To Play the Fool by Laurie R. King (Mystery)

The second in King’s Kate Martinelli series. Same good writing and characters but I didn’t like this one as much. The historical context for this one is the whole concept of “the Fool” as in the King’s Fool — the one person who could be honest with the King and who adopted a jester’s style of witlessness while speaking deep truths. It’s a concept that I find very interesting, but (IMHO) too much of the book was devoted to academic discussions about the Fool in history and whether or not a man of interest in a strange homicide was truly a Fool or just playing one.

Aside from that, the story was interesting — an impromptu cremation of a body in Golden Gate Park by a group of homeless people, sparks (pun intended) a Homicide investigation and all fingers point to a monkish “Brother Erasmus” as a person of interest. But Erasmus can’t or won’t speak in coherent sentences and instead speaks only in quotations (mostly biblical and Shakespearean). Makes for interesting interrogation.

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