“Garment of Shadows” by Laurie R. King / Wednesday, September 5, 2012 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Garment of Shadows: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes by Laurie R. King.

"Garment of Shadows" by Laurie R. King

“Garment of Shadows” by Laurie R. King

Why Clay Stafford chose this book:

This is not your traditional Sherlock Holmes. In the latest novel featuring Mary Russell and her husband, the famous Mr. Holmes, we find ourselves in the midst of an impending war in historical Morocco between Spain, France, and several interior tribal clans and warlords. I started reading and had to go downstairs for a moment and get a cup of coffee (sorry, not Arabic, all I had was South American, but bitter of course with no sugar) and then settled in for an all night reading fest. This was my first time reading Laurie R. King’s work and I was intrigued to see Holmes as a settled man. The relationship between his wife and him is subtle, yet longing and solid. I loved the nuances of their relationship. It’s an erudite book, as one would expect featuring Holmes, and very well-researched. The details are tremendous. The story centers around a kidnapping, which Russell and her husband must solve and, of course, their sleuthing puts them in danger. There is much parallel in this book to what is going on in the world today and, if you are a follower of history, you’ll see it immediately: Tribal factions tearing at the Middle East’s seams, outside influence confusing priorities with their own self-interest, religious leaders vying against political foes, a subterfuge smokescreen of God (or Allah) and country when the real focus is behind-the-scenes exploitation of natural resources. It’s history repeating itself. “How often the fate of nations comes down to personalities,” the book states. “A nugget of truth often sleeps, deep in a tangled web of lies.” I love a book that makes me think while at the same time having fun and caring about the characters. This book does just that and for those who love historical fiction, it doesn’t get any better.

From the publisher:

“Laurie R. King’s New York Times bestselling novels of suspense featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, comprise one of today’s most acclaimed mystery series. Now, in their newest and most thrilling adventure, the couple is separated by a shocking circumstance in a perilous part of the world, each racing against time to prevent an explosive catastrophe that could clothe them both in shrouds.

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.

With the dazzling mix of period detail and contemporary pace that is her hallmark, Laurie R. King continues the stunningly suspenseful series that Lee Child called the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.

If you want to make your own comments on this selection, we would love to hear from you. Join ourFacebook Killer Nashville group page or our blog and join in the discussion.

Remember that these books are listed at a discount through Amazon. You also don’t have to purchase the version that is featured here. Many of these books are available in multiple formats: e–book, hardcover, softcover, and audio. Enjoy!

– Clay Stafford, Founder of Killer Nashville