Laurie R. King: Mystery Writer Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:12:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Devil in Easter? Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:45:30 +0000 I like to mix things up a little for my liturgical celebrations, so I made a Chinese recipe that actually would be great for Halloween:

Web eggsThen I deviled them, which interrupts the pretty surface a bit but made them quite tasty:

Deviled Easter eggsThey’re not hard to make.  Thoroughly hard boil your eggs (I have best luck by pouring boiling water over the cold eggs then simmering them gently) 15 or 20 minutes, then drain and cover with cold water for a few minutes.  One at a time, gently tap the shells with the back of a spoon to crackle them, and arrange gently in a saucepan.  Cover with water, and for each half dozen eggs, add one or two bags of black tea (or 1-2 teaspoons loose tea), 2 teaspoons of salt, and 2-3 Tablespoons of soy sauce, with any flavorings you like: star anise, or a mix of lemon peel, onion, peppercorns.  Simmer this mix (add more water if you need, to keep the eggs completely covered) for 2-3 hours, then let cool.  Sit for 8 hours in the refrigerator, then drain and carefully peel.

If you want to devil them, note that because of the long cooking time, the yolks will not be a bright yellow.  Add a touch of turmeric if you like, along with dried mustard, salt, mayonnaise or sour cream (or a mix of both), a bit of finely chopped green onion, and a touch of Worcestershire sauce.

Maybe these are not the eggs to hide out in the shrubs

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A box of Russells goes to… Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:12:08 +0000 The first drawing for one library’s Book Club in a Box will be Friday.  Have you nominated your favorite library for this book club’s worth of Russells?   Send their name to with the subject line Library, and–good luck, this or the next six giveaways!

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Lives change @ your library. Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:42:20 +0000 And a very Happy National Library Week to you!

The theme of this year’s American Library Association celebration is Lives change @ your library.  So that’s what Team LRK is celebrating as well.  As you must know by now, I love libraries.

Laurie's first library, in Santa Cruz, CA.

Laurie’s first library, in Santa Cruz, CA.

I use libraries by the cubic meter, by the hundredweight, by the hour.  Using any measure, libraries shaped me and continue to shape my writing.research001-100x300


So this spring, where I am also celebrating my own great good fortune in twenty years of Mary Russell, I’m giving away some of her books.

Two ways:

1. To libraries.  If you know a library that sponsors book clubs, and can make use of fifteen copies of the same Russell title, send us the library’s name.  We’ll do a drawing every week between now and the publication date for the Twentieth Anniversary Edition of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, May 27.  Show your library you love them, and let me send them some books.

Send your library nomination, to:  with the subject line: Libraries.Jean_Lukens_book_cover_233X350px

2. To Russell’s readers. Do you agree, that “Lives change @ your library”?  Let’s make that our theme.  I have a complete set of Russell & Holmes hardbacks PLUS the new hardback 20th Anniversary Beekeeper’s Apprentice for the winning essay, poem, video, painting or what-have-you, on the topic:

“How The Beekeeper’s Apprentice Changed my Life.”

Although if that’s a bit too dramatic, you can make it:

“When I first met Mary Russell, she…”

Send your essay/poem/video/needlework/skywriting project etc. to:  with the subject line: Beekeeper.

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Odd housemates Sat, 05 Apr 2014 02:33:06 +0000 I love odd plants.

DSC01134I’ve posted about my various odd housemates, of the vegetable variety, from time to time.tree orchidsNow another long-time inhabitant of a sunny window has sprouted some peculiar and quite unexpected blossoms.

Who’d have guessed that something like this—DSC00822

would sprout into this—DSC01314

Life is full of such delightful surprises.

(And in case you’re wondering, no, I have no idea what this fellow’s name is.  Anyone?)

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Russell bundles, again! Mon, 24 Mar 2014 16:04:43 +0000 My beloved Random House has an offer you…well, you can refuse if you like, they’re not that pushy.  But it’s a really nice offer, for eight Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes novels, in celebration of Russell’s 20th anniversary.  The titles run from O Jerusalem to Garment of Shadows, covering ground from 1919 Palestine to 1924 Morocco, with everything from India and San Francisco to the Orkney islands in between.  If you read one a month, all twelve books will take you up to Dreaming Spies in February!

Just a thought.

The Kindles are here, and Nook is here. Pass the word on to friends.9780804180481_p0_v1_s260x420-1

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Russell, bundled Mon, 17 Mar 2014 12:40:44 +0000 To celebrate the 2oth anniversary of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, Picador is selling a merry bundle–9781466866034_p0_v3_s260x420

–of the first four Mary Russell e-books. That’s right, a special package deal with a sweetheart of a cover, with Beekeeper, Monstrous Regiment of Women, A Letter of Mary, and The Moor. Fill up your e-reader library, so you’re never again stuck in a boring airport without something to take your mind off things.  (The other eight Russell titles: coming soon!)

It’s for your Kindle, or for your Nook.  Enjoy!

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A Russell Companion! Thu, 13 Mar 2014 17:12:59 +0000 Due May 1: The Mary Russell (e-)Companion: all manner of information and tidbits concerning Miss Russell’s Memoirs, from What does their house look like? to What’s a copper beech?  Yes, there’s even a chapter on her sex life.MR Companion cover


The book page is here.

And I will over to you my humble and immediate apologies that this is exclusively an ebook.  I shall merely point out that if a bajillion people buy the thing, a hard version will surely follow.  So it’s all up to you.

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Kate books giveaway! Sun, 23 Feb 2014 15:29:15 +0000 The fabulous Picador has set up a giveaway for their re-issued paperbacks of the first three Kate Martinelli books, A Grave Talent, To Play the Fool, and With Child.  Their sweepstakes is here.

A Grave Talent

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LRK talks Tue, 11 Feb 2014 14:31:51 +0000 The excellent and estimable Dan Stashower and I will sit on opposite sides of the country on Thursday (noon Eastern time) and have a conversation with Kojo Nnamdi about “The Enduring Popularity of Sherlock Holmes.”  And Mary Russell, one hopes. It will be streamed, and you can ask questions, and–well, I hope you join us.  Info is here.

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Deep Breath Mon, 03 Feb 2014 22:04:28 +0000 When is the end not the end?  When it’s a book, and its author knows that a first draft is crap.

I sent a very rough first draft of Dreaming Spies off to my editor today.  This proto-novel is an exceedingly thin 270 pages, missing one of its two endings, with sporadic character development, a peculiar way of jumping locations, long bits where nothing much happens and the author is clearly muddling her way through the undergrowth, and settings that bear only a passing resemblance to the countrysides of Japan and Oxfordshire.

But those 270 pages are there, where they weren’t before.  And now I can take a deep breath, and talk to my editor about where the story is going, and dig in to make a mess into a book.

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