Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: The Pendragon Murders - 3rd in the Merlin Investigation Mystery series
Author: J.M.C. Blair
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: February 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Historical Mystery
Year/Setting: Middle Ages, during King Arthur's reign
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: Mild/Moderate
J.M.C.'s Website: www.jmcblair.com
Merlin is, of course, a wizard and also he is the King's trusted confidante. People in the middle ages thought that he was a magician and sorcerer. Although, according to the author Merlin is just a very intellectual man and can figure out problems without all the bells and whistles of sorcery. I have studied the Camelot stories and I really prefer to believe that Merlin was a wizard and could change himself into all forms of animals and humanity. If that was not true, he wouldn't be any fun at all. Just another professor!!!
In this tale it seems that the horror of the Black Plague has come to the English countryside. Many people in Dover have passed on and a Baron and his sons have been found dead. The men were tied to an altar stone at Stonehenge and Merlin has been sent to the King to tell him about the deaths. The King seems positive that the Stone of Bran, which is supposed to be magical, is responsible for the Plague. The King goes on a quest to return this stone to its original ground. Merlin goes along and also some of Camelot's Barons and some of Arthur's young sons (Now, I did not know that there were any sons but they obviously were not born to the Queen.) and Arthur is hoping that at least one of them will prove worthy of the throne. However, the heirs start dying (everyone assumes this is due to the Plague) Merlin thinks that the deaths have less to do with the Plague and more to do with the deaths at Stonehenge. Although getting proof is going to be very tough.
This book was really a hoot to read. It takes place in the middle ages but, you will think you are in modern times before you're through reading. The writing is good and the tale is told very well. But, some of the characters are more 21st century than Camelot. Most of the time reading about Arthur and Merlin, etc. you can get really caught up in the times but, this was strange in a good way. Maybe the author got sick of the legend of Arthur and tried to make him more modern. If so, it worked. Enjoy and I'll talk to you soon.
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