Sherlock Holmes is a name many of us grew up with. Any time a mystery would crop up, we would either say aloud or think to ourselves, “Elementary, my dear Watson!” and imagine the funny detective hat and large pipe he always used.
Garment of Shadows is part of a fictional series that presents itself as the memoirs of one Mary Russell Holmes: The wife of Sherlock Holmes. These books contain the meeting of Holmes and Russell and follow them through adventure after adventure. Russell is every inch Holmes’ equal (and very often his superior!) in divining the truth from the fiction and finding out that all-important mystery of ‘whodunnit’.
In this installment (Garment of Shadows is, in fact, number 12) Russell and Holmes are in Morocco. They encounter all sorts of problems and find themselves in the middle of a large scale political rebellion. The details and setting are well laid. Every inch of the city of Fez in Morocco is laid out intricately. The people are described in great detail. Perhaps one might feel as if the detail goes a little overboard and becomes somewhat tedious. The dealings are not so much action-packed this time, as political in nature. The question of which leader has the most backing and the best chance of dominating is the main idea. While it was all very interesting and intellectually thought provoking, the plot itself wasn’t enough to keep one thoroughly interested.
Russell and Holmes are a team that you wouldn’t want to cross! They are always either one step ahead, or at least in-step with the ‘bad guys’. Russell has an almost MacGuyver way as she is always picking locks and making different instruments out of whatever she happens to have on her person. That does make for some fun reading. If you are a fan of the Russell/Holmes novels, this is a nice, if not overly enthralling installment. I highly recommend starting at the beginning with book one (The Beekeeper’s Apprentice) as the first few books of this series are great fun!
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House
Profanity/Language: 6 religious exclamations; 15 mild obscenities
Violence/Gore: A character thinks they have been beaten by a thug; a character awakes to find blood on their hands with no idea how it got there; a character remembers stabbing someone; many references to fighting in a war (includes shootings, massacres, ransacking, and general destructions without great detail, but a few are somewhat extended–2 pages or less); reference to the violent bringing up of a tribe of people (2 pgs); reference to a character dying of poison; reference to ladies being ‘abused’; a short description of what is done to traitors–short but a bit gruesome; a short description of a wound pre-stitches; a character is covered in bruises and doesn’t know why; a character is nearly run over by a motorcar; a few characters are abducted; some characters are killed while fighting; characters are ambushed and shot at; characters are trapped in a prison with no food or water; a character works to free them and it is painful (3 pages).
Sex/Nudity: Rape is mentioned twice; there are a few mentionings of men being uncomfortable in the presence of a woman; some characters are perhaps homosexual (inference/innuendo).
Mature Subject Matter:
Stealing, Political Turmoil, Kidnapping/Abduction, Mental Illness, Political Treachery, Military Issues, Espionage, Death and Murder, Religious and Political Conflicts.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Characters smoke pipes and other devices; there is wine and beer drinking mentioned.