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A Death in Gascony
Musketeers Mysteries #4

by Sarah D’Almeida

      D’Artagnan has been in the Guards for only six months and is not even a Musketeer yet, but it looks as though his career is already at an end.  He has received a letter from home from his mother, informing him that his father is dead, killed in a duel.  Now young Henri must take up his father’s position as lord of his domain, and thus he tries to sneak away back home.  But his three trusty friends know all about it and want to come too.  This sounds simple enough, but people keep attacking them on the road, and it looks as though not only does somebody want to kill D’Artagnan, but there was something strange about his father’s death as well.

I’ve read lots of sequels and prequels to classic novels, and tend to think that most of them are not impressive as a rule.  But every now and then along comes somebody who manages to get the voice of the classic right, expand on the characters and think up plots that are suitable.  Sarah D’Almeida’s Musketeers series is one of those rarities, and this is the fourth book.  This time it is D’Artagan’s turn to have a story centered around him, and the setting is moved from the familiar Paris to the wilds of Gascony, with its turbulent history of religious wars. Once again it is a tortuous tale, and I didn’t guess it all, but I found the plot a real page turner, as the foursome hurry around looking for clues and asking questions.  Of course Dumas’ books are not whodunits, but there is plenty about them that is similar to the ambience of a mystery story.  I feel that I know the four characters very well by now, and putting down every book is like saying goodbye to some good friends.  I hardly ever say this but this series deserves it in spades for getting everything exactly right — hugely enjoyable!

The Book

Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin Group USA)
April 2008
0425221016 / 9780425221013
Historical Mystery /1630s / Gascony, France
More at US || UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2008
© 2008