In a strange room in Morocco, Mary Russell is trying to solve a pressing mystery: Who am I? She has awakened with shadows in her mind, blood on her hands, and soldiers pounding on the door. Out in the hivelike streets, she discovers herself strangely adept in the skills of the underworld, escaping through alleys and rooftops, picking pockets and locks. She is clothed like a man, and armed only with her wits and a scrap of paper containing a mysterious Arabic phrase. Overhead, warplanes pass ominously north.
Meanwhile, Holmes is pulled by two old friends and a distant relation into the growing war between France, Spain, and the Rif Revolt led by Emir Abd el-Krim—who may be a Robin Hood or a power mad tribesman. The shadows of war are drawing over the ancient city of Fez, and Holmes badly wants the wisdom and courage of his wife, whom he’s learned, to his horror, has gone missing. As Holmes searches for her, and Russell searches for herself, each tries to crack deadly parallel puzzles before it’s too late for them, for Africa, and for the peace of Europe.
©2012 Laurie R. King (P)2012 Recorded Books
I had enjoyed all of the Russell titles until the last which was far below the rest in terms of story, tone and general interest. I was ready to give up the series. However, this one is as good as the rest. My interest was maintained by the intricate plot, including the presence of Holmes in more of the story. The descriptions of historical foreign lands take me away during my daily commute.
The relationship between Holmes and Russell is always fun and the author has always shown the more humanistic side to Sherlock Holmes which I enjoy. I also love the description of exotic lands and lifestyles of Morocco between the wars.
Any scene with the Russell- Holmes combo.
I enjoyed this book greatly. Laurie R. King is at her best in terms of satisfying suspense and action, and the circumstances at the beginning of the book are delicious by any mystery fan's standards!
My only complaint, and this is really more for the audiobook, was how hard it was to follow the characters. I'm not familiar with Arabic and French names and titles, and found it difficult to keep track of who was who.
If someone with access to the spelling of the characters would put together a character outline for audio readers, I beg of you to do so! Had I such an outline, this would be a five star reading experience for me.
Still enjoyable, even if the who's who only comes together with the plot conclusion.
The story is overly convoluted and filled with more historical information than necessary. I usually love this series but this one was not worth the time. The performance of the actor playing Holmes was dull as dishwater and it seems more like a reading than a performance.
As always I enjoy the historical aspects of these series. taking into account all that is going on in the world, it is wise to remember the impact of colonialism in the middle east.
My friend introduced me to Laurie R. King when The Beekeeper's Apprentice was first released, so I feel a particular investment in this storyline. When I read each book (this is the first of the series I've listened to), I feel more and more like if I was the intellectual I want to be I'd enjoy them more. There's a lot of detail and research to the stories, but they seem dry. Maybe it's an artistic choice to represent the time of the story? I enjoy the details of each book, but find each a chore to get through. The audio version made Garment of Shadows a much more pleasant journey, but I still had to take frequent breaks so that I could stay engaged while listening.
Russell and Holmes have been through the wringer at the hands of Ms. King, always walking a fine line between affection and restraint. As usual though, I am left wanting a little more affection between them. Still interesting characters, it just seems that they're starting to dry up.
I have listened to almost all of the Mary and Sherlock's adventures and enjoyed them. However, this book was more of a history/travelogue than mystery. It is very long and here is no action at all for at least the first half of the book and even when things began to happen, it was so overwoven with historical information that it was not exciting. I hope the next one is better.
More of a plot and less of the narrative
Nothing really grabbed me yet; I'm only about 2 hours into it and, as I listen in the car, I find my thoughts wandering about anything BUT the story. I seem to listen in for a minute, nothing going on, then I'm back thinking about other stuff, remember to listen in again, same old narrative. No real reason to pay attention. With all this in mind, I may have to amend this review; perhaps it will improve. Right now though, I'm inclined to move on to something a bit more interesting.
I got the feeling she was writing this book more as an obligation to produce than the desire to tell a good story.
It's an interesting story with Holmes and Russell embroiled in another critical international imbroglio. Toss in two of my favorite characters, Ali and Mahmoud Hazr, and you have a book as enjoyable as any in the series.
The addition of Robert Ian Mackenzie as a narrator was the first major mistake in the series. I have all the books, I've listened to them repeatedly, and Jenny Sterlin IS the voice of Sherlock Holmes. She's one of a handful of female narrators who can do justice to male voices to the point you completely forget her gender. I loved all the previous books. I cannot say the same for this one. Please, please, don't do this again. As a matter of fact, if you re-release it with Jenny Sterlin as the sole narrator, I will happily buy that one too.
No... not really. The only way that you are going to enjoy this book is if you are a very dedicated Holmes and Russell fan... and even then, the book drags............................
Sterlin - Awesome, Mackenzie - okay, Holmes and Russell in the desert again - (blows raspberry)!
Yes.... if nothing more than to get Holmes and Russell back to either England or America
There is another review by a reviewer named "Connie".... I absolutely agree with everything Connie said. I am a die hard Holmes and Russell fan - but if there are any more stories of them in some Middle Eastern Country, in the desert, with Amnesia etc etc.... Then I am out!
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