Mary Russell’s War (seventeen): moats and murders

24 November 1914

The Valley of Fear is a murder mystery set in a moated house. At night, the owner puts up the drawbridge, yet someone gets in and kills him.

England is an island. The moats around her, the seas and channels, only appear to protect her.

Forty Zeppelins Are Ready for Service.


British Birdmen Raid Zeppelin Works.

Why is Mr Holmes so interested in a candle? Why does Mrs Douglas show so little reaction at her husband’s murder? Why have British warships seized a load of German toys? Why are the Mexicans shooting across the border at Americans? Why does Dr Ginsberg think I am hallucinating an uncle, just because my parents never told her about Jake?

In the story, the dead man says, “I have been in the Valley of Fear. I am not out of it yet.”

He speaks for me.


The earlier episodes of Russell’s War are collected here.

Newsletter giveaway

Next Monday we’ll do a drawing from the list of newsletter subscribers, giving away two copies of the ARC of Dreaming Spies.  Dreaming Spies High Res JPEGIf you’re not signed up for the News, you can do so here.

And good luck!

Larceny in the Library

I was asked to write a short piece for the Random House Library blog, so I used it as an opportunity to confess the sins I committed during the writing and researching of Dreaming Spies.  Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.  Read my confession here.Dreaming Spies High Res JPEG

Mary’s Christmas

The short story “Mary’s Christmas”cover8

–is now available in a print version! My local shrine to print wisdom, Bookshop Santa Cruz, can sell you this nice little booklet (with my signature and an inscription, if you like) here.

It begins one winter’s evening in late 1921 or 1922 when the two are seated by their fire, sharing stories about the unexplored portions of their past. Naturally, a person might expect the older Holmes to have a large collection of these—but tonight it is Russell who astonishes her husband with news of a previously unknown, even unsuspected, relation.

The story is also available in Kobo, Nook, Kindle, and other venues.


Newsletter giveaway

Next week we’ll be giving away two copies of the Dreaming Spies ARC–

Dreaming Spies High Res JPEG–drawn from the Newsletter signup list.  So if you’re not signed up for the Newsletter, doing so now would increase your chances by, well, a fair amount.  The signup is here.