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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2012 Laurie R. King (P)2012 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By C. Telfair on 09-16-12

Yes, but Can We Go Back to England Now, Please?

I agree that this is a good entry, especially welcome after the disappointing "Pirate King". It is wonderful to see both Holmes and Russell present here and pondering an intellectual puzzle together. There's excellent action and suspense as well.

My one reservation is about the series' seeming direction. King obviously has a fine grasp on the history and culture of the Middle East and does a great deal of research into the politics of that area between the World Wars. So, this is becoming more an international spy saga and less a variation of the traditional Sherlock Holmes - basically British - mystery. Not sure how I feel about that for the series' future.

The double narration is OK, but I'm not sure it's necessary. In past entries, Sterlin has done a fine job alone, interpreting all voices.

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27 of 27 people found this review helpful


By Jeanette Finan on 09-18-12

Be Careful What You Wish For

I complained last time when she wrote the Pirate book, can't even remember the name of it now, and wrote a rather snippy review and posted it on both amazon and audible about how I thought it was all fluff and no bite.

Well folks, I guess the old adage "be careful what you wish for" is true because this one is certainly full of edges. There is certainly a lot more Holmes in this one but the readers who are hoping for a heating up of the relationship between Holmes and Russell are still going to be disappointed. Holmes does not wear his heart on his sleeve and neither does he allow readers to rummage through his private feelings to see if he has any. If he does they are definitely private. Actually I love this about him. It's so true to the Holmes Canon.

Anyway, the book had so many edges, some of them convoluted that it took me until the end of the book to really figure out was really going on and then I wasn't exactly sure I approved of them. I got a real dose of midleastern politics during 1924 and that helped me get a handle on some of what was going on.

I am going to give this book 4 1/2 stars in my journal not because I am downgrading the book it's self but because I'm not exactly sure that Holmes, Russell and the Hazar brothers should have been involved in this kind of "game". Just me probably.

ps: What's with that "other dude" anyway? This is the 12 book in the series for heaven's sake. We don't need someone coming in and being a different voice for Holmes at this late date. Bad idea whoever it was that had it.

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26 of 26 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Hevpais on 04-14-15

Loved it

Another excellent book about Mary and Holmes. Another visit with past friends too. Reader is as good as always, and the addition of a male reader for when Holmes is alone is a very good dynamic.

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By Amazon Customer on 11-09-12

Russell with amnesia?!

It may be one of those worked-to-death devices but it is totaly inconveniant for our Heroine with an old friend missing, trechery afoot and a country on the brink of rebelion and war, and she with a splitting headache... and who is this man that claims to be her husband?!



Thoroughly enjoyed by us over several meals. Looking forward to the next.

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