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Garment of Shadows
Mary Russell / Sherlock Holmes Series #12
Laurie R. King

September 4, 2012 / ISBN: 9780553807998

Reviewed by Linda Morelli

I have loved Laurie R. King's "Mary Russell" series since the first 1993 release, "The Beekeeper's Apprentice." I was fascinated when the older Sherlock Holmes met Mary Russell, a woman several generations younger than him, but whose talents and intelligence often mirrored Holmes’ genius. From the first page, Ms. King’s unique style held me entranced. Her characterization is outstanding and her exciting, realistic plots and vibrant locations have kept me a fan ever since.

Although Ms. King’s books are primarily mysteries, they are also a story of growing love between two unusually talented loners who find strength in a caring relationship that allows them each the freedom to be themselves, yet together make a capable investigative team.

This novel, the 12th in the series, opens with Mary Russell suffering a memory loss due to an injury. She doesn’t know who or where she is, though she knows how to adeptly escape from a two-story bedroom window when soldiers arrive. Though confused, Mary’s innate abilities surface and allow her to survive. The novel’s pacing is at first slow, allowing Ms. King to reveal the confused emotions and thoughts of an amnesiac, but as Mary’s memory returns, the pace quickens. She realizes she is in 1924 Fez, Morocco, a country with conflicting leaders; a country eyed by Britain, Spain, France and Germany, who each desire to control the country’s leaders and natural resources.

I totally enjoyed the plot and realistic settings. Mary Russell is a match for Holmes, but Ms. King doesn’t allow such a strong character to dominate the scenes in which he appears. I suppose that’s what I admire most about Ms. King. She allows Mary to be a strong woman in a male-dominated world.

Garment of Shadows is loaded with political intrigue, fascinating settings and an exciting plot. A definite must read.

Reviews of other titles in this series

The Beekeepers Apprentice #1
Island of the Mad #11
Garment of Shadows #12
Dreaming Spies #13

Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.
Reviewed 2012