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Publisher's Summary

The second book in the Kate Martinelli Mystery Aeries.

When a band of homeless people cremate a beloved dog in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the authorities are willing to overlook a few broken regulations. But three weeks later, when the dog’s owner gets the same fiery send-off, the SFPD has a real headache on its hands. The autopsy suggests homicide, but Inspector Kate Martinelli and her partner, Al Hawkin, have little else to go on: A homeless victim with no positive ID, a group of witnesses with little love for the cops, and a possible suspect, known only as Brother Erasmus, who proves both articulate and impossible to understand.

Erasmus, has a genius for blending with his surroundings, yet he stands out wherever he goes. 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. In Laurie R. King's To Play the Fool, trying to learn something of his history leads Kate along a twisting road to a disbanded cult, long-buried secrets, the thirst for spirituality, and the hunger for bloody vengeance.

©1995 Laurie R. King (P)2013 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ellenaeddy
  • Chesterton, IN, United States
  • 03-15-16

If St. Francis was in your city park,,,,

This is a lovely book about religious simplicity, an attempt to find holy things in lowly things, and an understanding of redemption. I'd read it years ago and still found it fabulous. One of my favorites.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A great read

I've enjoyed many Laurie R King books including the Mary Russell stories , and the Folly stories. I'm very happy to be introduced to Kate Martinelli a San Francisco homicide detective. Although this is the second book in the series , it is the first one I have read, and I think it was a great one to start with. I love the quirky characters, and I'm impressed with the depth of knowledge of various sources including Shakespeare and the Christian Bible. All in all, another excellent read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Is this perhaps an Unabridged version...?

I agree that this book wasn't as engaging a 'read,' and therefore a slightly disappointing follow-up to the first book in the Kate Martinelli series. That said, I found that there were parts, especially near the end of the book, that made me wonder if it was a poorly abridged version of an original, longer story. To add to that impression, I have read a few synopses of the book which refer to aspects of the plot-line that simply were not present ...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The least interesting of King’s novels

Although well researched and written, I did not find the novel note worthy. King’s considerable talents are best realized in the Sherlock Holmes and young wife Russell series. In the later she excels in creating mystery from both male and female perspectives.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Yawn

Very slow moving and boring book.
The only good thing I can say about the book is the person reading the book was ok.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not as good and the first in the series.


This book did not live up to the first in the series. It was a good police procedural, not as high octane as I was hoping for. I still liked it but I was hoping for more. I do like the Kate Martinelli character. A murder in a park brings Kate onto the scene. A suspect, known only as Brother Erasmus, who proves both articulate and impossible to understand. He only speaks in quotes from the bible and poems. Kate has to learn to communicate to him in the same way. Kate's love life take a big hit too.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Confused!

I just don’t understand how Laurie R. King can write so well and so, so badly. I’m a huge fan of the Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series and finished all 15. So I tried this series, two of them hoping the first one was just a dud but Laurie let me down. These are so poorly written and such weak stories, it’s hard for me to believe she wrote both. I truly hope someone enjoys this series but I’m done with them.

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entertaining

it's well written and narrator it's great. the story line is slow but gets better.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good as the first book

This book did not live up to the first in the series. It was a good police procedural, not as high octane as I was hoping for, hope to find what was missing in the next in the series.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Very Disappointed!

I am struggling to finish this book. I have read all of Laurie R King's books except this series. I do not like "Kate Martinelli." This is a good example of why people do not like or trust police.