Monday, September 11, 2023

The Cough of Birds by Brian Anderson


About the Book: Minneapolis PI Lyle Dahms reluctantly visits a friend, an armorer at a rural Renaissance festival. Instead of a day of medieval merrymaking, Dahms witnesses a grisly murder, watching helplessly as one of the armorer’s colleagues is pinned to a wall by an arrow shot by an unseen assailant.

Although warned to stay out the case by the local constabulary, Dahms gets drawn in farther and farther, uncovering an illegal drug operation and crooked cops—and even stumbles into an unlikely chance at love with a comely, independent-minded barmaid. As lies and hidden agendas reveal themselves, Dahms must keep his wits while navigating the unfamiliar lands of knights in armor, wandering jugglers, lusty wenches, strolling minstrels, and broadsword wielding adversaries.

All that and, of course, something with which Dahms is all too familiar—murder.

 Our Review: Author Brian Anderson follows up the award-winning The Shiver in Her Eyes, his debut novel in the Lyle Dahms Mysteries with the unlikely but oddly captivating hero who finds himself—more than a little reluctantly—at a Renaissance festival. This story that will keep readers’ interest for the sharp, biting dialogue and quirky, fascinating characters—and flavored with all those things involved in the world of Renaissance faires—from the costumes, to the period speech patterns and food options. Dahms himself is a treat. Reminiscent of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser PI, his dry humor and smart-mouth are a welcome change in mystery fiction. In short, he’s a keeper.

 Based on a scale of 1-5, The Cough of Birds merits an 8.

 Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews