Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Death In Gascony - Sarah D'Almeida


A Death In Gascony
A Musketeers Mystery
Sarah D’Almeida
Berkley Prime Crime

Mystery/Historical

A day that starts out fairly typically, with the musketeers squared off against some of Cardinal Richelieu’s guard, turns tragic for young D’Artagnan when he receives a letter from his mother. The letter informs him of his father’s death. His mother begs him to come home and see to his family and estate. She also says that D’Artagnan père was taking care of his brother’s affairs, in service to the Cardinal. This information shocks D’Artagnan, since he opposes the Cardinal in all things.

D’Artagnan has no real wish to leave Paris (and his mistress, who serves in the Queen’s court) so soon after joining the musketeers, but family duty prevails. In addition, he agrees with his mother’s intimation that his father’s death was no accident. D’Artagnan père was a master swordsman and, in fact, trained his son. To think that he would be bested in a duel is questionable, at best. On the way to Gascony, highwaymen set upon the young musketeer and his servant. Given all that has gone before, it hardly seems like a coincidence. Could someone be trying to kill D’Artagnan, too? Only one thing is certain: it’s good to have three friends who ignore you when you tell them to stay in Paris.

Any new book in this series (DEATH OF A MUSKETEER, THE MUSKETEER’S SEAMSTRESS, THE MUSKETEER’S APPRENTICE) is great news to lovers of historical mysteries. You don’t have to be a fan of the original Dumas tales, but, for those of us who are, there’s an extra level of enjoyment to be had here. The author translates the flavor of the original novels very will into a mystery series, and it’s great fun to see the beloved characters in more depth. The mystery is fairly challenging, and it’s interesting to watch the companions operate outside of Paris for a while. This is a very entertaining installment in a series that is always a cut above the rest.

Rating: 8
April 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-22101-3 (paperback)

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