This is Mrs Hudson?!

As you may have noticed (did you?) posts here on Mutterings have been both sparse and brief of late. Here’s why:photo

First draft, 326 pages, with a strong beginning, wobbly middle, and an ending I absolutely adore. This is Mrs Hudson’s story (and yes, before you ask, I do fully intend to let Dr Watson have one, too, some day.)   Much of it speaks to her heretofore unseen life before she lets rooms to Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. This is not back-story, mind: this is her story.

She’s a Victorian lady a few years older than Holmes, which means that when the story opens in 1925, she’s nearly 70. She has known Sherlock Holmes for nearly half a century, but she’s never seen him in a state like this, after he comes home to find…

the murder of Mary Russell

More—much more!—to come. But you know what? Older heroines are FUN! Of course, I also get to write Mrs Hudson as a very sleek 20 year old before the mirror, admiring the new lines of her dress, bust to

And strolling beneath her parasol in Regent’s Park. And trying to climb inside a hansom cab in a long skirt, corset, and multiple petticoats. And…

Much work left, many drafts to go, but it’s always such a HUGE relief to hit the SEND button on a first draft—I just wanted to let my friends out there know that a small celebration is in order.

Although I suppose that depends on how you feel about…

The Murder of Mary Russell

(Coming April, 2016, to a bookstore or online retailer near you.)


  1. Merrily Taylor says:

    Oh my Lord. Twitching all over, here! This sounds WONDERFUL – I’d say I can’t wait but well….I must. (Metaphorically setting up camp in front of the book store…)

  2. Annette Lessmann says:


  3. Deborah says:

    Wow, Mrs. Hudson’s Story! I can hardly wait.

  4. ChelsieSouloftheAbbey says:

    Oh, I can’t wait for this! I love this series SO very much!

  5. Wendy Martin says:

    Already on order or I’d do it again!!

  6. Diane H. says:

    I can hardly wait! Sounds like another wonderful and intriguing story.

  7. I am a rather new fan so have many, many to go but already LOVE Mrs. Hudson. What an enormous treat awaits us.

  8. Phyllis says:

    I’m not sure I can handle Mary’s murder but have read all the books up to 2014 so can’t stop now. Will be great to get to know Mrs. Hudson.

  9. Sabrina Flynn says:

    So excited!

  10. Denise M. Manahl says:

    I am so glad I have this on preorder. Getting a story that shows Mrs. Hudson’s background and life will be a treat. And the title of the book alone will be a good mystery intertwined. I can’t wait for it to be published!

  11. Madonna Smith says:

    This post ALMOST makes me forgive you Mary’s murder–if it is for real. And I’ll enjoy meeting Mrs. Hudson through your eyes.
    Love the books, eagerly waiting for this one.

  12. SheilaHoltgrieve says:

    Hmmm-Sherlock was also considered dead for three years.

  13. Celia C Kavanaugh says:

    I’m looking forward to the depth-of-perspective that a woman of Mrs. Hudson’s years will bring to the story. All the ‘progress’ she’s seen over the years of her lifetime: the expansion and empire of the railway system, the advent of the horseless carriage, telegraph, telephone, gramophone, Mr Edison’s light bulb . . . aeroplanes? suffragists? flappers? Never mind wars and famineand Marx and Engels and Freud’s theories and the photographic industry and suchlike. I’m very interested in getting to know this remarkable woman better.

  14. I adore Mrs. Hudson and look forward to reading a Sherlock mystery with her the story.

  15. Nice to have a story from another person’s perspective – especially the long suffering Mrs. Hudson! And to see her younger years too – how fun that will be!! Getting very excited!!

  16. Do not kill Mary off! Let it be a disappearance with a comeback. I love her too much to lose her… There aren’t enough intelligent, well-read, well-written female detectives out there.

  17. Loving the idea of a Mrs. Hudson book, but terrified that you might actually have killed off Mary! Surely not? Let’s hope it’s more along the lines of Holmes’s demise in the Reichenbach Falls.

  18. Helen Martin says:

    Given all the early notes about material sources (and even if you don’t mention that trunk again you’re stuck with it) the odds on Mary actually being dead are very slim. Are you having a Conan Doyle moment – wishing you could leave the character and move to something else? Looking forward to this no matter how it turns out.

    • Merrily Taylor says:

      Yes, I agree with you Helen – plus since the series begins as the memoirs of a ninety-something year old woman, it’s unlikely she was writing from beyond the grave ( -: She and Holmes were “sighted” around the time LANG was published (cf. Laurie’s stories in postcards), so we know she was alive as of then!

      • Laurie King says:

        Or was this all a vast hoax?
        Seems to me this is a question the Book Club needs to address at some point, perhaps closer to the publication date for this next one…

        • Merrily Taylor says:

          Definitely, Laurie, although if something HAD happened to Russell, and keeping in mind the rabid following of Herself and Mr. Holmes, her Literary Agent might have to keep off the streets and go into hiding cf. Conan Doyle after that Reichenbach Falls mishap. Just Sayin’.

        • Yeah okay, but if you MAKE it a vast hoax, we will be SO UPSET and that is not a thing I think you want to do to legions of Sherlock Holmes fans.

  19. Not to complain but I am hoping you will revisit the San Juan Islands and the SFPD.
    Hope springs…. Bear

  20. I’m pretty sure the murder is one that Mary Russell commits.

  21. Judy Barabas says:

    I adore this series of books. A captivating series full of intelligence, history, excitement and wit.

    I download from Audible and listen. Jenny Sterlin’s narration is fabulous and adds another layer to the telling. The way she has Holmes say “Russell” has so much love in it!

    • Merrily Taylor says:

      Judy, I love Jenny Sterlin’s narration of the Russell books, too. Now when I read the books, it’s her voices for Holmes and Russell that I have in my head!

      • Jack McKinney says:

        I got halfway through Beekeeper’s Apprentice before I switched to audio so that I could listen on my bicycle rides to and from work. There is no way that I could go back to reading at this point. Jenny Sterlin’s performance is as integral to my experience as Laurie R. King’s brilliant words. I am a day or two away from completing God of the Hive. So far, it is my favorite in the series. Unfortunately, my journey through the books began right at a year ago and I hadn’t anticipated that I would catch up so quickly. Does anyone know if Mrs. King has ever expressed an idea as to how long the series might run? While I am mortified at the thought of an end to the adventures, I am similarly distraught at the idea of it outlasting Ms. Sterlin’s career. I honestly do not know which seems more upsetting to me. 🙂

        • SheilaHoltgrieve says:

          I also have only listened to LRK’s books with Jenny Steirlin as reader. I have found that with audio books, where you hear every word, you soon find out who is a good writer and who is not, perhaps only a good plotter. I love Llistening to the LRK books–=my favorite is Justice Hall.

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