Sunday, November 12, 2006

Death of a Musketeer - Sarah D'Almeida


Death of a Musketeer
A Musketeers Mystery
Sarah D’Almeida
Berkley Prime Crime

Mystery – Historical

In 1625 Paris, 17-year-old D’Artagnan believes he’s about to die. For various reasons, he has duels scheduled with three musketeers: Athos, Aramis, and Porthos. He’s in the middle of his first duel, with Athos, outside the convent of the Barefoot Carmelites, when a group of the Cardinal’s guard stops them, reminding them that dueling is against the law. Naturally, this results in the Cardinal’s guard squaring off against the musketeers. D’Artagnan acquits himself so well in battle that he joins the other three for a day of drinking to their victory. At the end of that day, the group stumbles upon the body of a musketeer in an alley.

There are several points for concern. First, the musketeer did not die honorably; he was clearly murdered. Second, the musketeer is not a male at all, but a young woman. Last but certainly not least is the fact that the dead woman looks exactly like Queen Anne of France. Realizing that the death of the Queen would cause problems on an international scale, not to mention the scandal surrounding the reasons for her being out of the palace alone, the four decide to investigate the murder. No matter who the woman was, they reason, she deserves to have her murderer brought to justice. It quickly becomes clear that the dead woman was a double for the Queen. Instead of clearing things up, this revelation only muddies the waters. Their investigation takes them from filthy alleyways to the rooms of the most nobly born.

The novel opens with a note from the author, discussing her receipt of several very old diaries written by D’Artagnan, with many additional notes by the other three. The diaries detail a series of investigations undertaken by the famous musketeers. Reader of Dumas will recognize many events in this installment, the first in a wonderfully promising new series. The author clearly loves Dumas and his characters and does an excellent job of furthering their adventures. The next installment is due out next spring, and I can’t wait.

Rating: 8
November 2006
ISBN# 0-425-21292-0 (paperback)

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