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.
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^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 MeltonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved