Product Description

Lost in the Quagmire (The Search for the Grail)
A Merlin Mystery
by Jay Ruud
Arthurian/Mystery
Pub Date: 10/15/18
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-948338-12-7
$16.99 Paperback
$3.99 eBook

When Sir Galahad arrives in Camelot to fulfill his destiny, the presence of Lancelot’s illegitimate son disturbs Queen Guinevere. But the young knight’s vision of the Holy Grail at Pentecost inspires the entire fellowship of the Round Table to rush off in quest of Christendom’s most holy relic. But as the quest gets under way, Sir Gawain and Sir Ywain are both seriously wounded, and Sir Safer and Sir Ironside are killed by a mysterious White Knight, who claims to impose rules upon the quest. And this is just the beginning. When knight after knight turns up dead or gravely wounded, sometimes at the hands of their fellow knights, Gildas and Merlin begin to suspect some sinister force behind the Grail madness, bent on nothing less than the destruction of Arthur and his table. They begin their own quest: to find the conspirator or conspirators behind the deaths of Arthur’s good knights. Is it the king’s enigmatic sister Morgan la Fay? Could it be Arthur’s own bastard Sir Mordred, hoping to seize the throne for himself? Or is it some darker, older grievance against the king that cries out for vengeance? Before Merlin and Gildas are through, they are destined to lose a number of close comrades, and Gildas finds himself finally forced to prove his worth as a potential knight, facing down an armed and mounted enemy with nothing less than the lives of Merlin and his master Sir Gareth at stake.


Lost in the Quagmire is an original and admirable contribution to the corpus of modern Arthurian fiction. Concentrating on the Grail quest, Jay Ruud adds additional material, leavens it with dashes of humor, and produces a fascinating and eminently readable novel—specifically, a murder mystery, the solution of which requires the particular powers of Merlin. Scholars and general enthusiasts alike will enjoy and value this work.”
—Norris J. Lacy, Honorary President of the International Arthurian Society

“Who knew a book so smart could be so entertaining? Jay Ruud’s Lost in the Quagmireis a rich and exhilarating and even unruly look at the famous round table of King Arthur. The knights drink poisoned wine, engage in ill-advised fisticuffs, are led at the nose by a conspiring and coldly exotic mastermind, and even stumble into a metaphysical revelation or two. There’s blood, lust, prayer, scheming, saving, fighting, and then more blood, and more lust. All in good fun. Ruud keeps it brilliantly light and expertly well-plotted, but at the same time this knowledgeable medievalist manages to teach us a thing or two about knightly courtesy, about the human heart, and even about God himself.”
—John Vanderslice, author of The Last Days of Oscar Wilde

“Once again Ruud has brought new life to ancient relics. Weaving an enchanting tale of mystery with threads of wisdom, humor, and medieval lore, Lost in the Quagmire is a delightful and illuminating read.”
—Jerusalem Jackson Greer, author of At Home in this Life

“In Lost in the Quagmire, author Jay Ruud takes us into the world of King Arthur in this contemporary re-telling of the legend of the Holy Grail. We meet again all our favorites from Camelot and The Once and Future King in a remarkably fresh new look at age-old themes of honor and redemption, love and valor, and power and destiny, as Gildas struggles with his own sense of purpose and his love for the fair Rosamounde, unfortunate wife to Mordred. Tragedy and comedy comingle in this astute and sensitive recounting, and the reader will thoroughly enjoy the witty and up-to-date dialogue as well as the opportunity to learn the medieval names for everyday things, which is, of course, a goal for all of us.”
—Nancy Allen, author of A Down Home Twelve Days of Christmas

“Jay Ruud’s Merlin may or may not be a wizard, but the author certainly is, with his ability to infuse new energy into the well-loved mythical world of Arthur, once and future King. An imaginatively conjured tale, enlivened by the peripheral point of view of its narrator, Gildas, a young man coming of age in a time of legend. Enchanting!”

—Kyran Pittman, New York Times best-selling author of Planting Dandelions

“Fans of medieval mysteries and Arthurian legends will enjoy this imaginative tale of gallant knights”

—Library Journal

“Like Merlin in his clever series, Jay Ruud works his own special kind of magic.”—Trenton Lee Stewart, New York Times best-selling author of The Mysterious Benedict Society series

“Where most modern interpreters of the Arthurian tradition ignore the literary backgrounds of this magnificent cast of characters, Mr. Ruud meticulously provides accurate character genealogies and is refreshingly faithful to the medieval narratives he uses as his sources.”

—Janet M. Jesmok, author of Malory and Christianity

“The Bleak and Empty Sea: The Tristram and Isolde Story is a perfect combination of Arthurian legend and a medieval whodunit. It’s a thinking person’s mystery; full of intricate story telling and rich with fascinating details of life in the Middle Ages. I only hope Ruud continues to write more books in the Merlin series.”

—Brenda Donelan, author of the University Mystery Series