The Apothecary Rose

The Owen Archer Series

Book 1
Diversion Publishing Corp.
10
Free sample

A mystery of medieval England, “suspenseful, historically accurate, and blessed with a wonderful cast of characters . . . An absolute delight” (Charles de Lint, author of the Newford Series).
 
It is Christmastide, 1363, and 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 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.
 
“Essential for historical fans.” —Library Journal
 
“Robb lives up to the standard set by master medievalist Ellis Peters.” —Booklist
 
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About the author

Candace Robb is a writer and historian with a focus on fourteenth and early fifteenth century Britain. Her novels are set in the late thirteenth through early fifteenth centuries. She has published two books in the Kate Clifford mysteries (The Service of the Dead, A Twisted Vengeance), with the third set to come out in September 2018, A Murdered Peace. There are ten Owen Archer mysteries—so far (The Apothecary Rose, The Lady Chapel, The Nun’s Tale, The King’s Bishop, The Riddle of St Leonard’s, A Gift of Sanctuary, A Spy for the Redeemer, The Cross-Legged Knight, The Guilt of Innocents, and A Vigil of Spies) and the Margaret Kerr trilogy (A Trust Betrayed, The Fire in the Flint, and A Cruel Courtship). An Owen Archer short story, “The Bone Jar” that was published in a CWA anthology and then Ellery Queen Magazine, and is now available as an ebook, and one contemporary crime short story, “Karma,” in Murder Past, Murder Present, Twilight Times Books 2009, a project of the American Crime Writers League.
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3.9
10 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Diversion Publishing Corp.
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Published on
Jul 28, 2015
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Pages
340
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ISBN
9781626819757
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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“Robb deftly interweaves a complex story of love, passion and murder into the troubled and tangled fabric of Welsh history . . . A rich and satisfying novel” (Publishers Weekly).
 
In fourteenth-century England, Owen Archer and Geoffrey Chaucer are carrying out a mission for the Duke of Lancaster—under the pretense of escorting Owen’s father-in-law and the archbishop’s secretary on a pilgrimage to the sacred city of St. David’s in Wales.
 
England and France are at war, and the southern Welsh coast is vulnerable to invasion, so Owen and Geoffrey are to recruit archers for the duke’s army and inspect his 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, the theft of money from the castle’s exchequer is followed by a violent death 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 a complex story of betrayed love and political ambition . . .
 
“Compelling historical mystery . . . Up to the standard set by master medievalist Ellis Peters.” —Booklist
 
Epiphany, 1193: the road out of Winchester was hidden by snow, and Justin de Quincy was making slow progress when he heard the first faint shout. It came again, louder and clearer, a cry for help. Spurring his stallion, de Quincy raced toward the source.

But he was already too late. As the two assailants fled, de Quincy cradled the dying man, straining to make out his whispered words. "They did not get it," he rasped. "Promise me. You must deliver this letter to her. To the queen."

Eleanor of Aquitaine sits on England's throne. At seventy, she has outlived the husband with whom she had once scandalized the world. But has she also outlived her favorite, her first-born son? Richard Lionheart, England's king, has been missing these last months. It is rumored that he is dead. Many think his youngest brother plots to steal the crown. Only Eleanor's fierce will can keep John from acting on his greed. Only a letter, splattered with the blood of a dying man murdered on the Winchester road, can tell her if Richard still lives.

With the same sure touch she has brought to her historical fiction, Sharon Kay Penman turns to the mystery form. Setting her story in a period she captured brilliantly in earlier novels, she introduces Justin de Quincy. Bastard-born, de Quincy is the son of a high cleric who never acknowledged him, bestowing on the boy--in lieu of name or fortune--only an education. As it happens, it is a gift that will take young de Quincy into the very centers of power--and into the heart of danger, making him the Queen's man.

Moving from the royal chambers in the Tower of London to the alehouses and stews of Southwark, from the horrors of Newgate Gaol to the bustling streets of Winchester, de Quincy proves his mettle as he tracks a brutal and cunning murderer and uncovers the sinister intrigues of Eleanor's court.

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.  

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