Midsummer Crown (A Roger the Chapman Mystery)

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9781847513427: Midsummer Crown (A Roger the Chapman Mystery)

The new Roger the Chapman mystery - In the sultry midsummer of 1483, as Richard of Gloucester begins his bid for the English crown, Roger returns home to Bristol, glad to be out of the capital. But almost immediately, the Duke recalls him to London to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a young boy whose tutor has been found murdered, apparently in a locked room. It is an investigation which has as its background an ancient British legend, and which will imperil Roger’s life as never before.

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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.

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

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