Garment of Shadows – Laurie R. King

This is the twelfth installment in the mystery and adventure series featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes.  Having awakened in bed with a skull throbbing so painfully she wanted to weep, she realized that she could not just lie in bed, she had to be somewhere.  She is in a small room with a bit of rough furniture.  But where is she, and more importantly, who is she?  And why is there blood on her hands?

Mary Russell, for of course that’s who she is, wanders the streets in Fez, Morocco, trying to jog her memory with little success.  Meanwhile Holmes, searching for his wife after she fails to meet him at the appointed rendezvous, learns that she was last seen walking into the desert with a child several days ago.  The two soon reunite and inadvertently become involved in the internal politics of the country.   Morocco in 1924, was divided into protectorates of France and Spain, and opposing nationalist factions are about to plunge the country into civil war.  Holmes and Russell are asked to take part in an effort to defuse the situation.

Filled with the sounds and smells of Morocco and overlaid with political intrigue this latest adventure is truly unique and enjoyable.  There are real people and real events intermingling with the fictional.  It helps to have read the earlier books, but it is not necessary.  Laurie King’s writing style is such a pleasure to read.  Mary Russell’s wit and intelligence feed the interplay between Holmes and Russell.  Another good read in an excellent series.

eGalley review     Publication date 9.4.12

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