Sherlock Holmes: his people

In “The Marriage of Mary Russell,” as the cover copy tells us:

Mary Russell is delighted by Sherlock Holmes’ proposal of marriage.  After all, they have become partners-in-crime, and she has recently come into her inheritance: what remains but to confirm the union with her mentor-turned-partner with the piece of paper? Russell’s pragmatic side tells her to head straight to the registry office—until Holmes surprises her with a sentimental wish to be married in the chapel of his ancestral manor.

marriage of mary russell_sm

Knight, squire, yeoman, and knave: four levels of Britain’s fighting caste.

By the time we climbed a spiral stairway—the ancient clockwise sort designed to free a swordsman’s arm against invaders—I would not have sworn that we weren’t on the outskirts of Oxford, if not London.

cropped stairs

stairs 2

According to Arthur Conan Doyle (in “Greek Interpreter”) Holmes tells Watson, “My ancestors were country squires.” A squire, in the Middle Ages, was a knight’s right hand man—bearing his shield, helping suit him in his armor, feeding his horses and ransoming him when he was taken in battle. In the process, the squire took on the skills for his own training, although the apprentice position later solidified into a status of its own, with the squire an inherited rank of gentleman a notch below actual the actual peerage.

Dukes would come and go, earls were made and moved up the hierarchy, but the squire remained a figure of solidity and authority in his area, one generation after another inhabiting the manor, overseeing the tenant farmers, settling disputes, and coming between the whims of the peers and the needs of the working classes. Their homes tended to be solid, though not grand:

As we stood pressed among the rhododendrons that flanked the entrance drive, my mind trying (and failing) to see any signs of Holmes in this most conventional of English façades, a sudden play of head-lamps came from the lane behind us. We ducked down, watching a lorry pass by. To my surprise, it came to a halt at the front entrance. A man in formal dress came out of the door, followed by a footman and maid who, under the other man’s direction, helped the lorry’s driver unload a number of anonymous crates.

And thus the mystery begins…

800px-Old_delivery_truck_Harwood-Barley_Marion_Indiana

**

The e-story “The Marriage of Mary Russell” comes out March 15. You can pre-order it from Kindle or Nook.

Comments

  1. For those big fans like myself who are not reading electronically…will there ever be a written version, maybe in PDF form, that we can purchase? I’m sure it would be a worthwhile venture but not sure if your publishing company would allow it.

    • Laurie King says:

      Possibly, but not for a while.

      • Great! Glad there is a possibility and I know I’ll find out when it’s shared in the E-news.
        Mary Russell has become a friend. I only found out about these books with Dreaming Spies and have been binge-reading them ever since. I would so love to read this very intriguing chapter in their lives.

        • Terri Petersen says:

          Just FYI, Amazon has a free Kindle app you can download to your smartphone or computer to read e-books. An e-reader is not necessary. I have mine on my phone and thus always have good reading material available when I am waiting for something. Welcome to the wonderful world of Mary Russell!

          • Hi Terri…I followed your suggestion because I’m too curious to wait and this is a short read…thank you so much. I’ll get it tomorrow and will enjoy it no doubt!! I appreciate your information. Have Kindle on my pc now.

  2. Diane Hendricksen says:

    Another tantalizing tease, and a short lesson on squires. Just a few more days!

  3. Had to ask ‘Santa’ for a Kindle for Christmas because of all the short stories that can only be read on E-Readers. Am so enjoying Laurie’s stories that I couldn’t have otherwise! Can’t wait for Marriage of Mary Russell!

    • La Donna Weber says:

      I asked “Santa” for a reading tablet too … even got him a new computing device to make it fair. Have yet to see reading tablet. If I had him ring through to Ms Russell perhaps she would help convince “Santa” to part with a reading tablet?

  4. Janis Kiehl Harrison says:

    Another “teaser,” i.e. TORTURE. I have to wait 5 more days!

    Another point of discussion: Although I dearly love a solid book, delight in varieties of paper, print, and binding, I just can’t afford many of them. And I have arthritic hands, making the holding of a physical book somewhat of a problem, since I tend to hold, and read, books, a lot of my time 🙂 Additionally, I am limited by the very small dimensions of my apartment, so I just don’t have space for as many books as I would wish to possess. So an e-reader is a very happy solution to my issues.

    Don’t hate, people. Just appreciate the varieties in life.

    • I’m in your situation exactly, Janis. E-readers are a fantastic solution and let me read my usual 5-8 books a week, sitting in my small basement suite, with my arthritic hands, holding my smartphone (a Nexus 6), with a cup of tea or coffee, depending on the time of day. Cheers.

    • Evelyn Thompson says:

      Indeed! I live in Japan, where even in Tokyo books in English are both rare and expensive, so my Kindle and a special dispensation from my stateside library allow me free access to far more books than I could ever hope to find here. Plus, when my son was nursing frequently, I could read anytime, Kindle balanced on my knee and only one finger necessary to turn the page!

    • Evelyn Thompson says:

      Indeed! I live in Japan, where even in Tokyo books in English are both rare and expensive, so my Kindle and a special dispensation from my stateside library allow me free access to far more books than I could ever hope to find here. Plus, when my son was nursing frequently, I could read anytime, Kindle balanced on my knee and only one finger necessary to turn the page! Paper books and e-readers both have their place!

  5. Sue Thompsn says:

    Don’t forget, a conventional tablet computer with the Kindle app installed will enable you to read ebooks. It s not absolutely necessary to purchase a special e reader anymore

  6. Desiree Jenkins says:

    One may also use a kindle app in the browser – kindle cloud reader

  7. Enjoyed the extra peek into Holmes’ background. And can’t wait for the newest.

  8. Diane Hendricksen says:

    I just got my iBooks copy!!!!! I have to finish my book club book, then I get to read it!

Speak Your Mind

*

*

css.php