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1925. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes arrive home to find a stone. The stone is inscribed with the same name that they last saw in the Tokyo garden of the future emperor of Japan. It is the first indication that the investigation they did for him a year ago might not be as complete as they had thought. In Japan there were spies; in Oxford there are dreams. In both places, there is a small, dark-haired woman, and danger.
Mystery fiction. 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 her"self, " 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.
Mary Russell is used to dark secrets--her own, and those of her famous partner and husband, Sherlock Holmes. But what of the other person to whom she has opened her heart: the couple's longtime housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson? Russell's faith and affection are suddenly shattered when a man arrives on the doorstep claiming to be Mrs. Hudson's son. And though what he tells Russell cannot possibly be true, she believes him--as surely as she believes the threat of the gun in his hand. In a devastating instant, everything changes. And afterward, a pool of blood stains the floor, the smell of gunpowder hangs in the air, and most shocking of all: the grim clues point directly to Clara Hudson. Or rather, the woman she was before Baker Street. Now, to uncover the truth, a frantic Sherlock Holmes must put aside his anguish and push deep into his housekeeper's secrets--to a time before her deception, before her crimes were buried. There is death here, and murder, and trust betrayed. And nothing will ever be the same.
While Sherlock Holmes desperately seeks medical help for his gravely wounded son, Damien Adler, Mary Russell tries to protect Damien's daughter, Estelle, from the ruthless enemy pursuing all of them.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Laurie R. King's Garment of Shadows. It’s only the second day of 1924, but Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, find themselves embroiled in intrigue. It starts with a New Year’s visit from Holmes’s brother Mycroft, who comes bearing a strange package containing the papers of an English spy named Kimball O’Hara—the same Kimball known to the world through Kipling’s famed Kim. Inexplicably, O’Hara withdrew from the “Great Game” of espionage and now he has just as inexplicably disappeared. When Russell discovers Holmes’s own secret friendship with the spy, she knows the die is cast: she will accompany her husband to India to search for the missing operative. But Russell soon learns that in this faraway and exotic land, it’s often impossible to tell friend from foe—and that some games aren’t played for fun but for the highest stakes of all…life and death.
Laurie R. King illuminates the hidden corners of her beloved Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series in this dynamic short story collection. In nine previously published short stories and one brand-new, never-before-seen Sherlock Holmes mystery—available together for the first time—Laurie R. King blends her long-running brand of crime fiction with historical treats and narrative sleight of hand. At the heart of the collection is a prequel novella that begins with England’s declaration of war in 1914. As told in Mary Russell’s teenage diaries, the whip-smart girl investigates familial mysteries, tracks German spies through San Francisco, and generally delights with her extraordinary mind—until an unimaginable tragedy strikes. Here too is the case of a professor killed by a swarm of bees; Mrs. Hudson’s investigation of a string of disappearing household items—and a lifelong secret; a revealing anecdote about a character integral to The God of the Hive; the story of Mary’s beloved Uncle Jake and a monumental hand of cards; and a series of postcards in which Mary searches for her missing husband, Sherlock Holmes. Last but not least, fans will be especially thrilled by Mary’s account of her decision, at age ninety-two, to publish her memoirs—and how she concluded that Ms. King should be the one to introduce her voice to the world. Praise for Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell mysteries “The most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.”—Lee Child “The great marvel of King’s series is that she’s managed to preserve the integrity of Holmes’s character and yet somehow conjure up a woman astute, edgy, and compelling enough to be the partner of his mind as well as his heart.”—The Washington Post Book World “A lively adventure in the very best of intellectual company.”—The New York Times “Erudite, fascinating . . . by all odds the most successful re-creation of the famous inhabitant of 221B Baker Street ever attempted.”—Houston Chronicle “An engaging romp guaranteed to please . . . perfectly written in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”—USA Today, on Pirate King “Mesmerizing—another wonderful novel etched by the hand of a master storyteller. No reader who opens this one will be disappointed.”—Michael Connelly, on The God of the Hive “Historical fiction doesn’t get any better than this.”—The Denver Post, on The Game
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In England’s young silent-film industry, the megalomaniacal Randolph Fflytte is king. But rumors of criminal activities swirl around his popular movie studio. At the request of Scotland Yard, Mary Russell travels undercover to the set of Fflytte’s latest cinematic extravaganza, Pirate King. Based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, the project will either set the standard for moviemaking for a generation . . . or sink a boatload of careers. As the company starts rehearsals in Lisbon, the thirteen blond-haired, blue-eyed actresses whom Mary is chaperoning meet the swarm of real buccaneers Fflytte has recruited to provide authenticity. But when the crew embarks for Morocco and the actual filming, Russell senses ominous currents of trouble: a derelict boat, a film crew with many secrets, decks awash with budding romance—and now the pirates are ignoring Fflytte and answering only to their outlaw leader. Where can Sherlock Holmes be? As movie make-believe becomes true terror, Russell and Holmes themselves may experience a final fadeout. Features Laurie R. King’s short story, Beekeepers for Beginners, and an excerpt from Laurie R. King's Garment of Shadows.

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