Ex cop turned private investigator, Sam Sparrow, gets whisked to ancient Camelot by the wizard Merlin for a series of comical adventures that rely heavily on classic noir detective stories.
I love the premise of this book. The idea of a hardboiled detective noir story set in medieval times, especially a fantasy medieval world with magic, is something I want to read. Unfortunately, this book is not at all what I imagined it would be.
Sam wastes no time in introducing himself as Sam Spade, and I like how the castle residents refer to him as the Merlin’s pie (not sure how they got there from PI, but it’s cute).
There is no concession to any kind of historical, mythological or medieval fantasy accuracy in this book. I was willing to suspend disbelief, although 14th century Friar Tuck appearing in 5th century Camelot stretched it thin. However, it finally broke when tobacco, which didn’t arrive in Europe until the 16th century, was shown to to be available for purchase in Camelot.
I love the idea of The Maltese Falcon in Arthurian times, but the author makes no effort to create a believable medieval setting and the humor relies heavily on anachronism, puns and the assumption that knights are inherently silly.
The book is well written and it passed the time pleasantly. There are certainly lots of humorous passages, and it’s very faithful to the detective books it references.
Unfortunately, the mixture of time periods in the world building kept on drawing me out of the story.
I award A Connecticut Gumshoe in King Arthur’s Court…
Thank you to the publisher for giving me a free copy of the book. I’m voluntarily leaving an honest review.