out today, and a very pretty thing it is.


Signed copies from Bookshop

Barnes & Noble or Amazon

A Dreaming e-card

I hope you’re having fun with these e-cards? This one is another product from Team LRK: words from the book, image from my camera, design by Bob & the Random House art department.  For your sharing pleasure, in celebration of the upcoming paperback of Dreaming Spies.

DS pbk ecard 4 (torii)

Where the bears discovered us


An e-card, for you, from the Dreaming Spies paperback, out October 6.DS pbk ecard  3 (

Dreaming Spies: the paperback

Two weeks from tomorrow, the US paperback of Dreaming Spies comes out. Because I loved the set of e-cards Random House did for the hardback, I begged their permission to make a few of my own, with other pictures and quotes. Here’s the first one—please feel free to turn it loose among your friends, along with those that follow over the next two weeks.

This kind of fun thing makes me just ridiculously happy.

DS pbk ecard 1 (wheels)

The clock in the image, by the way, is in the Nara Hotel in Japan.  Their web site has a picture of Albert Einstein at the piano (also still their in their reading room) with the clock in the background, over his shoulder: photo_gallery_3_l

The Dreaming Spies book page has excerpts, links to the YouTube channel, and order information, here.

Cherry is to Japan as hawthorn is to…

In England recently, it was hawthorn season.Hawthorn

In Dreaming Spies, Russell reflects on the resemblance to cherry blossoms:Hawthorn flowers

The …thick white hawthorn blossom overhead made me imagine for an instant that I was kneeling for a hanami, setting out a picnic beneath flowering trees.Sussex hawthorn