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.
This was a complex story of Morracan intrigue that was well researched, and of course well written. That being said, it was not my favorite of Laurie R. King's marvelous Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell novels, which was perhaps due as much to personal preference than anything else. The complexity of the plot and many unfamiliar long names had me relistening to parts to follow the plot. This may be due to my lack of familiarity with this historical time period.
This book also used multiple narrators. I love Jenny Sterlin's superb narration, and although the second narrator was perfectly fine to read the voice of Sherlock Holmes, he did not rise to the level of Jenny Sterlin's performance, and was personally a disappointment to me.
I'm a huge fan of these characters and plots. The slow build and attention to detail is absorbing. I'm afraid I'm going to outpace the author and hope she writes another.
I absolutely love this series. They are so much more than simply mysteries. The settings, the sense of time and place, are incredible. The way the author weaves in real people and events is not only interesting but also informative and endlessly encourage me to pop over to Wikipedia to follow up on an interesting tidbit, whether to see a Celtic triskelion or land giants and standing stones within the British landscape or the history and geography of North Africa and the Levant or the particulars of beekeeping and hive behavior or the devastation of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake or the machinations of politics and propaganda... An endless array of interesting information and insights have been added to my worldview while simultaneously enjoying a really good story. The author exhibits prodigious historical scholarship, insight and wisdom on the human experience, and a bard's gift for the tale. I rank Mary Russell alongside Amelia Peabody, Sebastian St. Cyr, Armand Gamache, Maisie Dobbs, Dr. Siri Paiboun, Flavia de Luce, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Vish Puri, Kamil Pasha, Rev. Clare Ferguson... as great literary sleuths whom I've also learned from and would love to have as real friends around the dinner table! These books are treasures!
This book built and at the end I was totally sucked in and enjoyed it. I was thrown off by the new reader as the original reader is superb. Overall would give it a 4.5 rating
I have enjoyed Jenny Sterlin's voicing of both the Holmes' and others throughout this series. I found the addition of a male voice jolting and distracting. Especially one who added a Scottish, or was it Irish, accent to Holmes proper and rye English comments, not to mention the middle eastern characters throughout this story.
Aware that I am coming to the end of a series I have throughly enjoyed, I have been carefully pacing myself so as to make it last. Imagine my disappointment when I finally treated myself to this title and found the familiar voice of Holmes totally out of character. However, I found the book one of the best in the series and look forward to the the next. I sincerely hope I will not have to continue to mentally substitute Ms Sterlin's voicing of Sherlock for Mr Machenzie's in order to better enjoy the dry humor and understated observations Mrs King has written for him.
How many times will Mary suffer blackout concussions throughout this series?! A bit cliché...The dialogue is meandering and frustrating with attempt to showcase the author's historical fiction storytelling, I miss the Holmes-Russell banter and deduction. Sterling, however is amazing as ever- truly one of the best readers
I loved it! Was actually sorry to get to the end and have to stop listening. Jenny Sterlin was excellent - she always is - I was less enthusiastic about the added male reader, probably because I have always liked the voice Ms Sterlin gave Holmes and I found the new Holmes voice less appealing. The story is compelling, the taste of Morocco's history, though fictionalized, is valuable and will have this reader looking up more information, and the performances kept the plot moving along and was hard to abandon. Listen to it, you'll enjoy it!
This is my favorite series right now and this book did not disappoint. I both enjoyed the book immensely and also learned a lot about the history of that time. Jenny Sterlin, as always, brought this story to life in such a perfect performance.
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