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May, 1375. Owen Archer returns from London to find York in chaos. A new physician has arrived, whipping up fear and suspicion against Magda Digby, the wise woman who has helped and healed the people of York for many years. Magda's troubles deepen when she discovers a body in the river near her home - and finds herself under suspicion of murder.
December, 1374. With the great and the good about to descend on York for the enthronement of Alexander Neville as the new archbishop, the city is in a state of high alert. When two bodies are discovered in the grounds of York Minster, Owen Archer is summoned to investigate. But before he can make headway, a third body is fished out of the river ...
A ';fascinating [and] evocative' novel of crime and intrigue in fourteenth-century England and Wales (The Plain Dealer). It is late spring in the year of our Lord 1370, and Owen Archer is anxious to leave Wales for home. His mission for the Duke of Lancaster complete, he attempts to arrange safe passage on a ship sailing for Englandbut the hanging of a stonemason interrupts his plans. On the surface, it appears the young man was driven to suicide by a broken heart, but to Owen the signs all point to murder. As his investigation stretches on, however, Owen finds himself drawn into the influence of the leader of a Welsh rebellion whose manifesto speaks to his heart, and a choice is offered to him: join or die. Meanwhile, at home in York, Owen's wife, Lucie, is troubled by rumors that her husband's long absence is permanentas well as threats by a customer who claims she was poisoned by a physic from the Wilton apothecary. And while her husband remains distant, Lucie will be sorely tempted by the attentions of a friend's steward, even as she uncovers a shattering betrayal in her own household... ';A pleasing medieval series.' Library Journal
This tale of courtly intrigue and murder in fourteenth-century England is ';a superb medieval mystery thoroughly grounded in historical fact' (Booklist). From the marshy Thames to the misty Yorkshire moors, murder stalks Welsh soldier-sleuth Owen Archer and one of his oldest friends. On a snowy morning in 1367, Sir William of Wyndesore's page is found in the icy moat of Windsor Castle, and some whisper that the murderer was Ned Townleya former comrade-in-arms of Owen Archer. Burdened with a reputation as a notoriously jealous lover, Ned cannot hope to clear his name; even Mary, his ladylove, is unsure of the truth. Hoping to put Ned out of harm's way while solving the murder, Owen places his friend in charge of a mission to Rievaulx Abbey at the edge of the moors. But when the travelers receive news of Mary's drowning, Ned vanishes into the wild. Riding out in search of his old friend, Owen does not know whether he will be Ned's savior or executioner. With his one good eye, Owen sees more than most, but now he must find a way to penetrate the curtains of power that surround the Church and England's royal court and discover the truth of Ned's innocence or guilt... ';Robb continues to adeptly blend politics with period detail and three-dimensioned characterizations in the Owen Archer tales.' Publishers Weekly
';Engrossing... Imbued with the flavor of English medieval life, Robb's story melds true events with fiction to create a gripping historical mystery' (Publishers Weekly). When young nun Joanna Calverley dies of a fever in the town of Beverley in the summer of 1365, she is buried quickly for fear of the plague. But a year later, Archbishop Thoresby learns of a woman who has arrived in York claiming to be the resurrected nun, talking of relic-trading and miracles. And death seems to ride in her wake. The archbishop sends Owen Archer to retrace the woman's journey, an investigation that leads him across the north from Leeds to Beverley to Scarborough. Along the way he encounters Geoffrey Chaucer, a spy for the king of England, who believes there is a connection between the nun's troubles, renegade mercenaries, and the powerful Percy family. Back in York, however, Owen's wife, Lucie, pregnant with their first child, has won the confidence of the mysterious nun and realizes that there are secrets hidden in the woman's seemingly mad ramblings... Based on an enigmatic entry in the records of Clementhorpe Nunnery, this authentic, gripping mystery conjures a fourteenth century ripe with forbidden passions and political intrigue. ';[Robb] lives up to the standard set by master medievalist Ellis Peters.' Booklist
A wool merchant's murder may unmask a sinister plot in this novel of medieval England by an author who ';puts the history back into the historical mystery' (Kirkus Reviews). Summer in the year of our Lord 1365: On the night after the Corpus Christi procession, a man is brutally murdered on the steps of York Minster. The next morning his severed hand is found in a room at the York Taverna room hastily vacated by a fellow guild member who had quarreled with the victim. Archbishop Thoresby calls on Owen Archer to investigate. As Owen tracks the fleeing merchant, he uncovers a conspiracy involving a powerful company of traders, but his only witness is a young boy who has gone into hiding, and his only suspect is a mysterious cloaked woman. When Owen discovers a link between the traders and a powerful coterie in the royal court, he brings his apothecary wife, Lucie, into the race to find the boy before he is silenced forever by the murderers. ';[Robb] lives up to the standard set by master medievalist Ellis Peters.' Booklist
This mystery in medieval England is ';suspenseful, historically accurate, and blessed with a wonderful cast of characters... An absolute delight' (Charles de Lint, author of the Newford Series). It is Christmastide, 1363, and two suspicious deaths in the infirmary of St. Mary's Abbey catch the attention of the powerful John Thoresby, Lord Chancellor of England and Archbishop of York. One victim is a pilgrim, while the second is Thoresby's ne'er-do-well ward, both apparently poisoned by a physic supplied by Master Apothecary Nicholas Wilton. In the wake of these deaths, the archbishop dispatches one-eyed spy Owen Archer to York to find the murderer. Under the guise of a disillusioned soldier keen to make a fresh start, Owen insinuates himself into Wilton's apothecary as an apprentice. But he finds Wilton bedridden, with the shop being run by his lovely, enigmatic wife, Lucie. As Owen unravels a tangled history of scandal and tragedy, he discovers at its center a desperate, forbidden love twisted over time into obsession. And the woman he has come to love is his prime suspect. ';Essential for historical fans.' Library Journal ';[Robb] lives up to the standard set by master medievalist Ellis Peters.' Booklist
Espionage and intrigue light the fuse of rebellion in medieval Scotland for sleuth Margaret Kerr. '; This is history as it should be told' (Good Book Guide). In late summer 1297, Margaret Kerr heads to the town of Stirling at the request of William Wallace's man James Comyn. Her mission is to discover the fate of a young spy who had infiltrated the English garrison at Stirling Castle, but on the journey Margaret is haunted by dreamsor are they visions?of danger. He who holds Stirling Castle holds Scotlandand a bloody battle for the castle is imminent. But as the Scots prepare to cast off the English yoke, Margaret's flashes of the future allow her to glimpse what is to comeand show her that she can trust no one, not even her closest friends. A Cruel Courtship is a harrowing account of the days before the bloody battle of Stirling Bridge, and the story of a young woman's awakening.
';Intrigue abounds' in the series starring sleuth Margaret Kerr. ';Robb's captivating blend of history and mystery vividly evokes medieval Scotland' (Booklist). Scots are gathering in Murdoch Kerr's Edinburgh tavern, plotting to drive out the English forces. Margaret takes her place there as innkeeper, collecting information to pass on to William Wallaceuntil murder gives the English an excuse to shutter the tavern. The dead man was a witness to the intruders who raided chests belonging to Margaret's husband and her father, the latest in a string of violent raids on Margaret's family, but no one knows the identity of the raiders or what they're searching for. Margaret's uncle urges her to escape to Edinburgh, but as she flees north with her husband Roger, Margaret grows suspicious about his sudden wish to speak with her mother, Christiana, who is a soothsayer. Margaret once innocently shared with Roger one of Christiana's visions, of ';the true king of Scotland' riding into Edinburgh. Now she begins to wonder if their trip is part of a mission engineered by the English crown.. .
The acclaimed author of the Owen Archer Series ';lovingly re-creates medieval Edinburgh' in a novel that introduces Scottish sleuth Margaret Kerr (Publishers Weekly). In the spring of 1297, the English army controls lowland Scotland and Margaret Kerr's husband Roger Sinclair is missing. He had gone to Dundee in autumn, writing to Margaret with a promise to be home for Christmas, but it's past Easter. He could be caught up in the swelling rebellion against the Englishif he's even alive. When his cousin is murdered on the streets of Edinburgh, Roger's last known location, Margaret coerces her brother, a priest, to escort her to the city. She finds Edinburgh scarred by warhouses burnt, walls stained with blood, shops shutteredand the townsfolk simmering with resentment, harboring secrets. Even her uncle, innkeeper Murdoch Kerr, meets her questions with silence. Desperate, Margaret makes alliances that risk both her own life and that of her brother in her search for answers. She learns that war twists love and loyalties, and that, until tested, we cannot know our own hearts, much less those of our loved ones. ';Robb's writing is so rich and historically true that this is a must for all lovers of historical mysteries.' Historical Novel Society ';Thirteenth-century Edinburgh comes off the page cold and convincing, from the smoke and noise of the tavern kitchen to Holyrood Abbey under a treacherous abbot. Most enjoyable.' The List (Edinburgh)
Owen Archer, ex-soldier and spy, is preparing to depart Wales, his work for John of Gaunt completed. Increasingly desperate, she accepts the company of a stranger, who proves invaluable when they face danger. Angered by Owen's prolonged absence, aware of malicious rumours, John Thoresby, Archbishop of York, orders his return.
In the cathedral city of York people are dying in mysterious circumstances. But there seems to be a common thread - the herbal remedies dispensed by Nicholas Wilton, Master Apothecary. Dispatched to York, in disguise, to unravel the mystery, Owen Archer, apprentices himself to the Apothecary. Slowly but surely Owen begins to uncover the truth.
When a young nun dies of a fever in the town of Beverley in the summer of 1365, she is buried quickly for fear of the plague. But one year later, a woman appears, talking of relic-trading and miracles. She claims to be the dead nun resurrected. Murder follows swiftly in her wake, and the worried Archbishop of York asks Owen Archer to investigate.
A snowy March, 1367, and King Edward is impatient. He wants William of Wykeham confirmed as Bishop of Winchester, but Pope Urban V is stalling, deterred by the man's wealth and political ambition. Thus Owen Archer finds himself heading a deputation from York to Fountains Abbey, to win support for Wykeham from the powerful Cistercian abbots.
When a young nun, Joanna Calverley, dies of fever in the town of Beverley, they waste no time in burying her, fearing the plague. But nine months later a woman turns up claiming to be Joanna, saying she faked her own death. When murder follows close on her heels, John Thoresby, Archbishop of York, knows he must enlist the help of his favourite detective, Owen Archer. While Owen sets off for Leeds and Scarborough to speak with the Percy family and Geoffrey Chaucer, who is spying for the King, his wife Lucie tries to discover from Joanna the events of her missing year. Soldiers fleeing to France, relic-trading and incest are just a few of the secrets which emerge.
When the wise woman Magda Digby is suspected of murder, Owen Archer sets out to prove her innocence in this intricately plotted medieval mystery.May, 1375. Owen Archer returns from London to find York in chaos. While the citizens are living in terror of the pestilence which is spreading throughout the land, a new physician has arrived, whipping up fear and suspicion against traditional healers and midwives. With the backing of the new archbishop, he is especially hostile towards Magda Digby, the wise woman who has helped and healed the people of York for many years. At the same time, Magda is uneasy about the arrival of two long-lost kinsfolk. Though they say they are seeking her help, she senses a hidden agenda.Magda's troubles deepen when she discovers a body in the river near her home - and finds herself under suspicion of murder. Days later, fire rips through a warehouse in the city. Amongst the charred debris lies the body of a man - not burned, but stabbed in the back. Could there be a connection to the corpse in the river?Determined to prove Magda's innocence, Owen sets out to find answers - but the more he uncovers, the deeper the mystery becomes . . .
When a prominent citizen is murdered, former Captain of the Guard Owen Archer is persuaded out of retirement to investigate in this gripping medieval mystery.1374. When a member of one of York's most prominent families is found dead in the woods, his throat torn out, rumours spread like wildfire that wolves are running loose throughout the city. Persuaded to investigate by the victim's father, Owen Archer is convinced that a human killer is responsible. But before he can gather sufficient evidence to prove his case, a second body is discovered, stabbed to death. Is there a connection? What secrets are contained within the victim's household? And what does apprentice healer Alisoun know that she's not telling? Teaming up with Geoffrey Chaucer, who is in York on a secret mission on behalf of Prince Edward, Owen's enquiries will draw him headlong into a deadly conspiracy.
When two bodies are discovered in the grounds of York Minster shortly before the enthronement of the new archbishop, Owen Archer is summoned to investigate.December, 1374. With the great and the good about to descend on York for the enthronement of Alexander Neville as the new archbishop, the city authorities are in a state of high alert. When two bodies are discovered in the grounds of York Minster, and a flaxen-haired youth with the voice of an angel is found locked in the chapter house, Owen Archer, captain of the city bailiffs, is summoned to investigate. Tension deepens when an enigmatic figure from Owen's past arrives in the city. Why has he returned from France after all these years - and what is his connection with the bodies in the minster yard and the fair singer?Before Owen can make headway in the investigation, a third body is fished out of the river - and the captain finds himself with three mysterious deaths to solve before the all-powerful Neville family arrives in York.
Expertly recreating the social and political upheavals of late medieval Europe, Candace Robb introduces a new series starring Kate Clifford, a woman forged on the warring northern marches of fourteenth century England.
It is deep winter in York, 1400, the ground frozen, the short days dimmed with the smoke from countless fires. The sun, when it shines, is low in the sky. It is rumored that the Epiphany Uprising, meant to relieve the realm of Henry IV, the usurper, and return King Richard II to the throne, has, instead, spelled Richard's doom. As long as Richard lives, he is a threat to Henry. So, too, the nobles behind the plot. A perilous time, made worse for Kate Clifford by the disappearance of Berend, her cook and confidante, shortly after Christmas. He said he was honor bound to leave. Honor boundto a former lord? One of the nobles who led the uprising? Is he alive? She is hardly consoled when Berend reappears, wounded, secretive, denying any connection to the uprising, but refusing to explain himself. When he is accused of brutally murdering a spice seller in the city, Kate discovers a chest of jewels in his possession. Some of the jewels belong to her old friend Lady Margery, wanted by the king for her husband's part in the uprising. For the sake of their long friendship, and the love she bears for him, Kate wants to believe his innocence. If only she trusted her heart.
A CALLOUS MURDER. A DEVASTATING SECRET. A CRIME OF PASSION.York, 1373: John Thoresby, the Archbishop of York, lies dying. Owen Archer, Thoresby's master of the guards, is determined to ensure that his lord's last days are as peaceful as possible, but his plans are thrown into disarray when Thoresby agrees to a visit from Joan, Princess of Wales, wife of the Black Prince and mother of the young heir to the throne of England. Owen resolves to do his duty, but within minutes of Joan's arrival things go disastrously wrong when a member of the royal party is murdered. Then, only days later, a messenger carrying urgent letters for Thoresby is found hanging in the woods. As Owen races against time to find the murderer, he starts to realise that not only has one of his own men been compromised, but all their lives are now in danger...
Through the wet spring of 1369 a pilgrimage wends its way to the sacred city of St David's. Owen Archer, ex-soldier and sometime spy, accompanies the party to recruit archers for the Duke of Lancaster, who prepares to fight the French. But he and Geoffrey Chaucer have another, covert, mission: to ascertain whether the Duke's steward at Cydweli is betraying him to Welsh rebels.Trouble precedes them: a body in the Duke's livery is left at the city gates. And when Owen rides on to Cydweli he finds the household of the steward and his beautiful young wife rocked by the theft of money from the exchequer and riven by tension, culminating in another violent attack. He must work fast to investigate charges of treachery, infidelity and murder if he is to prevent further deaths. Political skullduggery, passion and ambition clash in this intriguing, evocative and compelling novel which vividly conjures up the medieval world.
Expertly recreating the social and political upheavals of late medieval Europe, acclaimed author Candace Robb introduces a new series starring Kate Clifford, a woman forged on the warring northern marches of fourteenth-century England.Political unrest permeates York at the cusp of the fifteenth century, as warring factions take sides on who should be the rightful king-Richard II or his estranged, powerful cousin in exile, Henry Bolingbroke. Independent-minded twenty-year-old Kate Clifford is struggling to dig out from beneath the debt left by her late husband. Determined to find a way to be secure in her own wealth and establish her independence in a male-dominated society, Kate turns one of her properties near the minster into a guest house and sets up a business. In a dance of power, she also quietly rents the discreet bedchambers to the wealthy, powerful merchants of York for nights with their mistresses. But the brutal murder of a mysterious guest and the disappearance of his companion for the evening threatens all that Kate has built. Before others in town hear word of a looming scandal, she must call upon all of her hard-won survival skills to save herself from ruin.
Scotland, 1297.Passionate, brave and fiercely loyal, Margaret Kerr - a young woman estranged from her husband - is determined to play her part in saving Scotland from the hammer of Edward Longshanks - King of England and would-be King of the Scots. And so she travels to Stirling to discover why the informer upon whom the Scottish rebels depend has become unreliable. It is an important and difficult mission, for he who holds Stirling Castle holds Scotland, and with fresh English recruits marching forth, a bloody battle for the castle is imminent. As the Scots prepare to cast off the English yoke once and for all, Margaret soon realises she can trust no one, not even her closest friends. Is she prepared to give her life for her country?
A mystery story about the danger of false miracles and the treachery of true believers, part of the ';pleasing medieval series' (Library Journal). Magda the Riverwoman has called Owen Archer to her island hut in the middle of the River Ouse with a special favorto guard a jar of human bones. No one in York is greedier than the relic dealers, the insatiable charlatans who sell flesh and bone as miracle cures, but Magda will not sell the remains at any price. Instead, she asks Owen to protect the jar and keep one eye out for the dark figure who's been watching the island, waiting patiently for the right moment to strike This suspenseful short story is sure to delight long-time fans of Candace Robb's Owen Archer seriesand provide first-time readers with a gripping introduction to her beautifully rendered world of treachery and intrigue in medieval England. Praise for the Owen Archer novels: ';Fascinating [and] evocative.'The Plain Dealer ';As full of intrigue as a Deighton or a Le Carre.'The Guardian
Three novels about a woman's search for truth amid the Scottish struggle for independence by an author who';puts the history back into historical mystery' (Kirkus Reviews). This volume includes three novels of mystery and intrigue in thirteenth-century Scotland from the acclaimed author of the Owen Archer series: InA Trust Betrayed, Margaret Kerr searches for her missing husband after his disappearance in Edinburgh, but finds that the simmering rebellion has turned the ruined city into a web of lies and hidden motives that threaten anyone who digs too deep for the truth. InThe Fire in the Flint, Margaret and her family become the target of a series of violent raids, but what the raiders are looking for remains a mystery. As Margaret becomes more deeply involved in the rebellion, attention turns to her mother, a seer who has had visions of the ';true king of Scotland.' InA Cruel Courtship, Margaret heads to Stirling Castle on a mission to discover the fate of a young spy for the rebellion. As her travels bring her closer to the castle, however, she begins to have dreamsor are they visions?of impending danger. The historic battle of Stirling Bridge is nearing, and the fate of Scotland rides on the outcomePraise for the Margaret Kerr novels: ';With meticulous attention to historical details, from the soup Margaret eats to her characters' plaid clothing and the language they speak (there's a helpful glossary), the author lovingly re-creates medieval Edinburgh.'Publishers Weekly ';Robb's captivating blend of history and mystery vividly evokes medieval Scotland.'Booklist ';A satisfying read, full of interesting detail about the life and times in Scotland in the 13th century.'Aberdeen Press & Journal Together, these stories offer a richly detailed and beautifully written account of medieval Scotland and a young woman's awakening.