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Garment of Shadows

(Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #12)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  7,706 ratings  ·  972 reviews
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 ...more
Kindle Edition, 289 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Bantam
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Cynthia K It will stand alone, but I agree that the earlier books add to the richness of the story line.
The history of Morocco and it's tribal factions is…more
It will stand alone, but I agree that the earlier books add to the richness of the story line.
The history of Morocco and it's tribal factions is totally relevant to what's going on in many areas of the world today.
And it's just a darn good read!(less)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  7,706 ratings  ·  972 reviews

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Start your review of Garment of Shadows (Mary Russell, #12)
I genuinely like this series of memoirs from Sherlock Holmes’s late-life partner and wife, but I shake my head in bafflement over every second or third one. This is a story of amnesia and intrigue in French and Spanish Morocco in the early 1920’s. A lovely sense of place, as usual, but otherwise . . . no. There is a good book here, it’s just that this book only intersects with that one for about twenty pages. The emotional crux of the book lies neither with Holmes nor Russell, and we only get to ...more
Nov 18, 2015 rated it liked it

I started out loving this series. However, when I read Pirate King, I thought it was all over between me and Laurie R King. It's taken me a while to get over my disappointment with that particular offering. However, when I wanted something light to read, I found my way back to her work.

Better than Pirate King, but nowhere near as good as earlier books in the series, this installment in the series served its purpose by giving me something reasonably engaging and easy to read. Mary Russell and
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I really enjoyed reading this book, especially since I found the previous book; Pirate King, to be a bit of a letdown. I usually love these books, but Pirate King just didn't work for me. But, this book did, the story was interesting and captivating. Mary Russell wakes up in a room in Morocco with no memory of who she is. There are soldiers pounding on the door and blood on her hands. She is clothed like a man and she discovers while running from the soldiers that she is quite skilled when it ...more
Barb in Maryland
Ah, much better..
After being so sorely disappointed in The Pirate King, I was rather hesitant about reading this one. However, my trepidation was unnecessary--Ms King is back in fine form. Russell and Holmes are up to their necks again in international intrigue and all's right in this reader's world.
The plot is an intricate one, involving the Rif Rebellion in Morocco in the early 1920s. I am always happy to learn new (to me)bits of history, so I loved all the background info. The local politics
Deborah Harkness
loved this entry in the Mary Russell series. What a fantastic, well-crafted beginning, and the rest of the story unfolds beautifully.
Kerry Kilburn
I am a die-hard Laurie R King fan and have been since I read her first book not long after it was published. I can't think of another author who has written as many different kinds of protagonists and set stories in as many different kinds of settings as she has, or who has crossed genre lines as successfully. Her sense of place is always a joy to experience, her research impeccable, and her prose extraordinary. While those elements are present in this latest installment of her Mary Russell ...more
I have to admit that I am a bit disappointed in this book. I'm not sure if I am reading a travelogue or an exposition on the early 20th century political history of Morocco. While I appreciate some history, several pages of exposition regarding the Rif Revolt, M. Lyautey, and the Abd el-Krims were superfluous. And the descriptions...yes, she has amnesia and yes, she is trying to decipher clues to her identity, but do we really need several pages of descriptions of the various alleys and shops in ...more
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Laurie King has made her literary stock and trade from the imagined relationship between a “retired” Sherlock Holmes and a young apprentice/partner, Mary Russell. To say “stock and trade” is not to denigrate … only to acknowledge that according to Goodreads, this is #12 in her series. Though King builds on what we have been given by Arthur Conan Doyle as the consummate detective, King does not ape his style, though she is careful to keep the general personalities of Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft ...more
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sherlock, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eh. Not a bad book by any means, but without a doubt my least favourite in the series.

I just had a really hard time getting into it. Too much exposition, too much background - all of it necessary for the plot, and perhaps if the book had been twice as long, with something else actually happening rather than just a lot of talking about the political situation in Morocco in the early 1920s, I wouldn't have minded.

I mean, the politics & history lesson was interesting, but I'd have read a
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-books
3.5 stars, actually.

I was lucky enough to recieve an advanced reader's copy of Garment of Shadows and devoured it in about 3 days! So...without further ado, here is my review(I swear, I didn't mean to make that rhyme)

As for the storyline itself, without giving too much away, Mary Russell has amnesia. You might think you know amnesia stories, but think again. She wakes up in Morroco, unsure if she's killed someone,covered in blood.

Holmes himself doesn't pop in until around page 36 or I
Brenda Hawley
I have enjoyed all of Laurie R King's Mary Russell series, especially the toungue-in-cheek Pirate King. This novel, however, is not one of my favorites. Mary wakes with amnesia (a convention I still find pretty trite) and wanders around Fez, Morocco looking for clues to her identity. Two comrades from other books, Mahmoud and Ali, are involved with political upheaval in the country centering around two opposing factions,as well as the Spanish and the French. One positive was that I did learn ...more
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has a beautiful cover.
It had a very slow beginning and as I started coming up on the middle of the book, I couldn't take anymore. It has a lot of history of Morocco and background and such. It is a very atmospheric book but I just couldn't hang on anymore. Not for me, but I think there are a lot of history buff people who will like this book
S. J.
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the series, Sherlock Holmes fans
Recommended to S. by: The Series/Author
Garment of Shadows: Mary Russel and Sherlock Holmes # 12 - Keep them coming, Mrs. King! *5 Stars**The Gush*

Note: Spoilers are only for previous books in the series and parts of the story mentioned in the book description.
Wow. What a ride and what a trip. I'm still checking my clothes for hints of spice, sand, and sweat. Once again, Laurie R. King has done a beautiful job of transporting the reader to another place and another time. I feel like you need a passport for this series or something.
Connie G
Mary Russell, the investigator and young wife of Sherlock Holmes, awakens with a concussion and amnesia. She reacts instinctively to avoid capture by a group of soldiers, and wonders how she acquired the knowledge needed to escape. She soon realizes she is in Morocco and her memory comes back in bits and pieces. After Holmes is reunited with her, they become involved in some international intrigue during the 1920s Moroccan independence movement.

Before starting the book, it was helpful to have
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm very fond of the author's Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, but this one is a miss. Not enough Russell and Holmes together, too much background history...not enough plot, too much detail. Looking forward to this duo heading back to England together.
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This latest Russell/Holmes novel of suspense came out in September, 2012. It's a tale of adventure with a focus on a small cast and the complicated political situation in Morocco in 1924.
I really liked PIRATE KING and I loved GOD OF THE HIVE. But PIRA was just for fun and GOTH was incredibly complex, as well as beautifully executed. This is more vintage Russell, with the initially odd device that Russell has no idea who she is or why she's there.
I couldn't help thinking, as Laurie has said
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Premise: The suave, older Sherlock Holmes finds and marries his proto-feminist intellectual and daring female equal.

Sounds dreadfully contrived. Until the last two books, it's been beautifully conceived, plotted, written. The characters are utterly alive.

While the writing in the last 2 entries - "The Pirate King" and "Garment of Shadows" - holds up, the plotting does not, I am very sorry to report.

Gave up on both volumes. Too little time; too much to read.

But I totally recommend the
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mary Russell is married to Sherlock Holmes. This book is supposed to be her memoir of their time in Morocco in 1924.

The parts about Russell are kind of boring. She has amnesia and bumbles around a lot. The parts about Holmes are more interesting but he’s worried about Russell.

There are rebels in northern Morocco. Holmes is distant cousin to the head of the French colony - a decent man. There’s a lot of kidnapping. There are traitors and rescues galore before we learn what is really happening.
Sheila Samuelson (BookAddict29) on youtube
After reading this book I OFFICALLY love Sherlock Holmes and is now one fo my fave detectives!! Suspense, Drama, Mystery all make for a good book!! Think of it as Sherlock Holmes meets the game Clue in the Middle East!!

I will definitely be reading more stories with Sherlock Holmes in the future!!
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
I liked this story, overall, and it was a good edition in the series, though it's not my favorite. It's not my least favorite, either, though, so there's that.

I was a bit leery in the beginning with the whole amnesia thing, but it was one way to make a mystery of events which had involved Mary and which she then was forced to have to try to remember/investigate.

I loved Holmes' in this story, but, then, I often do. I was glad that we actually got to see Holmes' activities while he was away from
Probably four and a half stars - but I'm happy to round up for Holmes and Russell.

Bless Netgalley's buttons, persistence paid off and I finally got approved. If only it hadn't taken me so long to get this review written … par for the course, lately.

The story is well set up, with an economy and elegance that should make lesser series writers weep. It is not long after Pirate King. Holmes doesn't know where Russell is. Russell doesn't know where Russell is, nor whom for the matter of that. The
Ivonne Rovira
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmes' wife and detective partner (first introduced in The Beekeeper's Apprentice) has lost her memory and her way. The rest of the novel traces how she gets back to Holmes and gradually gets back her memories and how the couple prevent war in Morocco, then a colonial territory under French rule in the south and Spanish rule to the north. Longtime readers will find out new aspects to characters from previous novels. (To specify which and what would ruin the enjoyment.) ...more
I love the idea of this series and really liked the first book, so when I saw this one as a cheap audiobook I snapped it up. But frankly, parts of it were really tedious. There is a LOT of background/history of Morocco and international politics of the period, replete with unfamiliar names and geographic regions. I'm a visual learner, so listening to these history lessons was pretty futile; it took me a long time to keep the rebellion leaders straight. (As a side note, I don't think the ...more
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jill Heather
Amnesia plots always seem like they are just there for convenience -- in this one, Russell remembers just enough, and senses trust for just the right people, and gets her memories back at just the right times, etc, etc, that the whole thing seems like bad plotting. And the book appeared to be a way to give us a Lesson on the Evils of Colonialism Though Some Colonialists Are Good, with bonus Isn't The History Of Morocco Neat? (It is, actually.)

Some old friends come back -- Mahmoud and Ali, of
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These books featuring Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes just fly by way too fast! The readers for the audio version are excellent, so I always try to listen on my days off work, as once it's started, I just don't want to stop until the end.

Russell was to meet Holmes in Fez (Morocco) after finishing up her work with the filming company, but when he arrives at the appointed place and time, she is not there. He subsequently learns that Mary went off into the desert holding the hand of a
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historical
Very disappointed in this one. People kept getting abducted and escaping, but the actual mystery was why that kept happening. This is much more the history of Morocco and wars and the political dance back in the 1920's.

Holmes does very little in this one.
I found it confusing... probably should learn more of the history.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Dec 07, 2015 06:20AM  
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Edgar-winning mystery writer Laurie R. King writes series and standalone novels. Her official forum is
THE LRK VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB here on Goodreads--please join us for book-discussing fun.

King's 2018 novel, Island of the Mad, sees Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes travel from London's Bedlam to the glitter of Venice's Lido,where Young Things and the friends of Cole Porter pass Mussolini's

Other books in the series

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, #1)
  • A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, #2)
  • A Letter of Mary (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, #3)
  • The Moor (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, #4)
  • O Jerusalem (Mary Russell, #5)
  • Justice Hall (Mary Russell, #6)
  • The Game (Mary Russell, #7)
  • Locked Rooms (Mary Russell, #8)
  • The Language of Bees (Mary Russell, #9)
  • The God of the Hive (Mary Russell, #10)
“The matches also came into focus: a cheap, bright label, in French. I picked up the box, slid it open, my nose stung by the smell of sulphur. Four matches. I took one, scraped it into life, held it to the oil lamp. A spot of warmth entered the room.” 0 likes
“The problem in turning independent thinkers loose on a matter is, they tend to go beyond the theoretical and seize the chance for independent action. Thus,” 0 likes
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