The city gates

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Fez remains a walled city, as it was in 1924 when Russell and Holmes walked its streets, as it was for the centuries before that.  Cars are kept out by the high adobe bricks, the population kept in by the press of the walls.  The gates,

although now largely symbolic, remain places of gathering and transition as much now as they were a thousand years past.  Russell meets the first of the city’s gates from the inside of the city:

I soon came to the explanation for this district’s relative bustle: a city gate, very new and strong-looking, ornate with mosaic tile (zellij, the translator in my head whispered). Beyond it was clearly a more modern part of this city, with men in suits, the sign for a bank, several horse-­carts, even a motorcar. And: soldiers.

I leant casually against a wall. Armed French soldiers, with the bored stance and alert gaze of guards the world around. As I watched, they moved forward to intercept a man on a white mule, who freely handed over the immensely long Jezail rifle he held and continued inside. It would seem that arms were not permitted in the city.

To read more from Garment of Shadows, go here.

To order a copy—hardback, audio, e-book, or signed—go here.


  1. Terry on July 18, 2012 at 5:38 am

    It feels like I’m there in Fez! With a little imagination, I could be there with Russell (and Holmes?)!

  2. Amanda B on July 18, 2012 at 5:48 am

    With every preview, I get more excited for the book!

  3. La Donna on July 18, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Oh, for crying out loud … just get the thing printed and in my hands!!

  4. Moriah Jagoda on July 18, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Wish I was there. You bring me on the best travels my friend.

  5. Victoria on July 18, 2012 at 5:57 am

    “zellij, the translator in my head whispered”
    I respect Russell so much for her observational abilities and the bits of languages she has learned.

  6. Carol M on July 18, 2012 at 6:13 am

    LOL, La Donna! I want the book now, too!!

  7. Tiffany on July 18, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Wow, the gates are gorgeous!

  8. Seth Huckstead on July 18, 2012 at 6:21 am

    I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait…

  9. Laurie M. on July 18, 2012 at 6:39 am

    Beautiful pictures!

  10. Lauryl on July 18, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Major cool! Thanks for the snippet and the eye candy. Can’t wait to read the book.

  11. Terri on July 18, 2012 at 6:49 am

    I can’t wait to visit Fez and the reenter the world of Mary Russell!

  12. Stacey D on July 18, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Fascinating! I can’t wait to read more!

  13. Judy Westmoreland on July 18, 2012 at 7:19 am

    The gates are very beautiful.

  14. Susan Gainen on July 18, 2012 at 7:22 am

    No cars?! Huzzah!

  15. Karen on July 18, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Currently reading “The God of the Hive” again and loving it just as much as the first time I read it. I love the intricate geographical and historical detail as well at the action of the plots. Thank you for “intelligent” writing to read.

  16. Nancy Reynolds on July 18, 2012 at 7:24 am

    What a great picture. I love the close up – showing all the details. And to know how many years and years they’ve been there – what stories they could tell. I love these daily tastes of foreign lands. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Karen H. on July 18, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Sitting here on a quiet, foggy morning, wishing I had this next book in my hands to enjoy with my cup of tea.

  18. Merrie Leininger on July 18, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Interested to read this one, but STILL waiting for the book where they are in Japan. Pllleeeasssee?

  19. Kathryn on July 18, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Squee!!! I can’t wait!!!!

  20. Andrea on July 18, 2012 at 8:15 am

    to shorten the wait I started to reread some books, still thrilling although I have reread them several times before already!

  21. Molly D. on July 18, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I am feeling the urge to travel building in me from all these posts!

  22. Linda on July 18, 2012 at 8:35 am

    I grow more anxious for this book every day. Russell with amnesia!!

  23. Sarah B. on July 18, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I’ve always thought I would feel trapped in a walled city, though I realize it met more safety than entrapment.

  24. Meredith on July 18, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I have been a fan of Mary Russell from the beginning and have enjoyed all my travels with her and Holmes. I’m really looking forward to the release of this next book! Thanks for the photos.

  25. Jane Steen on July 18, 2012 at 8:49 am

    I’ve always wanted to live in a walled city. There’s something about the feeling of being in your own special world…

  26. Melissa Adkins on July 18, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I learn so many fascinating words from Russell, and it always makes me eager to try and learn a new language. So looking forward to seeing Fez with Holmes and Russell!

  27. Marie K on July 18, 2012 at 9:47 am

    That gate reminds me of the Ishtar gate of Babylon that currently sits in a Berlin Museum… A method of both controlling the populace and inspiring awe in the might of the state!

  28. Caryn on July 18, 2012 at 9:51 am


  29. Mandolin on July 18, 2012 at 10:00 am

    What beautiful structures these entryways are.

  30. kt on July 18, 2012 at 10:32 am

    What a beautiful picture! September really can’t come soon enough 🙂

  31. Rachel Adrianna on July 18, 2012 at 10:58 am

    So excited for more of Russell’s descriptions!

  32. Libby Dodd on July 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

    This is such a teaser. I really want the rest.

  33. Tarah Walsh on July 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Oh my gosh…I need this book now! September can’t come soon enough!!

  34. Sarah on July 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    These pictures are wonderful! I hate to admit it, but I only just now finished Pirate King…I’m on a Russell fix again! September is way too long…but the blog posts can act as a band-aid until then =)

  35. Kaye Crabill on July 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I want to BE Russell! I want to see the gates and find Sherlock.

  36. Robbin Stull on July 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    It’s so interesting seeing these details through modern pictures and through Marys words.

  37. Ann Boyd on July 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Those archways are gorgeous!

  38. Elise on July 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Can’t wait!

  39. Betsy Chamberlin on July 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    After all this, when I read the book I’ll be haunted by a sense of familiarity.

  40. Erica Ruth on July 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Those gates are beautiful…very different from some ancient cities you see where the walls and gates are just stone.

  41. Kelley on July 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Those gates are quite impressive! I’m so excited for “Garment of Shadows” to get here!!!

  42. Michelle K on July 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I can’t wait for this book!! Ii love Mary Russell

  43. Katie on July 18, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    I’m sure Russell and Holmes will find a way to get around the arms rule, they always seem to anyway! I can’t wait for their latest adventure!

  44. Janet on July 18, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Almost finished re-reading all of the original Holmes’ stories and then on to re-reading the Russell-Holmes stories (which I personally find much more satisfying). I should be finished just in time for Garment of Shadows!

  45. Katie O on July 18, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Can’t wait!

  46. Katherine on July 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Come on September!!

  47. Michael on July 18, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    These pictures are great

  48. Kim on July 18, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I’ve always wanted to visit Fez. Maybe now I’ll have to!

  49. Will on July 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Whoa!! I am rereading the Beekeeper’s Apprentice, O jerusalem, Justice Hall, A letter of Mary, and The game. I love it so much!! my the time I move on to the next set of books, I should be ready to read the new book. I don’t mean to be rude, but write faster!

  50. Meredith Taylor on July 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    *Waves at another Meredith” above* I, also, have been reading books various including O Jerusalem and Justice Hall. There does seem to have been some slowing in the space/time continuum!//:)//Meredith

  51. Janet Evans on July 19, 2012 at 12:17 am

    So excited to read this!

  52. Susan Abe on July 19, 2012 at 2:15 am

    I love the fact that reading Russell makes me feel smarter.

  53. Carina on July 19, 2012 at 3:55 am

    You are tantaliziing us with this glimpses, both of the sory itself and the environments ..

  54. Roxanne on July 19, 2012 at 6:05 am

    I have really enjoyed your photos of Fez. The 2nd one in this post is lovely and brings Russell’s words to life for me.

    I’ve decided to harves, print out and collate all of these Fez photos to complement Garment of Shadows.

  55. Roxanne on July 19, 2012 at 6:05 am

    That is, “harvest” the photos …

  56. Claudia Bradley on July 19, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Fez is similar today, a wonderful view of what Russell and Holmes experienced in 1924.
    However…. outside the city walls, the French were bringing major changes: (1912-1927 Moulay Youssef et Lyautey au début du protectorat du Maroc)

  57. kirsten on July 19, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I hadn’t realized you were posting pictures of the settings for “A Garment of Shadows”. It really adds a richness to my imagination when I read the excerpts. Very much looking forward to the new book!

  58. Marc on July 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

    As if I didn’t have enough history reading to do this summer… Your books always make me want to dig deeper into the background of the stories.

  59. Linda Martin on July 19, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I can just feel the heat and smell the mixed scents of this place(some good, some bad). Your writing captures everything. These pictures are wonderful. Of all the characters I have met in books lately, I believe I would truly like to get to know Mary Russell. Looking forward to the newest story.

  60. Betty B on July 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I love the theme of city gates, an entry into a new world. I see that as a metaphor for life choices and I would love to do a poster of different city “gates” in my life.

    Keep on writing so we can keep on reading
    Betty B

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