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Murder at the War: A Modern-Day Mystery With a Medieval Setting (Peter Brichter #2)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  284 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is a group of enthusiasts who research and selectively re-create the Middle Ages for knowledge and for fun. At their events, they wear historical clothing and call each other by medieval-style character names. Once a year, they meet to display their handiwork and stage a mock medieval war.

In Murder at the War, policeman Peter Bric
Paperback, 168 pages
Published 2001 by FTL Publications (first published 1987)
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Jul 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've gone to SCA events on and off for the last ten years and I am married to a lapsed scadian. What I learned from this book was that heavy fighting is even more boring to read about than to watch (for me anyway, unless I know who's fighting). The mystery is a bit weak, but it is certainly a loving tribute to the SCA. The closest thing she got to poking-fun at them was this line (my favorite):
"whatever drew people to the Society for Creative Anachronism, it wasn't a passion for order or timelin
Kay (Brigidsmomma) Compton
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, but especially medievalists and hobby reinactors.
Recommended to Kay (Brigidsmomma) by: I don't remember
So glad to see this in Kindle format! This is one of my all time favorite books, and I LOVED reading it again (something I rarely ever do)! It helps that I understand the SCA, as a former member, but even so, the plot is clear, the action is fun and the mystery is interesting. The red herrings are some human and some foibles, so it gives the book a feeling of real life. And I find it cool to see the names of some folks who I really knew, way back when, and who have now moved to the next adventur ...more
Apr 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a Scadian (member or tag along of the Society for Creative Anachronism), this is a fun murder mystery about a murder that takes place at the Pennsic Wars in Western Pennsylvania. Imagine a bunch of people out to drink and beat each other up with padded swords and lances only to find out someone really has been murdered.

Having been to Pennsic many times, this story was quite entertaining and I could relate to all the places, people and events.
J. Else
Feb 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
I was really geared up to like this book. Unfortunately, after a rather dull and tedious opening with expounded details about costumes, one line in the book really killed it. One of the characters objects to a 'rune reading' about her by a friend "...because God said 'Thou shalt not permit a witch to live.'"

Okay, I'm sorry, but why would anyone in our modern day need to quote that section of the Bible? Anyone who's studied even just a little of this Exodus verse can learn the translation of the
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Meh - I wanted to like this book because it features the Society for Creative Anachronism. That factor was the main reason I didn't like it. It was long on detail of dress and armor, short on reasons why I should even care about the pretentious folk who dislike the Dungeons and Dragons people who invade their society and fail to be "authentic". Frankly, The Dark Horde was having a heckuva lot more fun than the rest of the bunch.
The snottiness of "the local police cannot solve this problem becau
Shazza Maddog
Feb 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Lord Stefan and Lady Katherine are members of the medieval recreation group known as the Society for Creative Anachronisms and are attending their first Pennsics War (when as many of the group get together for a week of living medieval-y, including foot jousting, fighting in wars, participating in various projects, etc). When Thorstane, a member of the Horde (a loose association of traders, Mongols and the like), accosts Katharine, Stefan knocks him down with a pole arm, earning Thorstane's ange ...more
Susan Dexter
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I remembered this book as a vanity press book before there was Print On Demand, only sold in the grocery stores around Cooper's Lake. It's actually quite well-written and deserves the wider audience it's now getting. A writer friend told me it was up on Kindle, and I enjoyed reading it very much indeed!
Reviews don't indicate that hard-core mystery fans agree with me, but that field has grown so that there's room for every type of mystery anyone cares to write--and some reviewers will hate some
ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This story is a murder mystery that takes place at the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) annual Pennsic War. While all the medieval re-enactment including fighting is going on, someone dies for real. As the local police do not understand how the SCA works, its hard for them to solve. An off-duty office who is in the SCA attending the war, offers his assistance to figure out who did it. If you love the SCA, it's a wonderful book, especially if you've not been to really big events as it give ...more
Aspen Junge
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Somebody died during the SCA "war" at Pennsic, and it couldn't happen to a more deserving guy. Only this time they couldn't just get up, take off their armor, and go get drunk at the campground. Luckily Detective Peter Brichter is on hand to search for clues and generally interpret between SCAdian and American Standard Police (otherwise mutually incomprehensible languages).

If you are in the SCA, or know somebody in the SCA, or even know what the SCA is, you will find this a very readable, very e
May 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Shelves: mystery, other-usa, 2011, death
This was a book club selection (for April, alas) in the Cozy Mysteries group. It was a slow read for me; I just couldn't seem to get into it. The murder doesn't even happen until half-way through the book, although it's painfully obvious who the victim will be. And I am not usually very good at figuring out whodunit, but that was pretty clear to me, too. I enjoyed learning about the Society for Creative Anachronism, and I got more into the story as I progressed, but this book was certainly not o ...more
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm told the story was written a decade or so before it got published so the (sorry) anachronisms in social attitudes and mores make more sense, pre AIDS, pre Stonewall, but when I read it I did keep getting distracted by some of the things that didn't quite jibe with the late 80ies. That said...
If you aren't SCA the book is a murder mystery set in a counterculture that is almost as interesting as the murder. If you are or were SCA you can always play, "oh, hey that's so&so." I thought that
Nov 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a really fun book for members of the SCA (of which I've been one for 17 years). The mystery is decent but not riveting. The real fun here is the look into the world and people of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a medieval recreation group. It's a pretty true portrayal. I would love to see this redone and modernized though as the SCA has changed greatly since 1986. If you've ever wondered what those 'crazy' medieval reenacters really do, this is a fun place to start.
Marion Faith
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Revision is even better than the original

I first read Murder at the War as Knight Fall, which has less detail about the SCA. While I deplore some of the language (often a problem for me with modern literature), I enjoyed the story and setting again. Did I remember who did the murder? Yes, but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the story. I hope to discover that the author has written others with some of the same characters.
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a charming little mystery that will probably only appeal to those who are or were in the Society for Creative Anachronism. The "War" of the title is the Pennsic War, which takes place every August south of Pittsburgh. I'm pretty sure I was at Pennsic the year this takes place (1988 or 89), and there wasn't really a murder that (or any other) year. But it's fun taking this peek into my past and the past of the SCA.
Aug 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
I have to say that I found this book to be terrible. The murder doesn't occur until almost midway through the book. The author chose all the wrong details for setting scene. The dialogue was omnipresent and awkward. The characters were stereotypes and caricatures.

There were glimmers of old school Pennsic that made me a bit nostalgic, and that kept me reading, but overall I would not recommend this book to anyone.
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Nobody in this book is you, or anyone you know, or anyone you have heard of. All characters are figments of a deranged imagination. It follows that any people you meet who resemble them are also figments of a deranged imagination.

Of course, some of us are thinking "how nice to read a mystery with people who have normal, everyday problems."

Here, the police ask who hated the victim enough to kill him, and it turns that virtually everyone in attendance had a motive. Enjoy.
Arnout Brokking
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
A quick read and a pleasant murder mystery. I really enjoyed how easily recognisable many of the characters were in the setting. Lots of 'Oh yeah'-chuckles.

I feel the story could have done with a quicker pace in the first half of the book. And in my eyes, the author painted the story with too thick a brush, which made it instantly clear who was going to get murdered, who would be the prime suspects and even who would be the eventual murderer.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was entertained, but mostly because I know some SCA members & I'm familiar with the atmosphere. There are too many characters to keep track of and the actual mystery itself is pretty weak. Most of the book is taken up with a description of a sham war at Pennsic, and if you aren't interested in that this book will bore you to death.
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is quickly becoming a favorite series. Please note that this book is NOT the first in the series as seems to be indicated elsewhere on goodreads as well as other places on the net. The events in this book have definitely occurred after events in the Unforgiving Minutes. I recommend both books highly.
Aug 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sca
A light, easy read that could be called a cozy mystery .... except that it is solved by an off-duty cop who happens to be a member of the SCA.

Some of the battles drag out a bit, and if you are not in the SCA, many of the details may also cause your eyes to glaze over.
May 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general_fiction
One of my favorites. This is a murder mystery set at the SCA event Pennsic War in the early-to-mid 80's. While it's only average as a mystery, I'm a total sucker for it because of its re-enactment ties.
I've liked the mystery but all the descriptions about the "war" have been too much for me.
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mud rider I'm at Pennsic! And the mundane police are totally confused by the SCA. So Lord Petr steps up and solves the evil deed. Good read and a fairly accurate description of the wAr.
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
This was an interesting mystery with many character to keep track of - not only their given names but also their medieval role-playing names.
Kathleen Walsh
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Former SCA hanger on and horse supplier

Never got to Pensic tho many of my Ansteoran friends came back with tales of adventures. Really enjoyed the read.
Jul 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
A fun read, especially for those involved in the SCA. I have found myself rereading this around my journeys to Pennsic.
It was a nice mystery. I rather liked it.

Personally I prefer a more stable POV, but it wasn't that the POV was flawed--it just shifted more than I personally care for.
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, it was entertaining and gives a good glimpse of my favorite hobby.
Apr 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Murder at Society for Creative Anachronisms war.
Terisa De Morgan
I've liked the mystery but all the descriptions about the "war" have been too much for me.
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