Indies and other busy beez

It’s Indie Week–spread the word, and let me know if your favorite Indie bookstore is doing something fun.  Send us pictures, and we’ll post them!

As for other Good Causes, I apologize again for the delays and problems some of you have had with the Heifer International prizes that came (or, should have come) with your donations during the Fifteen Weeks.  If you have not yet received them, please let me know in a comment here, and I’ll see what I can do.  Those of you who donated more recently for the Holmes booklet, if you live in the US, you should have them, although overseas addresses are somewhat delayed.

holmes-booklet0011This is the booklet, a very pretty publication from Heifer International collecting Sherlock Holmes’ remarks about beekeeping that appear in The Language of Bees.  (signed, not by Holmes alas, but by me.)  It’s a fundraiser for the Heifer beehive project, and if you want one (or several) you can donate online, or send me $10 per booklet (checks are fine) at PO Box 1152, Freedom, CA, 95019.

They sent me a whole box of these lovely things, and I’d really appreciate the chance to transfer some of them from my house to yours.

Heifer International


I still can’t believe you guys contributed $10,000 to Heifer through the Team LRK page, and wanted to say, Thank you, again, for your support of this great organization.

And for those of you who found $60 a bit steep but would still really like one of those booklets on beekeeping by Sherlock Holmes, we’re now opening it up for you. Send Heifer a $10 donation through the Team LRK page (or $20 for two, and so on) and we’ll send you a copy of the booklet, signed–well, sorry, not by Holmes himself, but by yours truly. The quotes come out of the book with my name on it, after all.

I have a few hundred of these great little booklets, but when they’re gone, that’s all. A great cause, a unique little gift for any Sherlockian on your list…

Guest Blog: Angieville

Today I’m over at Angieville, where I should have been last week except my brain was in a comatose state.  I’m talking about the joys of touring (yes, really!) and how touched I am by touching people.

Or, perhaps I’m just touched, in the head.

Mary Russell’s MyStory

Today is the first Tuesday in Fifteen Weeks that Mary Russell hasn’t had a new blog post over at her MySpace page. Instead, we have this. And a year from now, more or less, we’ll be giving a copy of the hardback of The Green Man to someone who illustrates the miniature book made from Russell’s MyStory.

There: something to keep you busy for the coming year.

And for those of you eager for news about LRK in alternative formats to bound sheaves of wood pulp, The Moor has just appeared in the Kindle store, and The Language of Bees is scheduled to be available in audio from Recorded Books on May 25th, although you can order it now.

I should mention that there are still spots open for the California Crime Writers Conference, cosponsored by the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime and the Southern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America on June 13-14 in Pasadena.  Robert Crais and I will be the keynote speakers at the two-day event.  Agents, editors, publicists, cops and some great authors will be there to teach and answer questions, and conference features include a forensics track, query and synopsis seminars, and classes for established authors on contracts, e-publishing, online marketing, and film/television opportunities. Pre-registration until June 12 is $300; on-site registration will be $325. For more information, see or or e-mail [email protected].

Fifteen Weeks Wrap-up

Congratulations to Mary Turner, the winner of last week’s drawing from those who donated any amount to Heifer International through the Team LRK page. Mary won copies of the two brand new trade paperback editions of Mary Russell novels numbers 5 and 6 from Bantam Books as well as an ARC of The Language of Bees. Congrats to Mary, and remember, there’s still a few days left to make your $60 donation and get entered for your chance to name a character in the next Mary Russell book! (Details below.)


The Fifteen Weeks may be over (really?!) but I’m still on the road–if you live within striking distance of Detroit, Cincinnati, or San Francisco, join me in blowing the trumpet for The Language of Bees.

For those of you in the corners of the country not touched by the tour, you can spot LRK as a cover girl—for Mystery Scene magazine.

And at the San Francisco event, this Thursday at the SF Public Library, I’ll be asking friend and Sherlockian Les Klinger (he’s a lawyer—and therefore sea-green incorruptible, no?) to do the drawings for the grand prizes of our Fifteen Weeks.

First we’ll pick a winner for the beautiful Lavendier Press broadside, from those who have sent me their receipts from an Independent bookseller. (Note: I need to receive those by the evening of May 20, whether by email or in my PO box.)

Then, Les will draw the name of someone who donated a pair of beehives (that is, $60 or more) to Heifer through the Team LRK page, to name a character in the next Russell and Holmes novel. If you haven’t donated anything to this great cause, please think about doing so. I am thrilled at how many of you have sent a donation, and I also look forward to turning over the money raised through the Amazon and CafePress stores that night.

(Please note—we’ll do the drawings that night, but we won’t announce them until the following morning, to make sure the names we get are correct in all the particulars, and not my sister or something…)

All the details—where to send your receipt, how to donate—are here for the broadside and here for Heifer.

Russellscape winner

Please excuse the suspense — all of the Russellscape entries were so great, it took me a while to consult my panel of expert judges and pick a winner. In the end, we decided on Sara McClelland for her illustration of The Language of Bees (number 18 on the Russellscape page) as well as her two other lovely entries:russellscape_18_lang1Sara’s winning design will be made available as a T-shirt in the LRK Cafepress store, and she will of course recieve one herself. Congratulations Sara, and thank you to everyone who sent in their wonderful artwork!

The final weeks are upon us!

The Fifteen Weeks are drawing to a close, but we still have some of the best and biggest prizes and events yet to come. This Friday we’ll do our first drawing from those who have donated to Heifer International through the Team LRK page, and the lucky donor will win the brand new Bantam paperback editions of Russell books five and six as well as an ARC of The Language of Bees.

Next week, in honor of the 150th Birthday of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I will announce the grand prize winner and Queen (or King) Bee of the Heifer International drawing during my event with Les Klinger at the San Francisco Public Library on May 21. If you’d like your chance to name a character in Russell X, just donate $60 (the equivalent of two beehives) or more at the Team LRK page before Wednesday, May 20 to be entered in the drawing. And remember, if you do, you will receive Holmes’ beekeeping booklet as well as a special jar of Heifer honey.

(Please note: some people have had to give two separate beehives instead of donating the full $60 at once. To avoid this problem, simply use the box that says Enter Donation Amount Here instead of using the radio buttons above it. If you have donated multiple times, please email us and we will ensure that you receive your gift.)

Also next week, I will announce the winner of the Venomous Death broadside drawing from those who have sent us their receipt for The Language of Bees from an independent bookstore. Anyone whose receipts are received by email or snail mail by Wednesday, May 20 will be entered to win, so send in your receipt today!

And now, as has become our usual habit on Mondays, I direct you over to Mary Russell’s MySpace blog to read the final episode of her adventures and find out whether she and Holmes escape the Sherlockians at last. Watch for a complete and downloadable mini-book version of her tale here soon!

Tour stops & contests, both real & virtual

Today I return to the Left Coast. I will be at Vroman’s in Pasadena tonight, and tomorrow with my dear friends at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale. I hope you will join me there.

If you prefer your book tours virtual, I am stopping in at the excellent blog Mystery Fanfare today, where I talk about the role of religion in The Language of Bees and how I had to whittle the passages from Testimony down to a mere forty lines of text. (If you’re so inclined, you can read it in its entirety over at The Language of Bees page.)

And last but not least: contests. If you’d like to win a signed copy of either With Child, To Play The Fool, Night Work, or A Grave Talent, head over to Novel Action‘s Online Book Signing by tomorrow to be entered for your chance to win.

For those of you who submitted Russellscapes, we are still in the process of judging your fine work, and will make the announcement here either later today or over the weekend. In the meantime, take a look at the submissions and let us know which one gets your vote!

Mary Russell’s Story — Part 14

Thank you to everyone who came by to say hi in Baltimore last night. I hope the kind people near Richmond, VA will do the same tonight when I visit the Meadowdale Library. I will also be at the Harvard Coop Bookstore on Thursday evening, along with Les Klinger. Hope to see you there. (Details of both events are here.)

And our story continues… with only two installments left to go, Russell and Holmes have been pursued by a pack of pushy American Sherlockians, from their Sussex home to Oxford. Last week, our heroes thought they had lost their pursuers in the chaos of Oxford’s May-Day celebrations, but their luck was not to hold.

Mary Russell’s Story


I do not know if our American pursuers were actively watching for us, or if they had decided to make the best of their visit and take in the May Day festivities while waiting for us to emerge, but at the corner of the Botanic Gardens, where Rose Lane comes into the High, the straining silence was broken by loud American accents: “Hey! There he is!”

And the hunt was on again.

I spoke in Holmes’ ear, ordering him to abandon me. He hesitated, being neither cowardly nor disloyal, but even he could see the logic in my suggestion. He bent down enough to vanish in the crowd, while I appropriated a nearby furled umbrella (in any English crowd, there will always be a man who doubts the clear sky overhead) and tripped one attacker, jabbed the second in the stomach, and nudged the third into the large,intoxicated Rugby player beside him.

With that trio temporarily disposed of, and making certain they had seen me, their unlikely assailant, I pushed into the crowd, crossing to the Magdalene side of the High and making for Magdalene Bridge.

Halfway across, I ducked down to make my way back up the human stream, ducking into the grounds of the Botanic Garden and making for the river. Holmes had located a punt, worked its anchoring pole out of the bottom, and was waiting for me. I heard a shout behind me—English, not American—and tumbled into the boat. He pushed off, and I turned to face the boat’s irate owners.

“Terribly sorry,” I called to them. “There’s a trio of Americans just behind you who said they’d be happy to repay you for the hire cost. You take it up with them, there’s a good lad.”

A sweet old lady in a boat; how could he argue with me?

Fan fiction & photos

The winners of last week’s Letters of Mary Fan Fiction contest were:

1. Laughing Beekeeper by Yolanda
2. My Virgil by Canzonett
3. A Pause in the Journey by Roseriter

Congratulations to all three of you, and thank you to everyone who submitted their fan fiction stories. To read all of the story submissions, visit the Letters of Mary Contest page (you will have to join the Yahoo! group to read the stories.)

And don’t forget — this week we are judging the Russellscape contest, so check back this weekend to see which of our eighteen gorgeous entries will win!


Last but not least, here are some photos from last week’s events, thanks to Meredith (who is the one in the fabulous black vintage dress at the book launch) and Rori. Please remember to send your pictures to us at [email protected]! (Please click on the photo to enlarge.)



Approaching the Ferry Building in San Francisco for the book launch at Book Passage Laurie talks with her agent and fellow author Steven Saylor before the launch event.



The crowd patiently awaits Laurie’s appearance. Laurie discussing The Language of Bees at Book Passage.



Laurie and a few of the fabulous fans who attended the book launch. Laurie and Rori at her signing at the Westport Library in Connecticut.