Another Publication Day…Thank Heavens!

Today is publication day for the new collection of stories inspired by Holmes canon entitled, “A Study In Sherlock.” (http://www NULL.astudyinsherlock My literary agent, Ms. Laurie R King, and her friend, Mr Leslie S Klinger (author of the New Annotated Sherlock Holmes), collaborated on the concept for this anthology and the early reviews have been favourable. The list of contributing mystery writers is impressive, and as I’ve previously stated, I wish everyone involved in this venture nothing but success.

Selfishly I find that I am letting out a sigh of relief now that “A Study In Sherlock” (http://www NULL.astudyinsherlock is finally available for purchase. Perhaps with the focus on the release of the book Mr. Klinger will have the good manners to stop sending me questions via my Twitter account. I don’t usually do interviews, as so often ones words are twisted or blatantly misquoted. I was naïve, I now understand, to think this form of social intercourse would be a safe venue for this exchange of queries and answers. I was wrong. As with most technology there are limitations. Over the few days of our exchanges a few tweets were posted out of order, some didn’t show appear where the public could see them, and in some cases the tweets never showed up at all. In the interest of making certain this interview is archived in a complete and faithful form, I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing it in its entirety below. A precaution, to be sure, but one I feel is necessary, lest anyone try to change or otherwise distort my answers.

The following is a complete and accurate transcript of the conversation Mr. Klinger and I had on the social media site Twitter (http://www NULL.twitter ) starting 18 Oct 2011 and concluding 23 Oct 2011.

Mr Klinger’s enquires are headed with his initials (LSK) and my responses are proceeded by my initials (MRH).

(LSK) Am editing w/LRKing “stories inspired by SH” & wd love an interview w/him or you. OK 4 LRK 2 giv me yr contact info?

(MRH) No, my literary agent Ms King does not have permission to give you my private contact information.

(LSK) But wouldn’t u prefer to talk in private?

(MRH) “Private” conversations undergo changes in the mind of the interviewer. I prefer that such exchanges be on public record.

(LSK) U want me 2 interview u on Twitter?

(MRH) I do not wish you to interview me at all, but clearly that is not an option.

(LSK) We could call it a Twinterview.

(MRH) Mr Klinger, if you wish my participation, I must ask that you refrain from whimsy. And excessive abbreviations.

(LSK) Sorry, Ms. Russell. Okay, no whimsy, & I’ll keep the questions suitable for all eyes.

(MRH) I should hope so. And I prefer “Miss.” Now, may we proceed with this conversation? I have an experiment awaiting me.

(LSK) First, how does Mr Holmes feels about having inspired the creativity of more than a century of crime writers?

(MRH) My husband does not care to discuss his feelings.

(LSK) OK, how do YOU feel re his having inspired 100 yrs of crime writers? People other than (sorry must make this 2 tweets)

(LSK) —than Dr Watson were telling Holmes stories even as the originals were coming out. Why do u think they felt that urge?

(MRH) They admired Holmes. They wished to speculate about him. So they made up stories.

(LSK) That’s it? Just a desire for more?

(MRH) Nicholas Meyer (your friend?) claimed that Dr Watson was such a great writer, others saw the stories as a challenge.

(LSK) But NM was explaining why he wrote his books & doesn’t speak for others. I’m not even sure I believe his excuse.

(MRH) I said claimed. I met Meyer when he was young. I think he wrote them through frustration with a mere 60 published tales

(LSK) Does it bother u that writers make up fictions about your husband? Some of their stories are pretty outrageous.

(MRH) I was young when I realised that since Holmes was seen asfictional, by contagion I would be so viewed as well.

(MRH) Thus I have lived a long life with one foot in the real world and the other in the world of being perceived as a fiction.

(MRH) My own literary agent, Laurie King, claims that it is necessary to categorise my memoirs—mine—as novels.

(MRH) And since I expect that you will now ask how that makes me “feel”, I will admit that the sensation of being fictional, is—

(MRH) —is indeed peculiar. What our—Holmes’ and my—friend Neil Gaiman calls the sensation of being “the idea of a person.”

(LSK) @neilhimself is one of those contributing to this current volume—which we’re calling A Study in Sherlock.

(MRH) I grasp the reference to the initial Conan Doyle story, but this assumption of first-name familiarity jars, a bit.

(LSK) Publishers, you know? This is the modern world. & you are after all American.

(MRH) Half American, and I retain very little of the accent, or attitudes.

(LSK) Back 2 the questions. How did Dr Watson react? Some stories came out while his were still appearing in The Strand.

(MRH) Uncle John had many shouting matches down the telephone with Sir Arthur, demanding solicitors be hired. To no avail.

(LSK) Well, we know what Shakespeare thought should be done with lawyers.

(MRH) That may be a bit drastic. Some of my best friends have lawyer relatives.

(LSK) And, um, I’m a lawyer. At least during the day.

(MRH) I know you are a lawyer, Mr Klinger. That was my feeble attempt at humour. We are also very aware of your New Annotated

(MRH) —Annotated Sherlock Holmes. An excellent attempt at scholarship, which will do until Holmes’ own notes are published.

(LSK) May I ask when that will be?

(MRH) No need to worry, Mr Klinger, it will be several more years.

(LSK) Right. So Dr W was upset, but not Holmes?

(MRH) Holmes learned long ago to leave the shouting to Dr Watson. He finds it best to stay aloof of the literary world.

(LSK) Some stories in this collection are less about Holmes than about people affected by Dr W’s stories. Do you approve?

(MRH) One might as well approve of breathing air, as of people falling under the spell of Sherlock Holmes, even second hand.

(LSK) So you do understand the appeal of the Sherlock Holmes stories over the ages?

(MRH) My dear young man, of course I understand their pull. I was captivated by the stories long before I met the man.

(LSK) Speaking of captivation, may I ask about your relationship with Mr Holmes?

(MRH) No. Oh dear, Mr Klinger, ominous noises from the laboratory require my immediate attention. Good luck with your book.

(LSK) Just another couple of questions, Miss Russell. May I ask, what is Mr Holmes doing these days?

(LSK) Miss Russell?

(LSK) Thank you, Miss Russell.

Mr Klinger tweets at lklinger (http://www NULL.twitter and I can be reached on twitter at mary_russell (http://www NULL.twitter

For more information on “A Study In Sherlock” go Here. (http://www NULL.astudyinsherlock You can also download excerpts from the sixteen short stories at Random House Here. (http://scr


  1. Kate M (http://www NULL.thediaryofdrwatts says:

    One would think that sooner or later Mr. Klinger will learn not to take the direct approach when attempting to ask about your relationship with Mr. Holmes…
    Thank you for posting this, Miss Russell! I am very much looking forward to getting my copy of the book, and wanted to follow your interview on Twitter, but was unable due to the aforementioned technical difficulties.

    • Mary Russell says:

      You are welcome. I did want an accurate transcript as a public record. Less likely to have ones words changed that way.

      Mary Russell

  2. Leslie S Klinger (http://www NULL.lesliesklinger says:

    Thank you, Miss Russell, both for agreeing to the interview and for posting the transcription. I apologize for our “technical difficulties.” Believe me, I would rather have been in England to interview you in person!

    • Mary Russell says:

      As you have no control over Twitter, and I did agreed to do the interview on that site, you have nothing to apologise for in this case, Mr Klinger.

      I would, however, ask that you not take this exchange as an invitation to appear at the cottage and pelt Holmes and me with further queries. We wish the quiet life (as quiet as is possible with certain goverments still insisting that Holmes consult) and only welcome those invited into our home on the Sussex downs.

      Mary Russell

  3. a fan of deduction says:

    In the interview what happend in the lab? Did Something expode or something? Did anyone get hurt or was it a mess Mrs. Hudson would clean in the morning?

  4. Fang says:

    Question: When is “Beekeeping for Beginers” going to be in a paper/hard back book not a E-book? I would really appreciate it if you would reply I mean I would really, really, really appreciate it. Thanks your books make my day.

    • Mary Russell says:

      There has been talk of including B4B at the end of next year’s memoir, but nothing is set as yet. It was meant to be an e-book, but many have asked for it to be in paper form. Since it is a short story it is not likely to be released on its own, but as I said, it may be a bonus to the next memoir.

      Mary Russell

  5. Fang says:

    In “God of the Hive” or as you would like to call it “The Green Man”, did you enjoy digging up a false grave? I read this book called “Skullduggery” it is about Phrenology and grave digging for famous skulls. It is a nice little read I recomend it.

  6. Fang says:

    In “Beekeeping for Begginers” were you flabergasted when you found out Holmes was going to commit suiside? ( sorry for misspellings) This is a good question. And do you think the show “House MD” is based off of “sherlock Holmes” because it is like Wilson is Watson and House is Holmes and not to be rude but House and Holmes did Drugs key word did.

  7. Fang says:

    Hey, it is Fang again, um my friends thinks she has a bigger shoe size than Holmes could you tell me his shoe size. please please please. ps this is sort of a little bet I am not a big gambler but this is for a good cause of Alacarte food the amazing food at school that doesnt taste like dirt. please please give me the ansewer. ( sorry for misspellings)

  8. Mercedes C.F. says:

    dear Miss. Russell,
    How are you? Is your life exciting? Why I am writing to you is because i’m confused a bit about how you spend holidays. If i’m not correct isnt Holmes Christian and your Jewish? How does that work in how you spend holidays. I know some people just do, is it called Honica or Christmas?( sorry for misspelling) But, people also do both holidays in the month. Hope you can settle my confusion a bit and hope you reply.

    From a big fan,
    Mercedes C.F.

    • Mary Russell says:

      Neither Holmes nor I celebrate a religious holiday, we enjoy time together and enjoy the delicious meals Mrs Hudson still insists on presenting. Friends and neighbours drop by at this time of year, and we have quiet evenings with good conversation by our warm fire.

      Mary Russell

  9. Mercedes C.F. says:

    I’m wondering if Horace Vernet paintings are in your home because as you know Horace was the great uncle of your husband and out of mild curosity what painting do you have if you have any. ( sorry for misspellings)

    In hopes you reply, Mercedes C.F.

    • MT says:

      What is Holmes’ middle name I I am wondering (sry of no grammer points, I am typing on a phone)

      • Mary Russell says:

        Some things Holmes just doesn’t wish to share with the public, his middle name is one of those things. Sorry, I can’t break his confidence.

        Mary Russell

        • MT says:

          That is understandable. well, have a nice winter. I think it i almost your birthday, so, happy early birthday!

          • MT says:

            Oh, wait, two days ago it was your birthday….. Happy late birthday!!! WHOO!!…… hope you had a nice birthday and a nice cake.

  10. Mercedes C.F. says:

    In the first book, i think it is, it said that holmes was going to get dogs to guard the house, did he? And, if he did what are there names? Also, if you do, what breeds?

  11. Mercedes C.F. says:

    Do you see estelle often then or only ever so often like holidays or birthdays or somthing like that?
    I hope she likes you and Holmes.

  12. A person with questions says:

    May I ask, why dont you ever say anything about your wedding in the second book or at the begining of the third book?

    A person with questions

    • Mary Russell says:

      Holmes and I were married by license at a registrars office. I called it an elopement at the end of “The Monstrous Regiment of Women” but it was more a private event, and not in a church, so no bans were read. Uncle John, Mrs. Hudson, and Brother Mycroft were there, and we had a lovely private wedding breakfast after. Does that answer your questions?

      Mary Russell

      • A person with questions says:

        yup. Thats what my second cousin did but they kept it a secret to their parents till my uncle got married and then the ring she had on kinda was of notice to all hahaha not very smart because she didnt want to spill the beans yet.

  13. A person with questions says:

    I know in some relationships when the husband and wife get into a fight the husband gets banished to the sofa. does that happen with you and Holmes?

  14. Fang says:

    how do you send stuff to russellscape?

  15. A Fan of Deduction says:

    I saw the map in the new book/ memior Garment of Shadows and i was wondering, Do you always wear your ring during a case? And does Holmes wear his ring during a case? and if you dont, do you ever waer your rings?

    A Fan of Deduction

    • Mary Russell says:

      As noted in “A Letter of Mary” there are times when in disguise I have to take off my ring. Otherwise I wear it on the ring finger of my right hand where it might be taken for a wedding band in the style of certain European communities, or for a memento.

      • Fan of Deduction says:

        That is intresting I ID people by their rings, so that would desive me, but thats prr the point haha. Well thanks for the reply.

  16. A Fan of Deduction says:

    Whats your brothers name? i keep looking for it but i cant find it. please reply.

  17. Fan of Deduction says:

    When Holmes had the three atempts on his life in ‘The Final Problem’ did he suspect they were going to happen?

    From a fan of all things Sherlock and Russell,

    A Fan of Deduction

  18. Elizabeth says:

    I will read this book as it seems to have favorable reviews.

    • Mary Russell says:

      Yes, “A Study In Sherlock” has won a few awards and has been very favourably received by the readers. A fine collection of short stories inspired by what is called Canon, or my Uncle John’s tales of Holmes. I hope you enjoy it.

      Mary Russell

Speak Your Mind