To Play the Fool
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To Play the Fool

Celebrated author Laurie R. King dazzles mystery lovers once again in this, her second Kate Martinelli mystery. The story unfolds as a band of homeless people cremate a beloved dog in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. When it comes to incidents like this, the authorities are willing to overlook a few broken regulations. But three weeks later, after the dog's owner gets the same fiery send-off, the SFPD knows it has a serious problem on its hands. Other than the fact that they're dealing with a particularly grisly homicide, Inspector Kate Martinelli and her partner, Al Hawkin, have little else to go on. They have a homeless victim without a positive ID, a group of witnesses who have little love for the cops, and a possible suspect, known only as Brother Erasmus. Kate learns that Erasmus is well-acquainted with the park's homeless and with the rarefied atmosphere of Berkeley's Graduate Theological Union, yet he remains an enigma to all. It's apparent that he is by no means crazy—but he is a fool.  Kate begins the frustrating task of interrogating a man who communicates only through quotations. Trying to learn something of his history leads her along a twisting road to a disbanded cult, long-buried secrets, the thirst for spirituality, and the hunger for bloody vengeance.

Title:To Play the Fool
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages:286 pages

    To Play the Fool Reviews

  • Carl
    Mar 06, 2012

    "What we have here is a failure to communicate;" especially when one character is "To Play the Fool." Laurie King won the Edgar Award for best first novel, "A Grave Talent," over 20 years ago; I came...

  • fleegan
    Dec 22, 2008

    In this one, book two, detective inspector Martinelli and her partner Hawkins (San Francisco PD) are to solve a mystery about the death of a homeless man. Their main suspect happens to be a much belov...

  • Carol
    Mar 30, 2017

    Another good read featuring Kate Martinelli and her partner Al Hawkin where they try to solve the murder of a homeless man....

  • Angela
    Dec 15, 2008

    The second of Laurie R. King's Kate Martinelli books, To Play the Fool, is a tightly written, thoughtful work, and was a nice re-introduction for me to the series. I'd previously read the third and th...

  • Orion
    Apr 21, 2012

    To Play the Fool is the second of a series of mystery novels by Laurie King that feature the San Francisco homicide detective Kate Martinelli. The first book, A Grave Talent, was an Edgar Award winner...

  • Jay
    Dec 28, 2008

    I usually avoid fiction and particularly mysteries, but my dad enthusiastically suggested I read this as it combined my passions for theology, social justice, poverty/homelessness, disabled communitie...

  • Sara
    Feb 13, 2012

    I liked this better at the end than while reading it. I don't know, Kate Martinelli's personality somehow doesn't catch my interest...I have read others in the series and can't remember them at all.Ho...

  • Samantha
    Dec 19, 2007

    I really enjoyed this book. I was looking for another mystery from Ms. King after reading A Grave Talent and this one kinda was but not really. You don't really know who the killer is until the end bu...

  • Lyn
    Feb 24, 2014

    Kate Martinelli is back at work despite the reservations of her lover. She and Al Hawkin catch a case that began with the cremation of a beloved dog by the homeless community. Three weeks later the pa...

  • Carra
    Jul 07, 2016

    A clever, well written, more than "just" a mystery story. Brother Erasmus (view spoiler)[a k a David Sawyer, professor turned homeless Fool (hide spoiler)] is an intriguing, endearing character, and h...

About Laurie R. King

Laurie R. King

Edgar-winning mystery writer Laurie R. King writes series and standalone novels. Her official forum is THE LRK VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB here on Goodreads--please join us for book-discussing fun. King's most recent novel, Dreaming Spies, sees Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes travel from Japan to Oxford, in a case with international players and personal meaning. The Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series foll