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The Musketeers’ Apprentice
The Muskateers Mystery series # 5

by Sarah D’Almeida

      Porthos is thrilled when a young lad says he wants to be a fine swordfighter too, and wants Porthos for his instructor.  But one morning the boy fails to arrive for his lesson, so Porthos goes in search... only to find the boy dying.  Somehow he has been poisoned, but by accident or design?  Gradually The Musketeers start to find out more about the boy, and their trail gets warmer—but things are going to get worse for Porthos first.

I love these mysteries; they are one of my favorite series.  What makes them so special is the author’s ability to capture, and then build on the characters Dumas created and find suitable mysteries to have them solve.  They have acquired more brains in the process to enable this, and D’Almeida has fleshed out their lives to make them seem like genuine people.  I didn’t guess who did the murder either, although there are things in here that are easy enough to guess.  Everything happens set against a wonderfully real-seeming backdrop of Louis XIII’s France and has the ring of authenticity and plenty of research beyond a mere perusal of Dumas’ works.  I’ve read many prequels and sequels to famous novels and found nearly all of them wanting, but this is an enchanting exception.  I’m always sorry to put one of these down, and so will anybody who delights in history brought to life, vibrant characters and good plots.  Hugely enjoyable!

The Book

Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin Group USA)
September 4, 2007
0425217698 / 9780425217696
Historical Mystery /1630s Paris and environs, France
More at US || UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2008
© 2008