Laurie R. King’s fiction falls into three areas. First in the hearts of most readers comes Mary Russell, who met the retired Mr Sherlock Holmes in the winter of 1915 and became first his apprentice, then his partner. Starting with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and continuing through The God of the Hive, Russell and Holmes move through the ’teens and ’twenties in amiable discord, challenging each other to ever greater feats of detection, traveling the world from Sussex to Simla.
King’s other series concerns San Francisco homicide inspector Kate Martinelli, her SFPD partner Al Hawkin, and her life partner Lee Cooper. In the course of her five books, Kate has encountered a female Rembrandt, a modern-day Holy Fool, two difficult teenagers, and a manifestation of the goddess Kali.
King has also written three stand-alone suspense novels. A Darker Place truly stands alone, being the story of a middle-aged professor of religion who goes inside religious movements (so-called “cults”) to investigate their stability for the government, and here encounters a movement that embraces the ideas of alchemy.
The other two independent novels are actually very loosely linked, telling the stories of two people whose lives overlap very slightly in each book. Folly tells of woodworker Rae Newborne, who comes to a deserted island to rebuild a house, and her life. Keeping Watch is the story of Vietnam vet Allen Carmichael, who draws on his combat experiences to rescue abused women and children, until he comes across a boy whose problems may rival his own.
Touchstone is a historical novel of suspense, featuring FBI agent Harris Stuyvesant and injured British soldier Bennett Grey, who face some very modern enemies as they confront acts of terrorism in troubled times.