The Owen Archer Series #11
When a prominent citizen is murdered, former Captain of the Guard Owen Archer is persuaded out of retirement to investigate in this gripping medieval mystery.
1374. When a member of one of York’s most prominent families is found dead in the woods, his throat torn out, rumours spread like wildfire that wolves are running loose throughout the city. Persuaded to investigate by the victim’s father, Owen Archer is convinced that a human killer is responsible. But before he can gather sufficient evidence to prove his case, a second body is discovered, stabbed to death. Is there a connection? What secrets are contained within the victim’s household? And what does apprentice healer Alisoun know that she’s not telling?
Teaming up with Geoffrey Chaucer, who is in York on a secret mission on behalf of Prince Edward, Owen’s enquiries will draw him headlong into a deadly conspiracy.
The Owen Archer Series #12
December, 1374. With the great and the good about to descend on York for the enthronement of Alexander Neville as the new archbishop, the city authorities are in a state of high alert. When two bodies are discovered in the grounds of York Minster, and a flaxen-haired youth with the voice of an angel is found locked in the chapter house, Owen Archer, captain of the city bailiffs, is summoned to investigate.
Tension deepens when an enigmatic figure from Owen's past arrives in the city. Why has he returned from France after all these years – and what is his connection with the bodies in the minster yard and the fair singer?
Before Owen can make headway in the investigation, a third body is fished out of the river – and the captain finds himself with three mysterious deaths to solve before the all-powerful Neville family arrives in York.
The Owen Archer Series #13
May, 1375. Owen Archer returns from London to find York in chaos. While the citizens are living in terror of the pestilence which is spreading throughout the land, a new physician has arrived, whipping up fear and suspicion against traditional healers and midwives. With the backing of the new archbishop, he is especially hostile towards Magda Digby, the wise woman who has helped and healed the people of York for many years. At the same time, Magda is uneasy about the arrival of two long-lost kinsfolk. Though they say they are seeking her help, she senses a hidden agenda.
Magda’s troubles deepen when she discovers a body in the river near her home – and finds herself under suspicion of murder. Days later, fire rips through a warehouse in the city. Amongst the charred debris lies the body of a man – not burned, but stabbed in the back. Could there be a connection to the corpse in the river?
Determined to prove Magda’s innocence, Owen sets out to find answers – but the more he uncovers, the deeper the mystery becomes…
The Owen Archer Series
Owen Archer returns in a mesmerizing short story about the danger of false miracles and the treachery of true believers.
Magda the Riverwoman has called Owen Archer to her island hut in the middle of the River Ouse with a special favor – to guard a jar of human bones. No one in York is greedier than the relic dealers, the insatiable charlatans who sell flesh and bone as miracle cures, but Magda will not sell the remains at any price. Instead, she asks Owen to protect the jar and keep one eye out for the dark figure that has been watching the island, waiting patiently for the right moment to strike…
The Owen Archer Series #5
In the year of our Lord 1369, the much-loved Queen Phillippa lies dying in Windsor Castle, the harvest has failed, and the pestilence has returned. In York, the atmosphere of fear and superstition is heightened by a series of thefts and violent deaths at St. Leonard’s Hospital – as well as rumors that these crimes are connected to the hospital’s dwindling funds.
The Master of St. Leonard’s, Sir Richard de Ravenser, hurries north from the queen’s deathbed to summon Owen Archer, the soldier-spy, to investigate the scandal before it ruins him. Now, while Owen’s wife, Lucie, faces the plague-panicked townsfolk at the apothecary, he encounters a seemingly random series of clues: a riddle posed by one of the victims at the hospital, a lay sister with a scandalous past, the kidnapping of a child from the hospital orphanage, and a case of arson.
The answer to the riddle of St. Leonard’s lies in the past, and as Owen’s family is caught up in the sweep of pestilence, he must abandon them to race across the countryside to save the next victim…
The Owen Archer Series #4
From the marshy Thames to the misty Yorkshire moors, murder stalks Welsh soldier-sleuth Owen Archer and one of his oldest friends.
On a snowy morning in 1367, Sir William of Wyndesore’s page is found in the icy moat of Windsor Castle, and some whisper that the murderer was Ned Townley – a former comrade-in-arms of Owen Archer. Burdened with a reputation as a notoriously jealous lover, Ned cannot hope to clear his name; even Mary, his ladylove, is unsure of the truth. Hoping to put Ned out of harm’s way while solving the murder, Owen places his friend in charge of a mission to Rievaulx Abbey at the edge of the moors. But when the travelers receive news of Mary’s drowning, Ned vanishes into the wild.
Riding out in search of his old friend, Owen does not know whether he will be Ned’s savior or executioner. With his one good eye, Owen sees more than most, but now he must find a way to penetrate the curtains of power that surround the Church and England’s royal court and discover the truth of Ned’s innocence or guilt…
A Kate Clifford Mystery #1
Expertly recreating the social and political upheavals of late medieval Europe and the increasing power of the wealthy merchant class, acclaimed author Candace Robb introduces a new series starring Kate Clifford, a woman forged on the warring northern marches of fourteenth century England.
Political unrest permeates York at the cusp of the fifteenth century, as warring factions take sides on who should be the rightful king – Richard II or his estranged, powerful cousin in exile, Henry Bolingbroke. Independent minded twenty-year-old Kate Clifford is struggling to dig out from beneath the debt left by her late husband. Determined to find a way to be secure in her own wealth and establish her independence in a male dominated society, Kate turns one of her properties near the minster into a guest house and sets up a business. In a dance of power, she also quietly rents the discreet bedchambers to the wealthy, powerful merchants of York for nights with their mistresses.
But the brutal murder of a mysterious guest and the disappearance of his companion for the evening threatens all that Kate has built. Before others in town hear word of a looming scandal, she must call upon all of her hard-won survival skills to save herself from ruin.
A Kate Clifford Mystery #3
England still in tumult at the start of the fifteenth century, as Kate Clifford finds herself working to prove the innocence of her longtime confidante.
It is deep winter in York, 1400, the ground frozen, the short days dimmed with the smoke from countless fires, the sun, when it shines, low in the sky. It is rumored that the Epiphany Uprising, meant to relieve the realm of the Henry the usurper and return King Richard to the throne has, instead, spelled his doom. As long as Richard lives, he is a threat to Henry. So, too, the nobles behind the plot. The ringleaders have been caught, some slaughtered as they fled west by folk loyal to Henry, and the king's men now search the towns for survivors.
A perilous time, made worse for Kate Clifford by the disappearance of Berend, her cook and confidante, shortly after Christmas. Her niece saw his departure in a dream – he said he was honor bound to leave. Honor bound – to a former lord? One of the nobles who led the uprising? Is he alive? She is hardly consoled when Berend reappears, wounded, secretive, denying any connection to the uprising, but refusing to explain himself. When he is accused of brutally murdering a spice seller in the city, Kate discovers a chest of jewels in his possession. Some of the jewels belong to her old friend Lady Margery, wanted by the king for her husband’s part in the uprising. For the sake of their long friendship, and the love she and her wards bear for him, Kate wants to believe his innocence. So, too, does Sir Elric. And he has the powerful backing of the Earl of Westmoreland. All she need do is confide in him. If only she trusted her heart.
A Kate Clifford Mystery #2
As the fourteenth century comes to a close, York seethes on the brink of civil war – and young widow Kate Clifford, struggling to keep her businesses afloat, realizes that her mother is harboring a dangerous secret…
1399. York is preparing for civil war, teeming with knights and their armed retainers summoned for the city’s defense. Henry of Lancaster is rumored to have landed on the northeast coast of England, not so far from York, intent on reclaiming his inheritance – an inheritance which his cousin, King Richard, has declared forfeit.
With the city unsettled and rife with rumors, Eleanor Clifford’s abrupt return to York upon the mysterious death of her husband in Strasbourg is met with suspicion in the city. Her daughter Kate is determined to keep her distance, but it will not be easy – Eleanor has settled next door with the intention of establishing a house of beguines, or poor sisters. When one of the beguines is set upon in the night by an intruder, Kate knows that for the sake of her own reputation and the safety of her young wards she must investigate.
From the first, Eleanor is clearly frightened yet maintains a stubborn silence. The brutal murder of one of Eleanor’s servants leads Kate to suspect that her mother’s troubles have followed her from Strasbourg. Is she secretly involved in the political upheaval? When one of her wards is frightened by a too-curious stranger, Kate is desperate to draw her mother out of her silence before tragedy strikes her own household.
The Owen Archer Series #3
When a young nun dies of a fever in the town of Beverley in the summer of 1365, she is buried quickly for fear of the plague. But one year later a woman appears, talking of relic-trading and miracles. She claims to be the dead nun resurrected. Murder follows swiftly in her wake, and the worried Archbishop of York asks Owen Archer to investigate.
Travelling to Leeds and Scarborough to unearth clues, Owen finds only a trail of corpses, until a meeting with Geoffrey Chaucer, spy for King Edward, links the nun with mercenary soldiers and the powerful Percy family.
Meanwhile, in York, the apothecary Lucie Wilton has won the mysterious woman's confidence. But the troubled secrets which start to emerge will endanger them all…
The Owen Archer Series #2
“A lovingly detailed background informs and animates the plot at every point.” –
Perfect for fans of both Ellis Peters and CJ Sansom, is a vivid and immersive portrait of court intrigue and a testament to the power of the medieval guilds.
Summer in the year of our Lord 1365. On the night after the Corpus Christi procession, a man is brutally murdered on the steps of York Minster. The next morning his severed hand is found in a room at the York Tavern – a room hastily vacated by a fellow guild member who had quarreled with the victim.
Archbishop Thoresby calls on Owen Archer to investigate. As Owen tracks the fleeing merchant, he uncovers a conspiracy involving a powerful company of traders, but his only witness is a young boy who has gone into hiding, and his only suspect is a mysterious cloaked woman. When Owen discovers a link between the traders and a powerful coterie in the royal court, he brings his apothecary wife Lucie into the race to find the boy before he is silenced forever by the murderers.
The Margaret Kerr Series #1
“Thirteenth-century Edinburgh comes off the page cold and convincing, from the smoke and noise of the tavern kitchen to Holyrood Abbey under a treacherous abbot. Most enjoyable.” — THE LIST
In the spring of 1297 the English army controls lowland Scotland and Margaret Kerr’s husband Roger Sinclair is missing. He’d headed to Dundee in autumn, writing to Margaret with a promise to be home for Christmas, but it’s past Easter. Is he caught up in the swelling rebellion against the English? Is he even alive? When his cousin, Jack, is murdered on the streets of Edinburgh, Roger’s last known location, Margaret coerces her brother Andrew, a priest, to escort her to the city.
She finds Edinburgh scarred by war – houses burnt, walls stained with blood, shops shuttered – and the townsfolk simmering with resentment, harboring secrets. Even her uncle, innkeeper Murdoch Kerr, meets her questions with silence. Are his secrets the keys to Roger’s disappearance? What terrible sin torments her brother? Is it her husband she glimpses in the rain, scarred, haunted? Desperate, Margaret makes alliances that risk both her own life and that of her brother in her search for answers. She learns that war twists love and loyalties, and that, until tested, we cannot know our own hearts, much less those of our loved ones.
The Owen Archer Series #1
“Suspenseful, historically accurate, and blessed with a wonderful cast of characters, is an absolute delight from start to finish…” – Charles de Lint, author of the Newford Series
In the year of our Lord 1363, two suspicious deaths in the infirmary of St. Mary’s Abbey catch the attention of the powerful John Thoresby, Lord Chancellor of England and Archbishop of York. One victim is a pilgrim, while the second is Thoresby’s ne’er-do-well ward, both apparently poisoned by a physic supplied by Master Apothecary Nicholas Wilton.
In the wake of these deaths, the archbishop dispatches one-eyed spy Owen Archer to York to find the murderer. Under the guise of a disillusioned soldier keen to make a fresh start, Owen insinuates himself into Wilton’s apothecary as an apprentice. But he finds Wilton bedridden, with the shop being run by his lovely, enigmatic young wife, Lucie.
As Owen unravels a tangled history of scandal and tragedy, he discovers at its center a desperate, forbidden love twisted over time into obsession. And the woman he has come to love is his prime suspect.
The Owen Archer Series #9
Winter in the year of our Lord 1372. A river pilot falls into the icy waters of the River Ouse during a skirmish between dockworkers and the boys of the minster school, which include Owen Archer’s adopted son Jasper. But what began as a confrontation to return a boy’s stolen scrip becomes a murder investigation as the rescuers find the pilot dying of wounds inflicted before his plunge into the river. When another body is fished from the river upstream and Owen discovers that the boy Jasper sought to help has disappeared, Owen Archer convinces the archbishop that he must go in search of the boy. His lost scrip seems to hold the key to the double tragedy, but his disappearance leaves troubling questions: did he flee in fear? Or was he abducted?
On the cusp of this new mystery, Owen accepts Jasper’s offer to accompany him to the boy’s home in the countryside, where they learn that a valuable cross has gone missing. A devastating fire and another drowning force Owen to make impossible choices, endangering not only himself, but the two innocents he fights to protect. The bond between fathers and sons proves strong, even between those not linked by blood.
The Owen Archer Series #8
York, 1371. The Bishop of Winchester, William of Wykeham, is tasked with bringing home the remains of the powerful patriarch of the Pagnell family. But Wykeham’s arrival is fraught with tension. The Pagnells are reeling from their father’s death and they suspect Wykeham of having a hand in it. Days after his arrival, his townhouse burns to the ground – a terrible accident, or a threat.
When the charred body of a woman is found in the remains, Wykeham fears for his reputation and his life. The Archbishop of York, John Thoresby, turns to the one-eyed spy, Owen Archer, for help.
Archer, preoccupied by his wife’s tragic miscarriage, reluctantly agrees to investigate the case. But the attempt on Wykeham’s life runs deeper than anyone suspects. This tangled web includes knights, bishops, and even kings. When Archer discovers that the dead woman is a midwife known to all of York, including his wife, this dangerous plot is brought to his very home.
The Owen Archer Series #7
Late spring in the year of our Lord 1370, and Owen Archer is anxious to leave Wales for home. His mission for the Duke of Lancaster complete, he attempts to arrange safe passage on a ship sailing for England, but the hanging of a stonemason interrupts his plans. On the surface it appears the young man was driven to suicide by a broken heart, but to Owen the signs all point to murder. As his investigation stretches on, however, Owen finds himself drawn into the influence of the leader of a Welsh rebellion whose manifesto speaks to his heart, and a choice is offered to him: join or die.
Meanwhile, at home in York, Owen’s wife Lucie is troubled by rumors that her husband’s long absence is permanent, as well as threats by a customer who claims she was poisoned by a physic from the Wilton apothecary. Meanwhile, Lucie is tempted by the attentions of a friend’s steward, even as she uncovers a shattering betrayal in her own household.
The Owen Archer Series #6
Through the wet spring of 1369 Owen Archer and Geoffrey Chaucer while carrying out a mission for the Duke of Lancaster in Wales are also escorting Owen’s father-in-law and the archbishop’s secretary on a pilgrimage to the sacred city of St. David’s.
England and France are at war, and the southern coast of Wales is vulnerable to invasion – Owen and Geoffrey are to recruit archers for the duke’s army and inspect his Welsh fortifications on the coast, while quietly investigating whether the duke’s steward at Cydweli Castle is involved in a French plot to incite rebellion in Wales.
But trouble precedes them in the cathedral city of St. David’s. On Whitesands Beach beyond the city a young man is beaten and left for dead, then spirited away by a Welsh bard. Shortly afterward a corpse clothed in the livery of the Duke of Lancaster is left at the city gate, his shoes filled with white sand. Meanwhile, at Cydweli Castle, a chain of events begun by the theft of money from the castle’s exchequer ends in a violent death of the priest and the disappearance of the steward’s beautiful young wife. Owen and Geoffrey begin to see connections linking the troubles in city and castle, and learn they must unravel the complex story of betrayed love and political ambition to prevent more deaths.
The Owen Archer Series #10
Archbishop Thoresby of York, the second most powerful cleric in England, lies dying in his bed. The end of his life is seen by the great families of the North as a chance to promote one of their own as his successor, and Thoresby himself announces he will leave the matter to the dean and chapter of York. On the eve of this decision, the dying archbishop agrees to a visit from Joan, Princess of Wales, wife of the Black Prince, heir to the throne of England. Thoresby’s captain of the guard, Owen Archer, has no doubt that trouble will follow.
As soon as the company rides into the palace yard he is proved right: they arrive burdened with the body of one of their party, and Owen finds evidence that the man’s death was no accident. Within days of this discovery, a courier carrying an urgent message for the archbishop is found hanging in the woods. With guards surrounding the property, it is clear that the murderer walks among the palace guests. The powerful Percy and Neville families are well represented in the entourage, including a woman who remembers an afternoon tryst with Owen as much, much more. Even the princess’ son is suspect. As Owen races to unmask the guilty and rid the palace of the royal party, his final wish for his lord is that he might die in peace.