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Garment of Shadows: A novel of suspense…
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Garment of Shadows: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and… (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Laurie R. King

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4573822,782 (3.68)1 / 45
Member:jamespurcell
Title:Garment of Shadows: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes
Authors:Laurie R. King
Info:Bantam (2012), Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, Mystery, Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes, WLS, RBU

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Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King (2012)

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Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell find themselves in Fez, Morocco, this time. Mary and Sherlock are separated. Mary wakes up in a strange place, injured, and without her memory. She runs from soldiers and wanders the poorer area trying to remember who she is and learn where she is. She does learn that she has some skills as a pickpocket, acrobat, and thief but doesn't really learn much about herself in her explorations.

Meanwhile, Sherlock who had been off visiting a distant cousin, returns to rejoin Mary only to discover that she is missing. He immediately begins a hunt for her which leads him to Fez. In 1924, things in Morocco are tense. The country is divided between the Spanish and the French and the natives are unhappy with both. The man in charge of the French Protectorate is Holmes' cousin. The native rebel forces are well-armed because they have had victories over the Spanish and gotten a lot of their arms from the captured armies.

The rebels themselves are not united. The two factions are controlled by Raisuni who is the last of Barbary pirates and who has made substantial funds by kidnapping and ransoming Europeans and the Abd al-Klims who are Western educated and anxious for independence for their country. The land is full of spies and supporters of all political interests. Mary soon learns that her friends Mahmoud and Ali Hzir (from O Jerusalem and Justice Hall) who are British agents controlled by Mycroft Holmes are deep in the mix of spies.

Mary has to recover her memory, rescue her friend Mahmoud, and determine who is pulling the strings, and what strings they are pulling, in this very troubled region. She is battered, shot at, and kidnapped in the course of her investigation.

What I really like about this series of historical mysteries is that I learn so much about pieces of history that I never knew about. I also really like Mary as a main character. She is an intellectual and physical equal to her husband Sherlock Holmes even though she is probably 50 years his junior and only about 24. She is a scholar and a reluctant investigator. She also has a strong moral compass that has been putting her at odds with Mycroft's machinations in these last couple books.

The language, because the stories are told in Mary's voice, is articulate and descriptive without being flowery. Mary has a dry sense of humor.

Fans of Sherlock Holmes will enjoy this series and this latest episode of Mary Rusell's and Sherlock Holmes' adventures. ( )
  kmartin802 | Nov 29, 2014 |
Although Mary Russell is a like able character, Sherlock Holmes seems to be more of a legitimizing agent. She could be a strong stand alone. ( )
  angelfishy | Aug 7, 2014 |
Synopsis: Russell walks out into the desert near Fez with a small child and disappears. Holmes must not only find Russell, but Mahmond without getting caught up in the Spanish, French, Bedouin, Moroccan conflicts. With the help of a young child, a plot is uncovered that will change the course of the war and the progress of Britain.
Review: This is one of the better of King's books. The setting reflects the war that was brewing in the 1920s and sets the stage for the independence of Algeria and Morocco in the 1960s. ( )
  DrLed | Jun 21, 2014 |
Russell wakes up with no memory while Holmes searches for her. The story is based in Morocco. A very enjoyable audio. ( )
  hoosgracie | Jun 3, 2014 |
This was much better than Pirate King which was boring. Ali and Mahmoud are two of my favourite characters from the earlier books so it was great to have them back. And I learnt a little of Morocco's history - of which I knew nothing. ( )
  infjsarah | Jun 1, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurie R. Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
mackenzie, robert ianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
sterlin, jennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Let us learn their ways, just as they are learning ours - Hubert Lyautey
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This book is dedicted to those who reach across boundaries with a hand of welcome.
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The big man had the brains of a tortoise, but even he was beginning to look alarmed.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553807994, Hardcover)

Q&A: Louise Penny interviewing Author Laurie R. King

Louisse Penny

Louise Penny Biography: Louise Penny is the New York Times bestselling author of eight Chief Inspector Gamache novels, which have won the New Blood Dagger, Macavity, Nero, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Agatha, Dilys, and Anthony Awards. She lives with her husband in Québec, where she is at work on her next novel.

Q: Garment of Shadows is the twelfth book in the Mary Russell series (along with the e-short story, Beekeeping for Beginners). How has Mary evolved for you from your first novels? Has she surprised you in any ways?

A: The Beekeeper's Apprentice was intended as a coming-of-age novel, in which a brilliant young mind grows into its own under the guidance of an equally brilliant, if unlikely, tutor: one Sherlock Holmes. That book set the stage for a life (and a relationship) that has circled the globe both physically and metaphorically, and over the decade of their adventures, she has definitely evolved.

As for surprising me, I'm the kind of writer who researches closely, plots vaguely, and then dives in and follows the characters as they meet the challenges of the time and place. I positively depend on my characters surprising me.

Q: A big part of your mysteries is the globetrotting element. What has led you to set your mysteries in so many places?

A: It isn’t just that it gives me an excuse to travel. Honestly.

Sherlock Holmes is English: specifically, a Londoner. Sherlock Holmes is also solitary, accompanied only by Dr. Watson. When I started writing Holmes, I envisioned him as a supporting actor, but soon found myself exploring his character, forcing him outside his stereotypes and making demands on him that Conan Doyle never did: a Victorian in a post-WWI world; a solitary man in a serious relationship; an Englishman in foreign lands.

And I was fascinated to find how he both developed and remained true to himself. Sherlock Holmes as a travelling magician in rural India, or a Bedouin in Palestine, is both the same man and intriguingly different.

Their travel also puts Russell on a more level plane with him, since even if he’s familiar with the country, she has the advantage of youth’s natural flexibility to adapt.

Q: How do you approach the historical relevancy of the time period and place? How much of the Arab Spring has influenced Garment of Shadows?

A: Historical fiction is both a window and a mirror. My readers are people who love to learn about other times and places (and yes, I am a compulsive researcher!). Yet without the reflection of our own concerns and experiences, a historical novel has as much appeal as a stack of 3”x5” cards.

As a writer, my primary task is to entertain. But we writers are sly, and we have deeper goals. We aim to leave the reader thinking, just a little, about these different yet oddly familiar people.

While I was writing Garment of Shadows, which draws in part on the 1920s Moroccan independence movement, the crowds gathered in Tahrir Square: no doubt that awareness wove its way into the story, just as the story now will weave its way into the minds of its readers. A novel is an entertainment, but it is also a mirror giving a new perspective on the world.

Q: If you could grant Russell and Holmes one modern convenience in solving their mysteries, what would it be?

A: Holmes would leap at the Internet, gloating over all the world's information at his fingertips. Russell, on the other hand, would love cell phones—she's forever wondering what on earth Holmes is up to.

Would it be cheating to give them both smart phones?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:42 -0400)

Waking up in Morocco with no memory of her identity, Mary Russell is enmeshed in the political and military uprisings of Europe, while Sherlock Holmes taps the assistance of T. E. Lawrence to restore Mary's memory and prevent a full-scale war that threatens countless lives.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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