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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    445
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    278
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    105
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    484
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    189
  • 3 Stars
    56
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    17
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    6

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    235
  • 3 Stars
    88
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    9
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Who sucked the fun out of Russell and Holmes?


A revival of the charming (if improbable) relationship between Russell and Holmes depicted in this series' earlier installments might have helped - but not saved - this one. These two characters' interactions seemed more appropriate to those between very distant relatives-by-marriage, rather than those between loving spouses.
I also missed Russell's customary acerbic asides; her occasional (but respectfully supressed) eye-rollings at Holmes' dusty fuddy-duddyisms; and her succinct observations on the strictures early-20th century mores imposed on bright young women.
Additionally, although the apparent depth of LRK's research into the historical political intrigues fueling the story's progress is impressive, the plot was at best murky and labyrinthal. In several instances, I actually reviewed previous chapters to figure out who was where, why and with whom?
Regardless, looking forward to the return of the original Russell and Holmes and a more cohesive storyline.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Laurie R King back on track

Would you listen to Garment of Shadows again? Why?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Which scene was your favorite?

Any scene with the Russell- Holmes combo.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A History of Morocco

Interesting voice for Sherlock and the other men. Took some getting used to, but probably the best for a story of men in conflict, rebellion, fighting.
Mary finds herself with a concussion and amnesia, not knowing how she was injured, where she is, where she needs to go. My favorite part is when Sherlock finds her, and she doesn't know him. A solid 4 Stars all around.

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Complex Story and Multiple Narrators

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.

  • Overall

Loved it

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.

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Historical Mysteries at Their Best

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!

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narration

Did not enjoy the second narrator for Holmes. Please let Jenny Sterling narrate it all.

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Garment

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

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Narration change

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

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.

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Politics-driven, amnesia-ridden disappointment

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