Murder at San Miguel

4 January 2023

Murder at San Miguel
by Danee Wilson
Published by Radiant Press
Review by Toby A. Welch
$22.00 ISBN 9781989274767

Murder at San Miguel is a solid read with a riveting storyline. The main character – an archaeological illustrator named Beatrix Forster – tags along to Spain when her archaeology professor husband goes to excavate a medieval cemetery. (They undertake the adventure as it is believed that a famous medieval knight is potentially buried at the site.) What ensues is an exciting story involving a murder as well as twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I won’t say more as I don’t want to ruin it for you – although I will mention that an adorable fox terrier named Muffin tags along on the journey, adding a touch of canine love and humour to the book. 

Don’t fear – you don’t need to have even a remote interest in archaeology to enjoy Murder at San Miguel. I knew nothing about secondary burial places or burying bodies facing specific directions yet I thoroughly devoured every page. As a side bonus, as someone who has never given a thought to archaeology beyond watching Indiana Jones movies, I found myself enjoying the subject matter. Of course it helps that Murder at San Miguel has all the elements of a memorable fiction read that you could hope for – a solid fleshed-out storyline, compelling characters, and a fascinating setting. And if you opt for a physical copy, the book has a great what I like to call “hand feel”. The cover is smooth, almost glossy. The font is on the small side but it is more than legible. The book has a solid heft to its nearly 300 pages. For tactile people like myself, it has substance when cradled in your hands.

Editing standards with books these days have – in general – been a bit lacking in this reviewer’s humble opinion. I have left many books unfinished because the joy of the story and the characters were overshadowed by the pain of encountering countless errors in the book. I did not have that problem with Murder at San Miguel. The editing was spot-on, allowing us readers to flow through the story without pesky stops due to grammar nuisances. That is huge in my reading world.

Danee Wilson is the perfect person to author this book. She grew up in Regina and earned a Bachelor of Arts Honours and a Master of Arts in archaeology at the University of Saskatchewan, among other degrees. Wilson has gotten her hands dirty in numerous archaeological excavations, which no doubt helped inspire Murder at San Miguel

I strongly encourage anyone with even a remote interest in archaeology fiction to pick up a copy of Murder at San Miguel. It should also be on your must-read list if you are a fan of murder mysteries. Happy reading!


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