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Roger the traveling Chapman should be on his way home to medieval Bristol after a nice summer's peddling. But a request from his duke to escort a bride en route to her betrothed takes him toward Wells, where the groom and his brother have vanished. Roger links the disappearances to the discovery of ancient scrolls written in a strange language. But as he deciphers the archaic tongue, he concludes that a still-greater mystery lies at the heart of the brothers' disappearance.
The new title in the acclaimed Roger the Chapman series. Roger is summoned by the Duke of Gloucester to assist in the investigation into the murder of the son of a lady-in-waiting to Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy, who is on a triumphant return visit to London.
Christmas, 1483: Roger the Chapman is looking forward to twelve days of peace and celebration with his wife and children in Bristol. The family is particularly excited by the arrival of a troupe of mummers, who will perform their plays in the outer ward of the castle throughout the festival. But the gruesome murders of two of the town's most prominent and venerable citizens, both veterans of the French wars, scupper Roger's hopes as he is gradually drawn into the hunt for the killer. Once again, Roger finds himself in grave danger, but it is someone else who pays the price of his inability to keep his nose out of matters that do not concern him . . .
Roger the Chapman is far from pleased when the Spymaster General to the King commands him to accompany the beautiful but manipulative Eloise Gray on a special journey to Paris, pretending to be her husband. Roger guesses that the French king is making overtures to the Duke of Burgundy on behalf of the Dauphin, a move which could wreck the relationship with England's staunch ally and most important customer for her wool exports ...
The first in the Roger the Chapman mystery series.
A book in the Roger the Chapman mystery series.
It is 1642, and civil war is beginning to split England in half. The dashing Cavaliers swear loyalty to the Crown; the stern Puritans vow to risk all for liberty and their mighty, wrathful God. . . and beautiful, fiery Lilias Pride will face the hardest choice of her life. Married to Richard Pride, MP for Bristol, she devotes her loyalty to him and to the Puritan cause. Yet Priam Lithgow, Royalist Earl of Chelwood, stirs her deeply, and when he falls into danger, she risks her life to save his. With the Restoration, Lilias hopes to flee love and peril and find safety in the New World of America. Yet she cannot escape her heart - or her destiny.
King Edward IV trembles as he decides the fate of his sibling. And Richard, Duke of Gloucester, plots, trying to find a way to save George from being put to death by their eldest -- and powerful -- brother, the King. So when the Duke sees his old and loyal servant, monk-turned-travelling salesman Roger the Chapman, among the crowd at the trial he recognises that he has a chance. If only the chapman-sleuth could prove that the kinswoman of the King's favorite leman hadn't poisoned her taciturn husband. If Isolda Bonifant, the daughter of a well-established London goldsmith, were innocent and her name cleared, then Edward's chief mistress -- cousin of the accused Isolda -- would be more than willing to do the wily Duke's bidding. But Roger the Chapman must act fast and, in a complex case like this one and with the pressure of Richard of Gloucester upon him, he can't simply rely on his intuition.
A Roger the Chapman Mystery - Summer, 1482. An English army invades Scotland in order to put King James the Third's renegade younger brother, the Duke of Albany, on the Scottish throne. Albany insists his old acquaintance, Roger the Chapman, be a member of his personal bodyguard. But during the march northwards, a series of sinister events, centred around the cult figure of the mythical Green Man, makes Roger question Albany's true motive for requesting his presence ...
Roger senses a pack of cutthroats wanders the forest after a night of stealing and pillaging in the surrounding villages. He learns that the marauding band has been terrorizing the countryside in Totnes, stealing livestock, taking money and goods from travelers, raiding cottages, and the worse of it all, two village children also disappears. Roger resolves to uncover the puzzles of why did the children leave, where did they go and who actually is behind all these terror.
It's July 1478, and business is good for Bristol's bakers during the lead up to Lammastide--'Loaf-mass', the ancient harvest festival. But the shady Jasper Fairbrother's baking days are over when he's found face down with a knife in his back. Suspicion immediately falls on the mysterious Breton who'd arrived that day and had been seen having an argument with Fairbrother. But when it emerges that the Breton is also a suspected Lancastrian spy, Roger the Chapman wonders if suspicion of murder is merely a convenient pretext for the authorities to hunt down the man.
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.
This is the thirteenth in the Roger the Chapman series. Roger the Chapman is not a superstitious man. He hears stories of murders and haunted houses around the market town of Bristol, and chooses to believe the more prosaic explanation every time. But when Roger is attacked in the very house where a woman murdered her violent husband thirty years previously, he is forced to admit that something strange is going on ...
This is the twelfth in the highly acclaimed Roger the Chapman series. In the bitter winter of 1478, Roger the Chapman takes to the roads once again to sell his wares. His long-suffering wife Adela is happy to let him go, on condition that he promises to return by the feast of St Patrick in March. Having sold most of his goods, Roger starts on the long road home, keen to surprise Adela by arriving home early for once. However, on the way, he stumbles upon the tiny village of Lower Brockhurst where he is immediately made welcome at the village alehouse. Overhearing conversations regarding the recent disappearance of a local girl, Roger's investigative instincts are instantly aroused, and he determines to stay awhile in order to try and solve the mystery. Had she really just vanished? Or had something much more sinister taken place? But Roger soon realises that there is more to the girl's story than meets the eye, and that the village harbours dark secrets that some people would do anything to prevent being discovered.
It is 1473, and the uneasy peace between England's houses of Lancaster and York has begun to unravel yet again. Rumors of invasion are rife, and Richard of Gloucester, the King's brother, is determined to put a stop to the treacherous plots: To that end, he dispatches a royal messenger to Duke Francis of Brittany with a secret letter. Roger the Chapman, meanwhile, is making his way to Exeter with his peddler's pack, in the hopes that a stop in the thriving city will help his trade. Roger found himself in Gloucester's good graces following their escapade at London's Crossed Hands inn--the inquisitive peddler's very first act of detection--and it seems the Duke has not forgotten the young man's ingenuity. Richard calls upon Roger to accompany his messenger, Philip Underdown, to a Brittany-bound ship at Plymouth. A devious fellow, Philip has more than his fair share of enemies and is, Richard believes, in need of undercover protection. Roger soon discovers that his is not an easy task, as Philip seems to attract animosity wherever they go. Is Philip's past catching up with him? Or has the true nature of their journey been discovered by Lancastrian rivals? These are the questions Roger must answer, and do so before Philip's mysterious enemies find their mark.
The latest title in the acclaimed Roger the Chapman series When Roger the Chapman discovers he has a hitherto unknown half-brother, he has mixed feelings about the matter. But when John Wedmore is accused of being the young page who, six years earlier, robbed his mistress and murdered a fellow servant, and is thrown into prison, Roger feels obliged to investigate the charge.
It is October 1477 and Roger the Chapman, newly married and still enjoying wedded bliss, is surprised to find his old, familiar feeling of restlessness returning. Within a month he is setting off, once again, on the ancient ridge road that dissects Dartmoor and heads for Plymouth, driven by some instinct that he is needed there. Roger accepts a lift from a carter who is going to visit his daughter, Joanna, in the oldest part of the city. Roger's instinct is soon proven correct when Joanna tells the story of her neighbor, Master Capstick, who was brutally beaten to death. The chief suspect is Capstick's great-nephew, Beric. Master Capstick's housekeeper saw Beric leaving the house that morning, his tunic stained with blood, and many more people saw the young man's wild ride for home on his great black horse. When the King's men arrived at Beric's manor house, though, the horse was already in the stables-and Beric had somehow managed to vanish completely. The local people, quick to fall back on the witchcraft of their ancestors, blame the Saint John's fern, which if eaten can make a man invisible. Roger, already responsible for solving many difficult mysteries, suspects that there is a more obvious answer and begins his own inquiries. Roger notices that he is not the first to approach witnesses, and when an attempt is made on his life, Roger knows he must be close to a truth that is even more extraordinary than the superstition - if only he can live to tell it.
Alderman John Foster wishes to give his home city of Bristol a gift of almshouses, together with a chapel dedicated to The Three Kings of Cologne. To this end he purchases a piece of land from the Magdalen Nunnery, but when this is cleared and dug over, the murdered body of a young woman is unearthed. This is later identified as the remains of Isabella Linkinhorne, who disappeared twenty years earlier. It was known at the time that she had three secret lovers. John Foster employs Roger the Chapman to discover the identity of these men, and to find out which one of them killed Isabella. Faced with the almost impossible task of tracking down three people of whom he knows next to nothing, Roger nicknames them Caspar, Balthazar and Melchior after the Magi - the Three Kings of Cologne. . .
An important discovery puts Roger the Chapman's life in danger... In the autumn of 1483, Roger goes on an errand of mercy to Hereford, where he is caught up in the Duke of Buckingham's rebellion against the new king, Richard III. Roger takes refuge in Tintern Abbey, but on his return to Bristol, a murder and a series of house robberies lead him to the eventual discovery of the treasure stolen from the abbey on the night he was there. It also means great danger, not only for himself, but a member of his family . . .
The year is 1476, and after a hard winter hawking his wares through the ice and rain, Roger the Chapman is looking forward to spending Christmas in Bristol, enjoying the warm hearth and good food of his mother-in-law Margaret-even if it means the young widower will have to endure her constant matchmaking. However, Margaret has barely introduced him to her cousin Adela when Roger's attentions are demanded elsewhere. The long-lost son of a wealthy Bristol weaver, presumed murdered on a visit to London six years before, has miraculously reappeared, to the delight of the old man and to the indignation of Alison Burnett, who refuses to believe that the bedraggled stranger is her brother Clement-the rightful heir to half her father's fortune. When Alison's violent objections provoke Alderman Weaver into disinheriting her altogether, she appeals to Roger's reputation as a solver of mysteries to prove her growing suspicions right.
Third novel in the Roger the Chapman mystery series.
In fifteenth-century London, the child-king is not the only one under threat -1483. Amidst the chaos following the death of King Edward IV, Roger the Chapman is called to London to investigate a threat to the Godslove family. In the past year, there have been two deaths and a mysterious poisoning. Roger dismisses their worries at first but, when another member of the family disappears, he stumbles across a shocking secret that threatens to destroy the entire Godslove family . . .
Despite the wintry weather, Roger the traveling Chapman is once again relishing the freedom of his calling. As he journeys west, he finds himself following in the footsteps of an itinerant preacher, Brother Simeon, whose fiery sermons are the talk of the countryside. Roger, who has met the Dominican friar before, and finds his zeal wearying, is less than enthused when they meet at Cederwell Manor, where Simeon has come to pray with Lady Cederwell and Roger to sell her his wares. But scarcely have the two men arrived when Lady Cederwell is found dead, sprawled on the frozen earth beneath the ancient tower she had converted into her private chapel, the circumstances strangely fulfilling the prophecy of a babbling hermit Roger had met on the road. Suddenly the friar and the Chapman are united by their aim-to discover the truth behind the death at Cederwell Manor. In this, the sixth in her atmospheric and thoughtful detective series, Kate Sedley confirms her place in the world of medieval crime fiction.