cover image King Me

King Me

J. A. Crawford. CamCat, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7443-0576-0

Crawford’s wacky third adventure for movie star turned private eye Ken Allen (after 2022’s Heroes Never Die) riffs on Game of Thrones fandom. Ken’s latest client is R. R. Reynard, creator and writer of The Lands Beyond, a sword-and-sorcery television series with a huge pack of avid, cosplaying followers. Reynard asks Ken to meet him at the luxurious Chateau D’Loire, “a seven-story fairytale compilation of witch-hat towers and crenulated turrets,” during a fan convention; the showrunner turns up dressed as the king of diamonds and tells Ken he believes that someone is trying to kill him. Within minutes of this exchange, Reynard is dead, stabbed with the knife blades that adorn his crown, and a locked metal box containing all the plot points for The Lands Beyond’s final season is missing. Police put the hotel on lockdown, leaving Ken amidst sword-wielding fans and Lands Beyond cast members who harbor more than a little resentment about Reynard’s despotic reign over the show. Crawford’s gleeful skewering of obsessive fandom and gift for action sequences make this twisty, frothy whodunit whiz by. Readers will impatiently await the next installment. Agent: Lucienne Diver, Knight Agency. (Nov.)