Tor, Mar 29 2011, $14.99
In Neceda a coffin delivered to Eddie LaCrosse at Angelina’s Tavern during a blizzard leads him to tell a tale from his youth when he was a private sword jockey investigator. Seven years ago Eddie was on Grand Bruan Island, a monarchy ruled by King Marcus Drake. He was tracking down a runaway husband Ken, Lord Astamore for his client Fiona an island noblewoman. At Nodlan castle, Sam Patrice a Knight of the Double Tarn dies from eating a poisoned apple. The attendees assume it was intended for Queen Jennifer, suspicion falls on the outsider who explains he has no motive or opportunity and that the target was fruit fetish eater Thomas Gillian.
Eddie persuades Big Robert that he did not commit the homicide. He volunteers with a lot of insistence by Big Robert to investigate the murder as the Knight explains that those at the gala believe Queen Jennifer is the assassin. Confusing Eddie is her Highness’ protector Elliott Spears and the monarch’s advisory mage Cameron Kern are missing.
With a terrific Camelot Noir, the latest Eddie LaCrosse hard boiled detective case (see The Sword Edged Blonde and Burn Me Deadly) is an amusing fantasy whodunit. The story line is fast-paced, loaded with action and plenty of jocular acerbic asides by the hero. Readers will enjoy this entertaining whodunit while like the tavern patrons and owner wonder who is inside the coffin and why the delivery, especially in this weather, came to the private sword jockey.