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'm a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and this is the first series that I have continued to listen to based on the original. Mary Russell is a nice addition to the storyline.
I didn't read the print version. I have, however, read many of Laurie King's novels. I would say that listening vs reading is strictly a preference based on what other activities I'm engaged in and what time of the day I want to be entertained.
Laurie King revived my interest/excitement over the series with this book after the previous one in the series which was pretty disappointing. Good, sound writing and excellent psychological insight into the characters. Good amount of tension and uncertainty.
One can't skim sections. One has to keep to the pace of the spoken word -- sometimes this is an advantage.
Only if I was on a very long drive. But yes, the plot was sufficiently engaging that it was hard to stop listening.
Reader and director did a super job capturing the feel of the novel.
Laurie King doesn't disappoint with this story. Once again there are some good characters and a convoluted story line to keep you entertained.
I think this book is as good as most of her books.
I liked having the 2 voices for the two main characters. It made the story a bit more "real.
I've enjoyed each book of this series but am puzzled about why a male narrator has been added. I haven't finished listening, but so far I find it hard to distinguish the voices of the characters he narrates. This is confusing and does nothing to enhance the story.
I wanted it to be good. Certainly, the narration was flawless as usual with the magnificent Jenny Sterlin. But for some reason Laurie R. King seems to have lost the thread in the past few Russel/Holmes books. The duo now seems to spend far more time working apart than together, which is a let-down. I'm pretty burned-out on the "Mysterious Middle East" as well -- the backgrounds and characters are starting to hum one very tired single note and reek of cliche. I LOVED this series when it started; it's one of the few series that caused me to eagerly anticipate release dates -- but... it's gone downhill. Just not the same interesting interplay of characters with a tight, fast-paced plot that the first books of the series possessed. I hope the next Russel/Holmes book is better (and I hope it's not set in Morocco, or Palestine or India!).
Amnesia - really???? The initial premise hit a tin note. I enjoyed the books where Holmes and Russell actually worked together instead of apart. And most of the characters just seemed like rehashed versions from previous books.
Jenny Sterlin IS Mary Russel -- she nails the character; her narration is impeccable. Robert Ian Mackenzie's not bad... but he frequently over enunciates to the point of distraction -- it pulls me right out of the story. Makes me imagine him wearing dentures that are about 1.5 sizes too large! But Sterlin is a gem.
I've been loyal to this series; I struggled to finish this one because it just seemed stale and predictable to me. The ending was SO not a surprise -- it was actually pretty obvious. Which is a let-down with a mystery!
I'll check the next book that comes out -- but if that follows the same path, it'll probably be my last visit with Holmes and Russell. There are several really talented Holmes pastiche authors out there; the only problem on the audiobook side is that they don't generally have truly exceptional narrators. That's one thing that set this series apart -- it was FAR more fun to listen to Sterlin's narration than it was to read the print. I hope it comes back to the dash and fun of The Moor, Beekeeper's Apprentice, etc...
Fan of mystery & romance -- particularly of historical persuasion!"
The format was changed for this audiobook and resulted in quite a disappointment. Love Jenny Sterlin's narration in all past books. Nothing wrong with the male narrator that took on Sherlock's parts in this book - he did an okay job -- but it really impacted the book reading in a negative way (very negative) to make this change. Should have somehow adapted it to allow Jenny Sterlin to narrate the entire book.
I downloaded this book to take on a 12 hour road trip. I don't recommend it for this kind of listening, and I'm not sure I could recommend it at all. It seemed to me that it went way over the top with long, convoluted political discussions, and most of the action is described after the fact by the characters, i.e. it doesn't happen "live."
And although I'm all for woman power, this got kind of ridiculous in several places, notably when Mary manages to knock out 3 armed men, each with a single blow. Give me a break.
I actually took an active dislike to the book toward the end, and only finished it because my travel companion, who had slept through most of it, wanted to hear the last part.
yes. the narrators do a great job/
I have thoroughly enjoyed the entire series.
It is a toss up between Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes
The book, yes. The audio book? No. The narration by Robert Ian Mackenzie pulls me out of the story and ruins an otherwise beloved series for me.
I truly do not understand why they felt the need to, on the 12th book, change the narration of the story to dual narration, especially with a book featuring a number of previously heard characters. I was truly disappointed in this change and while I will remain a loyal Laurie R King reader, I may think twice about listening to the audio books if future stories are treated in the same manner. Mackenzie's narration demonstrated a lack of understanding of the "Holmesian" voice and his characters all sounded alike. Truly disappointing as I so love Ms. Sterlin's work on these books.
I love Laurie R. King and the wonderful stories she weaves. I actually got to MEET Laurie R. King a couple weeks ago at a bookstore event. She told many stories, including how she was inspired to set this stage of their story in west Africa. She actually was vacationing in Spain or thereabouts with her family, and they took a short trip to Fez (or one of the neighboring cities mentioned in the book, I can't remember which one now). She happily discovered a wonderful backdrop for the continuing saga of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. She also was pleased to discover that there had actually been a civil war in the area at the same time the book was to take place!
Laurie is such an educated, scholarly, and funny woman...just as I have always imagined Mary Russell to be....they are both tall, have degrees in religion and philosphy, are married to much older men, and are always up for the next adventure. I love knowing that the characters in a book are based on real people...but then that's why her books have been so successful, I think. "Write what you know" they always say....and she did, does, and hopefully will for many years to come.
Side Note: If it's been awhile since you finished the last book, The Pirate King, I would recommend re-reading the end of the book. Garment of Shadows starts exactly where Pirate King left off. I made the mistake of not refreshing my memory on the end of the previous book and I was so confused for the first several pages until I remembered what had happened. Enjoy!
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