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Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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Midsummer Crown (A Roger the Chapman Mystery) Hardcover – June 1, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Julian Fellowes's Belgravia by Julian Fellowes
"Julian Fellowes's Belgravia" by Julian Fellowes
From the creator and writer of Downton Abbey comes a grand historical novel, with hugely exciting twists and dramatic chapter endings. Learn more | See author page
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Murder and kidnapping are set against the momentous events of 1483. Roger the Chapman has no sooner returned to Bristol from London when he is recalled by Richard of Gloucester, who wants him to solve the locked-room murder of a tutor and the abduction of his charge, Gideon Fitzalan. The death of Gloucester's brother King Edward IV has set London abuzz with rumors. Gloucester suspects, but is unable to prove, that Edward was a bastard and his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville illegal. He has escorted his nephew to London to be crowned but still finds time to task Roger to solve the puzzling crime. Accompanied by Gideon's valet Piers Daubenay, Roger arrives at Baynard's to question Gideon's nurse Dame Copley and Amphillis Hill, a seamstress at the castle, who was the last person to see Gideon and his tutor alive. Roger becomes suspicious of Amphillis, who seems to spend more time in meetings with various women in the streets of London than she does working in the castle. Roger narrowly escapes several murder attempts as he uses information about a pagan religion to find the truth. Once more, Sedley (Wheel of Fate, 2010, etc.) cleverly weaves one of her stronger mysteries into a background of notable historical events. --Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2011

The brief reign of 12-year-old Edward V forms the dramatic background to Sedley's excellent 20th Roger the Chapman mystery (after 2010's Wheel of Fate). In 1483, Richard, duke of Gloucester, "the most important personage in the kingdom after the king," sends for Roger, a pedlar known for his sleuthing skills, who's just returned home to Bristol. Richard wants Roger to investigate the abduction of 13-year-old Gideon Fitzalan and the murder of Gideon's tutor, whose body was found in a locked room. Roger arrives in London just as Edward and his younger brother are taken to the Tower to await the coronation. Sedley does a masterful job conveying the simmering tension felt throughout England at the prospect of the boy king ascending the throne, while hinting at the machinations of various factions to secure the succession. This is an absolute must for fans of Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time. --Starred Publishers Weekly Review, May 23, 2011

Set in fifteenth-century England, Sedley's new Roger the Chapman mystery has Roger returning to Bristol, where he unraveled a thorny mystery for his patron, the Duke of Gloucester. Ready to settle back into peaceful domesticity, Roger barely has time to set down his peddler's pack before the duke's messenger arrives with new orders. Roger is to return to London, this time to solve the kidnapping of a young prince and the murder of his tutor. Aware that the duke plans to make a bid to become King of England, Roger knows he can't afford to disappoint a possible future king by failing to solve the case. But there are few clues, and every potential lead turns into a dead-end until, by chance, Roger stumbles on a secret with its roots in ancient paganism that just might unlock the mystery. Cleverly crafted, with authentic period detail, an accurate and well-constructed historical context, and a likable hero, this is a fine choice for readers who enjoy mixing crime and English his! tory. -- Booklist, July 1, 2011

About the Author

Kate Sedley, a student of Anglo-Saxon and medieval history, lives in England. She is married and has a son, a daughter, and three grandchildren. ""The Saint John's Fern"" is the ninth novel in her critically acclaimed series featuring Roger the Chapman.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Roger the Chapman Mystery (Book 20)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers; 1St Edition edition (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727880195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727880192
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,724,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Roger the Chapman is once again wrenched away from his beloved family in Bristol and called to London to solve a baffling murder and abduction. A young lord has vanished, and his tutor's body has been discovered within a locked chamber.

London is in a fever of excitement awaiting the coronation of Edward V, and Roger can find little help in unraveling the mystery. Still, he persists, all the while aware of a growing uneasiness as to who will actually wear the crown: young Edward, or his uncle Richard.

Sedley's book creates a fine sense of this era, as well as delves into some ancient pagan customs that persist despite the condemnation of Church and King.
My only criticism is that Roger, despite previous experiences, remains somewhat too trusting and naive. But he is as endearing as ever, and this story a compelling read!
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Format: Hardcover
The Roger the Chapman series was, for a long time, my favorite historical mystery series. However, the last 3-4 books have been big letdowns. Perhaps that's the inevitable fate of almost all long-running series.

This one "jumped the shark" for me when Roger started getting involved in Royal affairs. I found the stories so much more interesting when they involved the average people of medieval England rather than the machinations of Dukes and Kings and such.

This particular book -- the Medsummer Crown -- has several major flaws which go beyond simply my personal preference for normal folk: for the majority of the book, nothing of interest happens. Rogers walks around confused and inept, continually losing the people he's following, missing clues and moaning about the case. Then there are the totally incredible coincidences, like having the major suspects just happen to sit at the table behind him in an obscure London inn and discuss the entire case and their plans for him. I can't go into more details without revealing spoiling, but suffice it to say that it strains the reader's credulity to the breaking point.

Finally, the plot is extremely similar in many ways to the Green Man (again, I can't give details but many of the plot contrivances are EXACTLY the same and Roger even aludes to them in the book!) The ending is unsatisfying and implausible.

Sorry, Ms. Sedley. Your first dozen books were great and for them, I'll always be thankful. But here's where Roger Chapman and I part company.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the series Roger the Chapman. It is an easy read, and you can pretend you are learning some history. However this book was full of swear words, quite a few more than her other book. It could have been written without them, and not hurt a thing, quite the contrary. I realize that it is an adult book, but still... too much is too much... I don't want to cringe when I read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent, well-written series. The characters are vivid. The background information for the time period is interesting and accurate. The plots are interesting. This series is worth reading for anyone interested in historical mysteries.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i found Historical mystery's about 4 years ago and started this series as one of the first books i read it's GREAT and when a new copy
comes out i have to have it because this series is a keeper.they have historical facts and alot of interesting information of how the people lived back then.
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Format: Hardcover
Was disappointed in the plot, which relied too much on coincidents. I was also hoping that the mystery Roger was being called on to solve was the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower.
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