Mirjam's Reviews > The Lancelot Murders

The Lancelot Murders by J.M.C. Blair
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's review
Jan 23, 2012

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bookshelves: mystery
Read from January 23 to 24, 2012

A visiting king is found murdered and all the clues seems to point to Lancelot. At the request of Queen Guenevere Merlin investigates the murder. But in order to identity the killer Merlin needs to get to the bottom of all the treason and intrigue at Guenevere’s court.

When King Arthur and his trusty advisor Merlin receive word that Queen Guenevere has committed bigamy by marrying Lancelot, they suspect she is up to no good. When they find out she has been inviting important heads of state and other dignitaries to her birthday party while presenting herself as the rightful ruler of England, suspicion becomes fact. It’s time for some serious damage control before England is overrun by the Byzantine Empire Guenevere is courting. So King Arthur and his advisors head over to Guenevere’s court in the castle called Spider’s House and take over the organisation of the event. After the guests have arrived Guenevere’s father is found murdered and the prime suspect is Lancelot. Although both Arthur and Merlin are inclined to leave the knight to his fate, Guenevere begs Merlin to investigate and at the behest of his king he gets to work. Is Lancelot the real culprit or is he innocent?

Reacquainting myself with the old familiar characters from Arthurian legend was a real pleasure and I enjoyed seeing them turned into the cast for this mystery series. In this series Merlin is the driving force behind Arthur and many of Arthur’s innovating ideas. A man of brains as opposed to all the brawny knights in Arthur’s court. In the first book, The Excalibur Murders, I fell head over heels for Merlin as the wise-cracking scholar, who is continuously annoyed by people’s insistence in calling him a wizard when he is a man of science. That hasn’t changed one bit. Merlin may be a grumpy, cynical, old man, but I find him quite charming. It’s also a good contrast to King Arthur, who is almost childishly trusting and comes across as an adolescent who is at times very mature and the rest of the time decidedly immature. This did not bother me as this series features Merlin as the main character.

The Lancelot Murders was a most enjoyable read. It was not a thrilling must-read page-turner nor fast-paced or action-packed, but I liked reading it nonetheless. This mystery presents quite a number of pages full of treason and intrigue before the first murder finally takes place. However the treason and intrigue provide a good setting for the rest of the story, although this could probably have been achieved in fewer pages. What The Lancelot Murders offers in abundance is good, memorable characters and lots of humour. I will definitely be adding the 3rd book, The Pendragon Murders, to my wish-list!

Note: I recommend starting the series with The Excalibur Murders or there will be some things you will fail to understand.

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01/23/2012 page 106

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