Read Dying by the sword Online

Authors: Sarah d'Almeida

Dying by the sword

Table of Contents
Praise for the Musketeers Mysteries
“Delightful . . . Medieval France comes vividly to life.”
—Victoria Thompson, author of the Gaslight Mysteries
“Dumas fans eager for further details of the lives of his swashbuckling musketeer heroes may enjoy this . . . Transforms those men of action and intrigue into the king’s detectives.”

Publishers Weekly
“This is a fun swashbuckling historical mystery starring the four musketeers of Dumas fame. The story line is filled with action as the heroes investigate the homicide while adhering to their original personalities . . . Musketeers and seventeenth-century whodunit fans will enjoy this changing of the guard from thriller to mystery while retaining the heroic got-your-back essence of one-for-all-and-all-for-one brotherhood.”—
The Best Reviews
“D’Almeida delivers a nice cozy with enough suspects and motives to satisfy the dedicated mystery fan.”

Gumshoe Review

Death of a Musketeer
is the perfect opener for what promises to be quite possibly the most sought after series of books in a long time. While those who enjoy historic fiction will get their fill, those who always wanted more of the musketeers will be delighted to find that the opener takes place during the famous story of the necklace, so aptly penned by Monsieur Dumas. Yet the direction that Ms. D’Almeida has chosen for her characters is startlingly unique and thus the Dumas narrative provides the springboard from which the reader can jump into the new narrative. Showcasing a true flair not only for the period but also for the different places each musketeer has approached in life, this novel only has one flaw: It is over too soon! This is a must-have for the fiction fan, and the sequels will be eagerly awaited by this reviewer.”—
Roundtable Reviews
“A cracking good book that succeeds on many levels . . . The author might have chosen to pen a cozy tale using Dumas’ characters and gotten away with it pleasingly enough, but fortunately she has done a lot more than that. She has managed to tell the tale in the same style as Dumas . . . The characters are all spot on, and the evocation of early seventeenth-century France is just as Dumas had it. A round of applause too, for writing a book set in a period not already overdone and in packing a teasing plot, well-loved characters that spring to life, and plenty of authentic background into a book of just the right length. Waiting until the next book is going to be hard . . . Highly enjoyable!”—
Berkley Prime Crime titles by Sarah D’Almeida
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / December 2008
Copyright © 2008 by Sarah Hoyt.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form
without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in
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eISBN : 978-1-440-65473-2
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY PRIME CRIME and the BERKLEY PRIME CRIME design are trademarks of Penguin
Group (USA) Inc.

Those Who Live by the Sword; The Honor of a Musketeer’s Servant; All for One
ATHOS was not used to being looked at with suspicion and hostility, much less suspicion and hostility from mere commoners—a confused rabble of women and children, servants and passersby, the dregs and crowds of early afternoon in Paris.
In fact, the oldest of the three musketeers and the guard of Monsieur des Essarts, commonly known as
the inseparables
—Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D’Artagnan—wasn’t used to being looked at directly at all. Though he had now, for some years, lived under a nom de guerre in the ranks of his Majesty’s musketeers, Athos normally got treated as the nobleman he was.
No matter how much blond and elegant Aramis preened, and no matter how many yards of lace and gold brocade the splendid redheaded giant Porthos draped himself in, Athos could make them all fade into the background simply by stepping forward and throwing back his head. In his much-mended musketeer’s uniform, his curly black hair tied back with a bit of ribbon, the gaze from his dark blue eyes guarded, he looked like what he was born to be: the scion of one of France’s oldest and noblest families.
And he wasn’t used to people not listening when he spoke; he wasn’t used to being doubted; he certainly wasn’t used to having his words shouted down.
Yet the words, “I will stand by—” had barely left his lips when the crowd shouted back at him, in confused tumult, drowning him out.
What the crowd shouted—“murder” and “thief” and “hang him”—was not directed at the musketeer himself, but Athos could not have been more surprised if it had been.
He surveyed the scene before him, his face setting into a hard look composed half of determination and half of disdain.
Porthos’s servant, Mousqueton, almost as tall as his master and nearly as powerful, looked bewildered, held by five guards of the Cardinal. And around them the crowd surged. Behind them was the armorer’s shop, where Porthos had sent Mousqueton to arrange for Porthos’s sword to be mended.
It was a low-slung building, and its wide door normally stood open to the outside street—to allow the inner air, warmed by the forge, to cool. But now the heavy oak doors were shut and there were muscular locals standing in front of them. When the musketeers had come to find the long-delayed Mousqueton, they’d stumbled on this scene of confusion and public disorder and just managed to step in front of the guards dragging Porthos’s servant away.
Athos raised his hand towards the crowd, palm out, an imperious gesture. His assumption of authority quieted them for a moment. Into the silence, Athos poured his words, “I will vouch for Mousqueton. He is my friend Porthos’s”—he indicated the redheaded giant just behind him with a head tilt—“servant and I’ve known him long. He is not a murderer.”

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