Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Laurie R. King


Laurie King was born in northern California in 1952 to a furniture restorer and a librarian. An avid reader from childhood, she received her bachelor’s degree in comparative religion from U.C. Santa Cruz and her M.A. in Old Testament Theology from Graduate Theological Union. She married Noel King in 1977. King has worked as a manager, a school volunteer, and a counselor for La Leche League. She has memberships in the International Association of Crime Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Crime Writers Association. King lives in California and enjoys swimming, gardening, and travel.

What she writes: In her “Mary Russell” series Laurie King has created a wife for Conan Doyle’s bachelor sleuth Sherlock Holmes. Russell starts out as a student of Holmes and later becomes his independent and scholarly spouse. Together the two detectives sharpen their deductive powers through battles of intellect. According to King's website, "Mary Russell is what Sherlock Holmes would look like if Holmes, the Victorian detective, were a) a woman, b) of the Twentieth century, and c) interested in theology."

The novels in King's series about San Francisco Inspector Kate Martinelli address topics ranging from religious cults to homelessness and homophobia. Beyond the crime solving, the series appeals in its exploration of Kate’s professional and personal evolution.

List of Works 

Kate Martinelli Series
  A Grave Talent (1993) -- cassette
  To Play the Fool (1995) -- cassette
  With Child (1996) -- cassette -- large type
  Night Work (2000) -- cassette
  The Art of Detection (2006) -- CD
Mary Russell Series
  The Beekeeper's Apprentice (1994) -- cassette -- large type
  A Monstrous Regiment of Women (1995) -- cassette
  A Letter of Mary (1997) -- cassette -- large type
  The Moor (1998) -- cassette -- large type
  O Jerusalem (1999) -- cassette
  Justice Hall (2002) -- cassette
  The Game (2004) -- CD
  Locked Rooms (2005) -- CD-- large type
Other Works
  A Darker Place (1999) -- cassette
  Folly (2001) -- cassette
  Keeping Watch (2003) -- CD
  Touchstone (2007) -- CD-- large type
Edgar Allan Poe Award, Mystery Writers of America, 1994, and John Creasey Dagger, 1995, both for A Grave Talent
Agatha Award nomination, 1994, and best book citation, American Library Association, 1996, for The Beekeeper's Apprentice
Nero Wolfe Award, 1995, for A Monstrous Regiment of Women
Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination, 1996, for With Child and for "Paleta Man"
Gail Rich Award, 1998
Lambda Literary Award for lesbian mystery, 2007, for The Art of Detection
Honorary Doctorate from Church Divinity School of the Pacific
What the critics say
Regarding O Jerusalem - "Disguising themselves as Arabs, Russell and her mentor, Sherlock Holmes, enter the thick of things in Palestine, where a British military government is trying to maintain stability…Clever complications and atmospheric details abound, and once again King's considerable talent makes history virtually leap off the page. With the feminist heroine chronicling events and the cerebral detective stirring the pot, readers can't lose." -
(April 15, 1999)
Regarding Keeping Watch - "At its simplest, this is the story of a man who helps rescue women and/or children from dangerously abusive men. King's lengthy, brilliantly executed backstory of Allen Carmichael's experiences in Vietnam, his disastrously unhappy return home and his eventual discovery of his ‘calling’ showcase some of her finest writing.…This novel of harrowing suspense and wrenching resolution should earn King plenty of accolades." - Publishers Weekly (February 3, 2003)
Regarding Locked Rooms – "This latest title in King's Russell/Holmes series is steeped in the period feel of 1920s San Francisco. Two points of view (first person from Russell and third person from Holmes) add to the richness of the prose and the complexity of the storyline. Worthy of the highest recommendation." - Library Journal (March 1, 2005)


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