The Lady Chapel (Owen Archer, Book 2)

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9780312114091: The Lady Chapel (Owen Archer, Book 2)

In the summer of 1365, Owen Archer returns to York at the request of Archbishop Thoresby, to investigate the brutal murders of rival wool traders. By the author of Apothecary Rose.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Commanded to investigate the murder of mercer's guildsman Will Crounce by his patron John Thoresby, the Machiavellian Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor of the realm, Owen Archer (Apothecary Rose, 1993) finds intrigue high and low. Jasper de Melton, the orphaned apprentice who witnessed the murder, has disappeared. Crounce's business partner Gilbert Ridley, terrified by his discovery of Crounce's severed hand, has shrunk into a pitiable fear of his own death, which follows apace. Ridley's nearest and dearest, from his neglected wife to his son and heir to his ambitious, wife-beating son-in-law Paul Scorby, are locked in a struggle for control of Goldbetter and Company, the family business. Why has Martin Wirthir, Crounce and Ridley's unsavory go- between, offered to help Archer's wife, apothecary Lucie Wilton, find Jasper? And what have Goldbetter's troubles to do with the ailing King Edward III's dalliance with the scheming Alice Perrers, once Queen Philippa's favorite chambermaid, now her successor in the royal bedchamber? Before two more murders lead Owen and his allies to the truth, Robb reveals an elaborate network of corruption and revenge. A lovingly detailed background informs and animates the plot at every point instead of merely serving as an exotic setting. Robb puts the history back into the historical mystery. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

In the summer of 1365, gentle Will Crounce, who portrayed Jesus in the Mercers' Guild Corpus Christi play, is brutally slain and his severed hand left in a friend's room. In Robb's second well-built, thoroughly researched historical mystery (after The Apothecary Rose), the Archbishop of York orders Captain Owen Archer to investigate this and subsequent murders. Owen, an expert bowman who lost an eye in the King's service, has apprenticed to his new wife Lucie, York's Master Apothecary, and is loath to tackle the Archbishop's task. But do it he must, and he is soon tangled in a complicated web of love and hate, sex and savagery, devotion and disillusionment-all involving wool traders, clergy, spies, musicians, mercenaries, aristocrats and even Edward III, his ailing queen and his scheming young mistress. Cardboard characters abound, in spite of the author's efforts to picture their complexities. But two in the cast are memorable: Jasper de Melton, a brave, canny little boy, and Riverwoman, an old abortionist.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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