The Weaver's Tale: The Third Tale of Roger the Chapman

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9780061043369: The Weaver's Tale: The Third Tale of Roger the Chapman

When the disreputable brother of a respected nobleman is hanged for murdering a man who later turns up alive, Roger, a fifteenth-century English peddler, senses foul play among the gentry. Reprint.

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From Publishers Weekly:

During the bitterly icy January of 1474, in the English river port of Bristol, Roger the Chapman falls desperately ill with the ague. In his third absorbing appearance, after The Plymouth Cloak , Roger is taken in and nursed by weaver's widow Margaret Walker and her fiesty daughter Lillis. While recuperating, he learns that a handsome young rakehell had been hanged for murdering Margaret's father, although several months later the alleged victim had wandered home, injured, ill and slightly amnesiac, and subsequently died. Many townspeople, doubting the older man's probity and suspecting his family of criminal activity, are harassing Margaret and Lillis. Roger, who has forsaken monastery life for the carefree existence of an intinerant peddler, believes God has placed him in Bristol to untangle the affair. The paths of his investigation lead him to Irish slavers who raid the English coast; the Lollards, whose "heretical" religious reform movement foreshadows Henry VIII's break with Rome; Welsh tin miners living in the dense forest; and wealthy Bristol burghers. An attempt on Roger's life comes before he resolves the mystery--and finds himself happily wed. Rich detail and a satisfyingly concluded plot make this series a continuing pleasure.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Five months after he's killed (in March 1473) by whoever stole the money his employer, Edward Herepath, had briefly lodged with him, and two months after Edward's ne'er-do-well younger brother Robert has been hanged for his murder, Edward's debt collector, William Woodward, limps back into Bristol, a great deal the worse for wear (he's been badly beaten and has lost most of his memory) but incontestably alive. Woodward insists he was sold into slavery in Ireland, but itinerant peddler/investigator Roger the Chapman (The Plymouth Cloak, 1993, etc.), laid up in Bristol a month after Woodward's second death, can't find any corroboration of his story when he investigates for Woodward's family (his hospitable daughter Margaret and his predatory granddaughter Lillis). What he does find is heresy, fraud, sexual jealousy--and, sadly, an unsurprising solution. Despite its promise, the mystery turns out to be little more than an anecdote. The reward here is the continuing modernity lurking under the shifts and doublets of Sedley's medieval figures. -- Copyright 1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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