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The Musketeer’s Seamstress
Three Musketeers mysteries #2

by Sarah D’Almeida

      I voted the first book in the series Death of a Musketeer (also reviewed on this site) my favorite book of 2006. If, like this reviewer, you are starved of swashbuckling tales then the long wait is over and here is another one to savor.

In the current book, set only a month after the first, ladies man Aramis has been wooing a duchess for two years and pretending "Violette" is just a seamstress. While romancing her in her palace apartments one day, he just leaves the room to answer nature’s call, but when he comes back she is dead. He escapes with an angry mob behind him, and his uniform. Everybody thinks he killed her, and even his friends and employer are not sure, so he must go to ground, or on the run. Can his friends discover the true murderer before the cardinal has Aramis’ head?

Once again I am impressed with the way this author has written this book, making it flow on almost seamlessly from Dumas’ own works. It is D’Artagnan who stands out in these books; his three friends are rather lacking in wit and often more used as a backup to the Gascon’s cunning plans. Here they spring to vibrant and three-dimensional life - eerie Athos with his nobility and dark past, uncomplicated, dressy and kindly Porthos and romantic (more than monkish) Aramis. D’Artagnan in comparison seems to almost vanish into the background, but then he has only been with then a month. They are probably some of the best described characters in any book I have read for a very long time. Whatever they are doing, even if it isn’t anything very much, takes on a new dimension. It is an absorbing plot, perhaps not quite up to the dizzy standard of the first book but interesting all the same.

Unfortunately, the ending is somewhat flat and left me wondering why it was not more inventive - while reading it, I had thought of several more imaginative endings! But this aside, I can only wait with bated breath until I can read about Dumas’ foursome again. Very highly enjoyable.

The Book

Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin Group)
April 3, 2007
Historical Crime [1625, Paris and environs, France]
More at US|| UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2007
© 2006