The eighth novel in the highly acclaimed series of medieval mysteries featuring the one-eyed spy Owen Archer
Candace Robb has read and researched medieval history for many years, having studied for a Ph.D in Medieval and Anglo-Saxon Literature. She is the author of nine Owen Archer novels and three Margaret Kerr Mysteries.
Attacks on a bishop and former lord chancellor of England reveal a confusing web of motives in Robb's latest to feature one-eyed medieval sleuth Owen Archer (after 2002's A Spy for the Redeemer). Bishop Wykeham has come to York to try to appease the family of Sir Ranulf Pagnell, an aged knight who died in a French dungeon while Wykeham attempted to negotiate his release. Soon after the bishop's arrival, someone tries to drop a roof-tile on his head, and then succeeds in burning down his townhouse. As captain of the guard at Archbishop Thoresby's palace where Wykeham is staying, Archer is responsible for the bishop's safety. His inquiries into the crimes are complicated by the presence of a badly wounded servant and murdered woman dragged out of the burning house. No one seems able to explain their presence in the house, nor who inflicted their injuries. Archer considers suspects ranging from street thieves to the powerful Duke of Lancaster, with mixed results. The author's enthusiastic research lends realism to the time and place, but occasionally gushes over into distracting detail. Also, her excellent rendering of characters and motives is hurt by the presence of the Riverwoman, a healer who seems more New Age than Middle Age. But Robb pulls the tale out of its muddle at the end. Alternating scenes with a growing pace and tension culminate in a welcome surprise or two. Established fans will enjoy the references to previous books in the series. (Jan. 6) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
When William of Wykeman, bishop of Winchester, fears reprisal after being blamed for the death of a local knight by his irate family, Owen Archer (A Spy for the Redeemer) must protect him. In the meantime, Owen copes with wife Lucie's overwhelming sorrow upon losing the child she was carrying. A nice addition to the series, with Robb's good character development and domestic detail, though the ending doesn't quite satisfy. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Robb paints a vivid canvas of a time when courage and chivalry
combined * Choice magazine *
Ellis Peters has a cohort of pretenders snapping at her heels ... most impressive of the bunch is Candace Robb. A definite tip for tomorrow * Time Out *