What are people saying about Murder at Avedon Hill?
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Michael Spence, creator of Brother Osric’s Scriptorium and author of several published works, including the short story Crosswort Puzzle, co-written with Elizabeth Waters, found in Sword and Sorceress XXII
Fantasy for People Who Don’t Like Fantasy
Yes, that’s a deliberately provocative title; but it’s true. Holyfield’s story is clearly not of this earth (it includes moon-beasts and vampires, for one thing), yet his story is not “about” magic or unearthly beasts but about an all-too-human detective, who happens to be sensitive not only to the land and its mystical currents but also to human nature. He’s a monk, formerly a royal advisor in matters diplomatic and military, now pursuing the life of a scholar in the company of his (royal scion, but incognito) apprentice. Now the two of them find themselves in a small yet strategically situated mountain village where a murder has been committed in the household of the governing aristocratic family, and Brother Arames will need all his logical, diplomatic, and magic-sensitive skills to solve it.
If you do like fantasy, you’ll appreciate Holyfield’s subtle use of genre conventions. If you don’t, but enjoy watching the kind of hard-headed sleuthing practiced in a culture in which post-medieval technology is unavailable (imagine, say, Brother Cadfael setting up shop on the borderlands of Middle Earth), you’ll like watching Arames and his protege Arrin pursue their investigation in the intriguing–and, thanks to a talented cast of voice artists, colorfully populated–village of Avedon Hill.
Scott Roche, Author of the podcast novel, Archangel
MAAH “owes as much to Agatha Christie as to J.R.R. Tolkien. And I hope he takes that as the compliment it’s intended to be.”