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Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (98 votes)

Released: 2012-09-04

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Garment of Shadows: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes by Laurie R. King

Description

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.”
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Editorial Review

Q&A: Louise Penny interviewing Author Laurie R. King

Louisse Penny

Louise Penny Biography: Louise Penny is the New York Times bestselling author of eight Chief Inspector Gamache novels, which have won the New Blood Dagger, Macavity, Nero, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Agatha, Dilys, and Anthony Awards. She lives with her husband in Québec, where she is at work on her next novel.

Q: Garment of Shadows is the twelfth book in the Mary Russell series (along with the e-short story, Beekeeping for Beginners). How has Mary evolved for you from your first novels? Has she surprised you in any ways?

A: The Beekeeper's Apprentice was intended as a coming-of-age novel, in which a brilliant young mind grows into its own under the guidance of an equally brilliant, if unlikely, tutor: one Sherlock Holmes. That book set the stage for a life (and a relationship) that has circled the globe both physically and metaphorically, and over the decade of their adventures, she has definitely evolved.

As for surprising me, I'm the kind of writer who researches closely, plots vaguely, and then dives in and follows the characters as they meet the challenges of the time and place. I positively depend on my characters surprising me.

Q: A big part of your mysteries is the globetrotting element. What has led you to set your mysteries in so many places?

A: It isn’t just that it gives me an excuse to travel. Honestly.

Sherlock Holmes is English: specifically, a Londoner. Sherlock Holmes is also solitary, accompanied only by Dr. Watson. When I started writing Holmes, I envisioned him as a supporting actor, but soon found myself exploring his character, forcing him outside his stereotypes and making demands on him that Conan Doyle never did: a Victorian in a post-WWI world; a solitary man in a serious relationship; an Englishman in foreign lands.

And I was fascinated to find how he both developed and remained true to himself. Sherlock Holmes as a travelling magician in rural India, or a Bedouin in Palestine, is both the same man and intriguingly different.

Their travel also puts Russell on a more level plane with him, since even if he’s familiar with the country, she has the advantage of youth’s natural flexibility to adapt.

Q: How do you approach the historical relevancy of the time period and place? How much of the Arab Spring has influenced Garment of Shadows?

A: Historical fiction is both a window and a mirror. My readers are people who love to learn about other times and places (and yes, I am a compulsive researcher!). Yet without the reflection of our own concerns and experiences, a historical novel has as much appeal as a stack of 3”x5” cards.

As a writer, my primary task is to entertain. But we writers are sly, and we have deeper goals. We aim to leave the reader thinking, just a little, about these different yet oddly familiar people.

While I was writing Garment of Shadows, which draws in part on the 1920s Moroccan independence movement, the crowds gathered in Tahrir Square: no doubt that awareness wove its way into the story, just as the story now will weave its way into the minds of its readers. A novel is an entertainment, but it is also a mirror giving a new perspective on the world.

Q: If you could grant Russell and Holmes one modern convenience in solving their mysteries, what would it be?

A: Holmes would leap at the Internet, gloating over all the world's information at his fingertips. Russell, on the other hand, would love cell phones—she's forever wondering what on earth Holmes is up to.

Would it be cheating to give them both smart phones?

Book Details

Author: Laurie R. KingPublisher: BantamBinding: HardcoverLanguage: EnglishPages: 288

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