Russell&Holmes - once again

So, "Garment of Shadows" by Laurie R King. I didn´t mean it to happen that way, but this story takes place relatively close to where I was when I started reading it. Not terribly far beyond those surfers on the picture, about 100 kilometers or so, is Western Sahara. And just a few days before Christmas in 1924, that is where Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes find themselves.

Russell is starring in Fflytte Films´ new movie, "The Pirate Queen", and having had enough of film crews, Holmes decides to to walkabouting, brushing up on his Arabic, and visiting a distant cousin who happens to live in Fez. When he returns, he finds that Russell has gone missing. She has walked straight out into the desert, at the hand of a small boy.

He immediately starts looking for her, and when he finds her, she is in pretty bad shape. Not only is she beat up, but she can´t remember where she has been, who he is, or even who she is. As it happens, Holmes´ cousin is also the Resident-General in Morocco, Hubert Lyautey. And it turns out some of the answers have to do with him, as well as a Berber rebel leader from the Rif, Abd el-Krim. King mixes fact and fiction, and gives a pretty thorough history lesson of the area, which I appreciate.

The story isn´t particularly complicated this time, but rather it´s the three driving characters who give the plot its complexity. There is, lurking deep in the shadows and far away in London, the Brain of Britain, Mycroft Holmes. As ever. And there are the operatives, the Hazr brothers (no prizes for guessing they would be mixed up in this). They are loyal to the British crown, but they are also far away from it´s soil, and while being useful and resourceful, they are also independent thinkers, who are beginning to redefine what that loyalty is about. Much like Russell herself.

I enjoyed this book, as I always enjoy another Russell&Holmes story. I heartily recommend it, and hope there will be more of them. A quick look at King´s blog, suggests there is a new book coming, a sequel to "Touchstone", a novel I took home from the library some months ago, but never got to reading. Might have to go find it again. And then there is this. Oh my !!!! - the world is just too full of books I want to read!

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