Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
34
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 13 October 2012
It must be at least 20 years since I last overshot my stop on the Tube, and that was because I fell asleep. Last night it happened again, but this time I was far from asleep; rather, I was captive in a dungeon underground with Mary, as she tried to break free from her shackles and save the life of the weakening Mahmoud. There are excellent reviews here which cover this period of Moroccan history and politics so I shall not rehearse them again here, but this is an exciting book in which LRK has found her form again, after the rather disappointing Pirate King. There is a novella at the end, Beekeeping for beginners, which returns to the first meeting of Holmes and Russell, and elaborates on a scenario where Russell's considerable inheritance puts her at risk from relatives who plot to.... no, read it for yourselves!
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 March 2013
Laurie King, please, stop churning out Mary Russell novels just because your publisher
is screaming for the next one. The first five were great, and then, slowly, book by book,
the character and originality, the verve and humour, the very life of the two leading
people has been bled dry. Stop. Pirate King was awful. This was awful. Enough. Please.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 November 2012
I love it when authors return to their usual quality after a failed attempt at doing something really interesting. The last Laurie R. King Sherlock Holmes novel was a seriously weak attempt at farce. In her latest Holmes novel, Garment of Shadows, King returns us to the Holmes and Mary Russell we all know and love. With political intrigue, investigation, twists and turns, as well as some great historical information, this is a standout novel and a refreshing return to the normal.

After the events of The Pirate King, Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, are in Morocco in 1924. The novel opens with Russell waking up locked in a room with no memory of who she is or how she got there, a painful headache the only reminder of what has happened. She's covered in blood, which can't be a good sign. She still has her wits, and when soldiers come banging on her door, she's able to get away. Meanwhile, two old friends have drawn Holmes into a growing conflict between France, Spain, and the strengthening Moroccan independence movement. War may be coming to Morocco. Will Russell find her memory--and Holmes--before things get worse?

I love the conceit in King's books that Russell is their author and King merely the editor. There's even an author's note in Garment of Shadows about how some of the events in the book happened while she wasn't there, and that she took them from disjointed segments, remarks, and testimonies told over the next few weeks and even years. She says that if this makes readers think the book is fiction, so be it.

King demonstrates that the previous book was just a bump in the road, bringing back the suspense and mystery that her books are known for and allowing the brief humorous asides to lighten the mood instead of trying to be zany. That doesn't mean there aren't some funny bits in this novel, such as the first time Russell meets up with Holmes while her memory is still gone. I hope Holmes' head is feeling better. Moments like this are where King shines.

Her characterization skills are on showcase, too. Holmes is perfect, seemingly aloof to the whole thing, his mind working feverishly to figure out what is going on while nobody else can do so. Still, we see that he does truly care for Russell, even though he is not a publicly demonstrative person. Russell works great as a narrator, especially with her amnesia. King captures Russell's uncertainty throughout the whole thing yet also shows her cunning mind as she slowly works out what must be true and who she might have been. The other characters are also fairly three-dimensional, even the young boy who can't (or won't) speak but who seems to be everywhere, saying a great deal through motions and actions.

One of the many strengths of Garment of Shadows is the historical detail King puts into it. Much of the information on the Rif Revolt in the early 1920s was brand new to me, and it inspired me to search out what really happened, to see how much of the story was true and how much was King weaving her own characters into the fabric of history. This is the sign of a well-researched book, when the seams of the story fit together so perfectly.

The only minor fault in Garment of Shadows is that occasionally it slows down as King explores the setting and explains what's going on in the world around the characters. This doesn't happen often, though, and the duration is usually short. Barbara Hambly always manages to integrate setting and action to great effect, but King doesn't do as good a job in this case.

That's the only thing that mars an otherwise wonderful book full of twists and turns, characters who may not be who they appear to be, and just a little bit of action. It's nice having our old friends back.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book © Dave Roy, 2012
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 April 2014
I think I may call it a day for Mary Russel. I have loved these books, but I think the ideas are running thin, and the last three have been disappointing for me. This latest is certainly an improvement on the last, but has nothing of the cleverness of the earlier novels. I think I shall save my money and do some re-reading instead.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 October 2012
It's 1924 and Sherlock Holmes is in Morocco trying to trace his wife, Mary Russell - while in Fez, a woman wakes up in a strange room, with no memory of who she is or why she's there....

I've dipped in and out of this series which follows Holmes and his sometime apprentice, now wife, on their post-Conan Doyle adventures. This certainly isn't a book for Holmes purists as, apart from the wife, Holmes also gets into some very politicised situations.

Set amongst Arab revolts against colonialism in the inter-war years, in the aftermath of T.E. Lawrence (`Laurence of Arabia'), this is a complex story of spies, gun-runners, and counter-spies, while Mycroft Holmes pulls strings from England.

I liked this a lot though it helps to have read the previous books as characters do reappear. So perhaps a challenging read to die-hard fans of the original Victorian Holmes, but an amusing read with serious undertones if you can accept a Holmes transformed.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 October 2013
Like a lot of readers I was not very impressed with the 'Pirate King' compared to the previous standard of books. This book which picks up the story almost straight after however is a really good, satisfying read with everything you would expect of Holmes and Russell.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 April 2016
Fast easy transaction
fast easily read...when able to hide away from the maurading hordes wanting attention
delightful stories of mary russel with sherlock......awaiting further books....bring them on
Addicted
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 October 2012
It's 1924 and Sherlock Holmes is in Morocco trying to trace his wife, Mary Russell - while in Fez, a woman wakes up in a strange room, with no memory of who she is or why she's there...

I've dipped in and out of this series which follows Holmes and his sometime apprentice, now wife, on their post-Conan Doyle adventures. This certainly isn't a book for Holmes purists as, apart from the wife, Holmes also gets into some very politicised situations.

Set amongst Arab revolts against colonialism in the inter-war years, in the aftermath of T.E. Lawrence (`Laurence of Arabia'), this is a complex story of spies, gun-runners, and counter-spies, while Mycroft Holmes pulls strings from England.

I liked this a lot though it helps to have read the previous books as characters do reappear. So perhaps a challenging read for die-hard fans of the original Victorian Holmes, but an amusing book with serious undertones if you can accept a Holmes transformed.

(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher).
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 17 October 2013
I do so enjoy Laurie R. King's Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes stories. Well written, thoughtfully planned, informed and with acute attention to detail, assuming intelligence on the part of the reader commensurate with the intelligence of the protagonist characters, Garment of Shadows continues in the exciting vein of the previous novels which take Mary and her mentor husband, the retired Sherlock Holmes, through labyrinths of intrigue and mystery. Delightfully re-invented by Ms King, Sherlock is every bit as quirky and cantankerous as his Conan Doyle predecessor, and I admire Laurie R. King's audacity and ability to maintain the suspense and interest in Mary Russell and her complex adventures over a long series of stories. The period details are excellently drawn, the political circumstances accurately reflect their times, and the characters never lose their veracity. These are grown-up adventure stories in the long tradition of Rider Haggard and John Buchan. Congratulations to Ms King on another wonderful book.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 October 2014
This was a disappointing read.

There's an appeal to the conceit of finding an intelligent and capable female partner for Sherlock Holmes, rather like Harriet Vane and Lord Wimsey. But the partnership must be greater than the sum of its parts, and must also be interesting of itself. And if you're going to have plots that deal with diplomacy after the Great War, then it's as well to see that they have historic credibility.

There are two parts of this book where King's writing is superb. Both involve Mary Russell essentially on her own, with King brilliantly exploring her character's responses to unusual situations: they're the opening amnesia-dominated days in Fez, and the later subterranean incarceration. The book's almost worth it for these bits alone. But not quite.

The plot is laboured, creaks throughout, and finally shatters in an explanatory scene that needed a Poirot to do in justice. No originalityThe absent Mycroft Holmes again has a lot to answer for. The two Anglo-arab characters just aren't credible. In O Jerusalem there was enough of Lawrence of Arabia around to build a collage; not here, And what on Earth was Mary Russell doing in Morocco in the first place? And I thought that Spain had a bit of Morocco in the 20's only because France had given it to them, and exercised strict control over its politics.

If you must read it, borrow it from your library. We mustn't encourage to talented Ms King to write any more unless she does a lot better.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.