Murder Most Faire (An Eric Knight Mystery)
“. . . an easy read, peppered with literary and cinematic references, and the climax is worthy of an Errol Flynn movie.”
On a particular afternoon in 1997, Eric Knight, actor and Renaissance Faire enthusiast, has just finished choreographing a sword fight with his best friend Tom De Dannin. The two are to include the scene as part of their work for the local Renaissance Faire.
Eric can’t know that moments after Tom leaves him and his wife to go upstairs to talk to their landlord, he’ll be identifying his friend’s body as a possible suicide. With that beginning, Murder Most Faire takes the reader on a journey of revenge as a man searches for his best friend’s killer.
The police declare Tom’s death a suicide, but Eric and his buddies know better. Tom was a gambler, but his bookies were paid up, and no one has a bad word to say about him. Then Eric discovers his friend, an IRA sympathizer though a pacifist, was approached by someone selling arms, and a sting involving the police had been set up. That had fallen through . . . or did it?
Eric begins asking questions and hits someone in a sensitive spot. A real lance substituted for a breakaway one during a jousting tournament serves as a warning—he’s definitely on the right trail.
Now Eric must balance the make-believe violence of a medieval faire with real-life murder as he finds himself being stalked by a mysterious man displaying trophies from his victims on his trenchcoat.
Writer Teel James Glenn, himself an actor and Ren Faire participant, sets the novel against New York’s Great Eastern Renaissance Faire at The Cloisters and takes the reader on a behind-the-scenes tour into the lives of the men and women who attend the faires, a subculture of individuals truly appearing to have been born in the wrong century, living by a now nonexistent code of loyalty and honor.
Like those knights of old, the characters in Mr. Glenn’s story swear to avenge their friend’s death, and set about doing it, though they’re armed with swords and lances instead of guns.
Partly based on events in the author’s own life and partly pure fiction, Murder Most Faire is written in a livre noir style reminiscent of Mickey Spillaine’s I, the Jury. It’s an easy read, peppered with literary and cinematic references, and the climax is worthy of an Errol Flynn movie.