Garment of Shadows

As I crawl out of the post-travel state of fuzzy-brain, I begin to make my way through three weeks of unanswered emails and un-posted blog entries.  Among which is showing you the cover for Garment of Shadows.  This was one cover the publisher and I wrestled over, since their initial version had the figure standing on what could only be a bridge in London, and I thought that for a book set in Morocco, it might be just a touch misleading.

However, I like the figure, and the filigree and silhouettes are nice touches.  What do you think?


  1. Jolene on April 25, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Nice! I’ve only read the sneak-peek at the end of Pirate King, but the the dreamy fuzziness around Russell is suggestive of her amnesia.

  2. Nanct on April 25, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I love the cover. It gives enough of a hint.
    Hope there is more of Holmes in this book than in Pirate King.

    • Laurie King on April 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm


  3. Laura/Readerwoman on April 25, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I love the cover – really makes me want to open it and dive in!

  4. Harriette Harra on April 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Looks great!

  5. Heather Bergevin on April 25, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Hey, I will read it no matter HOW it looks, because I obviously have a bit of an addiction to your series now 🙂 BUT, I also like the softness of the background in comparison to the figure, and the glow of warmth from the golds and oranges. It’s beautiful, sort of otherworldly, and is a good contrast to the lettering, which is soft, but bold and easily read from a distance. I’m not sure what typographically the concept is, but the text is pleasing to read. So, overall, beautiful? Yes, and I like it! I’m not a huge fan of the gold silhouette on the top, because the stereotypical Sherlock Silhouette figure is so… not as dynamic a character as your own. I don’t want to make anyone angry by saying that, but as much as I do love Doyle’s astonishing and wonderful character… I love the new, more full character that has developed in your books, as well as his wonderful wife. It seems a backtracking to establish them both as, well… the old character plus a female character, because they are so much more than that. I hope that part wasn’t the bit that you quarreled over, because….if it was, I’m sorry. BUT. that said: I cannot see it in detail as well as I could on an actual book cover, and I do understand the importance of “branding” and seeing this on all your books from a distance would make it easy to see “Oh, this is a part of a series,” which is probably the goal. It’s just that… the deerstalker hat? All the things that Sherlock loathes about the plays and productions of “Doyle’s fictional representation of himself,” is represented by that deerstalker and pipe in many of our minds… But I do get the branding concept.

    Overall, absolutely gorgeous, though….

    • Laurie King on April 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Yeah, I agree about the deerstalker…

  6. Haley on April 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I agree with Nancy. Needs more Holmes.

  7. Andra Legge on April 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I think, if this is the final cover, it will be my favorite thus far. It is soft, and vague, and it looks as though she’s walking into a dream, away from reality and into something deceptively pleasant, but (as per the square buildings in the background) jarring at some point. You’re not sure if you want to follow her, or call her back to safety.
    Plus it’s just plain old pretty to look at.

  8. Della on April 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I’m salivating already. Waiting for publication day is torture.

    Like Nanct, I’m desperately hoping for some more of the Mr. in this one. One of, if not THE best part of this series* is the interaction between these two, especially the flirting; double bonus when there’s actual physical contact. I’m not asking for snogging (God forbid) but a numb handhold on a windowsill plus a rejected shoulder-lean with a scant chapter worth of fond banter do not equal enough heart fluttering for me.

    Also, since I meant to write you an Actual Handwritten Fan Letter about PK but it’s been months and I still haven’t done it, I’ll take this moment of my attention to add… was Mary’s list of things to pack modernized for us (sorry I haven’t got a page number)? It seemed strange that she included “clean socks” instead of stockings, especially since elsewhere she consistently uses the latter term.

    I promise I’ll do better fangirling on the next one. Maybe I’ll even get that pen hauled out. 🙂

    *Does anyone know the proper way to pluralize a sentence like this? One of the best PARTS is…, or …if not the best PART is…?

  9. strawberry curls on April 25, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I stand solidly against the deerstalker, but have to agree it is the iconic image for Holmes and recognizable around the world. I recently complained that the Holmes impersonator that recently appeared around London in support of the Save Undershaw Trust was wearing a deerstalker in London and Holmes just wouldn’t do that. I tend to put my foot in things like this, and the Undershaw Trust people very politely told me that without the deerstalker “Holmes” wouldn’t have gathered the crowd he did. It was instant recognition. I demurred and metaphorically walked away with my tail between my legs.

    BTW you can help save Undershaw (Conan Doyle’s home, where he wrote HOUN) by going to:


  10. The Bold Flying Officer on April 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Aah yes – the deerstalker! I’ve just watched a repeat of Jeremy Brett as Holmes from the 1980s Granada TV series – The Red-Headed League – where Holmes looks rather dapper in a topper. He did, however, sport the deerstalker in Baskerville. As for the cover – I like the sunset (or is it sunrise?) motif with the semi silhouette – very evocative – and the filligree works well too. I look forward to the words …

  11. Karen on April 25, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I like this cover so much I will be forced to buy the hardback instead of load it on to my Kindle.

    • Laurie King on April 28, 2012 at 8:48 am

      Sorry, Karen!

  12. charles shene on April 25, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Looks good to me

  13. ShaReKay on April 26, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Love that cover!! It is dreamy and wonderful.

  14. Gail Lelyveld on April 26, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I love the cover. The shadowyness of the background makes the whole thing mysterious.

  15. Kaye Crabill on April 26, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Frankly, I don’t care what the cover looks like – I just can’t wait to dive into the book!!! I have read and re-read all of the original Doyle books and short stories. However, I love your Holmes and Mary even more. And, yes, I have read and re-read all of yours – multiple times.

    • Laurie King on April 28, 2012 at 8:48 am

      Thanks, Kaye, I’m honored that you re-read them.

  16. Jean on April 26, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Agree! I hope to read more about Sherlock. I too, love how he and Russell complement each other’s character, and the story line.

    The new cover looks like the book will certainly hold what we all know to be another great Russel/Holmes story. Its got just the right amount of color and mystery to draw in old and soon-to-be new fans.

  17. Teresa on April 26, 2012 at 11:22 am

    If that’s Russell, I don’t think she’d wear shoes like that.


  18. Chris on April 27, 2012 at 2:09 am

    First impression? My favourite of the US covers!


  19. charlotte on April 28, 2012 at 8:12 am

    It just does not tell me this book is set up outside Europe. I also have to agree with the person above about the shoes. I just have never pictured Mary Russell as delicate. Also would she wear those clothes in Morocco? I just don’t know what that cover is trying to communicate.

    • Laurie King on April 28, 2012 at 8:47 am

      Hi Charlotte–I think the art is meant to capture Russell’s own confusion, as she wakes in Morocco, knowing herself to be English, but otherwise with no memory of who she is or why she is there…

  20. Margaret W. on April 28, 2012 at 10:41 am

    The cover is great! I reread (listen to) the whole series periodically. I will be buying the hardback as usual but I really need the audio version. Please don’t let the publisher forget!

  21. Molly Wolf on April 28, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Lovely colo(u)rs, although I agree about both the shoes and the deerstalker; also, Mary’s hair in the profile looks distinctly less pragmatic than I would have imagined (plait wound up and pins rammed impatiently into place is more my image — or is it still growing out?). The filigree is distinctly fetching. On the other hand, if the cover were landlady green with aggressively hot-pink tulips, I’d buy the danged book anyway. Re: the Holmes-Russell marriage, I agree that snippets of snoggery are infinitely more erotic than outright sexiness. I still remember the Shumamite (sp?) incident with affection. There’s not much point in begging for more Holmes if you’re already in pages.

  22. Librarian D.O.A. on April 29, 2012 at 6:31 am

    I just love the cover. Her dress is so right for the time period. I like the silhouettes of Mary and Sherlock at the top. Very cool and appealing cover.

  23. Meredith on April 29, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Dear Karen: come to Bouchercon (Cleveland, Oct this year) and i will personally buy you a drink. Falling in love with hardbacks: that’s my kinda person! I like the cover, though I’m not too hard to please re R&H covers. I’m always a sucker for the silhouettes. Yes, the deerstalker is the “brand” even if it’s actually only for the country. I can now bore you to death about the pipe (new info received). September: please hurry up!

  24. MCF on May 4, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Nancy is wrong! Russell is an independant woman and can handel herself with or without Holmes in the whole book! Holmes is a plus(+) but Russell is a times(X)!

  25. ChrisAnn on June 3, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    “You’re not sure if you want to follow her, or call her back to safety.”

    I think that’s a great description. I love this cover 🙂

    She’s feminine, yet so tough. You caught that in O, Jerusalem, especially.

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