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The Burgundian's Tale (Roger the Chapman Mysteries) Hardcover – May 1, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the spring of 1480, Roger the Chapman, the hero of Sedley's beguiling historical series (The Lammas Feast, etc.), is planning a peddling excursion away from his troubled family in Bristol when the duke of Gloucester's spymaster summons him to London to help look into the murder of Fulk Quantrell—the ambitious son of a lady-in-waiting to the duke's sister—found battered to death in Fleet Street. Once in the capital, Roger joins forces with one of the duke's officers, Bertram Serifaber, and they soon have a number of suspects. Another death narrows the field, but the suspects are united by a tangle of family and business interests. Family preoccupies everyone—the duke wants to resolve Fulk's death for the sake of his much-loved sister, and Roger and Bertram each have difficulties with their own families. The tale starts slowly, but Sedley provides a wonderful window to England during the Wars of the Roses, from members of the aristocracy and the artisan and mercantile classes to the agrarian poor. This is not only splendid social history but a rich and satisfactory mystery to boot.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

^BSedley's latest medieval murder mystery once again features peddler Roger Chapman. After the death of his infant daughter, home life for Roger becomes unbearable. Deciding to take a break from his grieving wife and noisy children, Roger resolves to peddle his wares in the peaceful countryside. But his plan is foiled when the Duke of Gloucester's messenger arrives to inform Roger that the duke wants him in London to solve a murder. Annoyed but intrigued, Roger sets off for the city, where he learns that the murder victim is the son of a lady-in-waiting to the Duchess of Burgundy. At first, Roger fears he won't solve the case--the clues are few, and the victim's family and friends seem curiously reluctant to talk. But when Roger is viciously attacked, he realizes he must be getting closer to the truth. As usual, Sedley's exuberant writing style, lively humor, larger-than-life characters, and deft touches of historical authenticity make for another appealing addition to this well-liked series. Emily Melton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Roger the Chapman Mysteries (Book 14)
  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers; 1st World Ed edition (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727862162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727862167
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,072,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Kate Sedley has penned yet another wonderfully page-turnning and riveting read with this latest Roger the chapman installment. One of my favourite mystery series, it's always a treat for me discover that there is a new Roger the chapman mystery for me to sit down and loose myself in, and "The Burgundian's Tale" lived up to my every expectation of an engaging and suspenseful read.

Margaret, the Dowager Duchess of Burgundy and King Edward IV of England's younger sister, is in England for a visit. And London is bustling with excitement as the merchants and townspeople vigorously prepare for the influx of royalty, aristocrats, visiting Burgundians and their assorted retinues. In the midst of all this the murder of young man, Fulk Quantrell, would probably have gone unremarked by many, except that Fulk also happens to be the Dowager Duchess' favourite male attendant. And so Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, asks his trusted servant, Roger the chapman, to investigate Fulk's murder. Fulk, it turns out was the only son of Duchess Margaret's childhood companion and favourite seamtress-in-chief, Veronica Quantrell. Recently, however, Veronica had passed away, and Fulk had asked permission to come to England in order to acquaint his aunt, Judith, with her twin's death. Judith had married well and advantageously, and although she has several dependents that she had promised to make her heirs, all this goes out the window when she meets Fulk and falls for his charms. Could one of the displaced heirs have murdered Fulk out of anger and greed? Seemingly, this should be a rather simple case for Roger to sort out.
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Format: Hardcover
Kate Sedley's books about Roger Chapman, the pedlar come murder mystery sleuth are becoming more and more popular and rightly so. They are good entertaining reading with plots and backgrounds that have been well thought out and well researched. They are what I would call light reading (very much like the writing style of Paul Doherty or Bernard Knight, two other well known authors of medieval mysteries).

Roger the Chapman has been at home in Bristol too long. His fourth child has died shortly after being born and his wife Adela believes that Roger has not been particularly upset by this sad event. If truth be told he is in fact somewhat relieved at having one less mouth to feed, but this does not make him feel any less guilty for having those thoughts. Because of the friction between them, Roger thinks a few weeks on the road selling his wares will help to heal the rift.

No sooner has he made his mind up to go on the road he receives a message from Richard, Duke of Gloucester, a man he has worked for before, asking him to travel to London to solve the mystery of a murdered foreigner, a Burgundian. The murdered young man is the son of one of the ladies-in-waiting to Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy. A request from the Duke of Gloucester is tantamount to an order from anyone else and Roger has no option but to go to the crowded streets of London, where a surprising number of the people he questions appear to have a motive for doing away with the murdered man, Fulk Quantrell
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another can't put it down, fast paced mystery that should win Sedley new fans. If you are not already a Roger fan, I suggest you stop reading this and read "Tregatt"s review. (The series is best read in order, however, start with DEATH AND THE CHAPMAN) If you are a fan I suggest you stop reading until you've read the book. I'm not going to give away the plot, but you may want to enoy the book first before you read further. The problem is: Is this the same, the real, our old Kate Sedley? Suddenly, instead of long, ponderous (but beautifully descriptive) sentences we have short, more precise ones (if a little minimalistic). We are reading much better plotted and organized mysteries. Not that I miss the old "Come on, hurry up and figure it out, and lets get on with it, we readers have figured it out ages ago," Roger. But I do miss some of the flavor of those earlier books. I don't know if the changes are due to: a much more demanding editor, a ghost co-writer, or what. I do realize that there are a few books which, if I had started the series with them, would have been the last I read. Yet in these new, better mystery Roger books some of the what Martin Heiddegger called "the world worlding" that brought the 15th Century to life in a closeup, touchable form, is gone. Also gone is that magical sense of the religious that was so carefully cultivated in the earlier books. There was a little bit of that magic in this one, in that he did dream about the answer to the mystery, but I used to like the way Roger brought God, and his past into the meld. There is also a sort of class conflict in this book that I think the old Kate would have handled better. The Duke treats him like a friend, the suspects like a lower class nusiance--I just think this could have been handled better.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I've enjoyed these Roger the Chapman mysteries that take place in the 1400s. This particular story took a while to get started as there were so many family connections and it was hard to remember how all these people were related. Still it was yet another clever plot with an original ending that only Roger could figure out. The background of those times are also interesting and there is a lot of historical facts interwoven in the stories. I was delighted to find this book in the local library since I've had problems trying to locate all the books of this author. I look forward to reading more!
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