Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: The Service of the Dead by Candace Robb

Expertly recreating the social and political upheavals of late medieval Europe, 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.

Paperback Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Pegasus Books
Paperback; 256 Pages
Series: Kate Clifford Mysteries, Book One
Genre: Historical/Mystery/Thriller

As you can read from the synopsis 20-year-old Kate Clifford doesn't have an easy life, her late husband left her a mess and she is determined to make it on her own in a male-dominated society. What she doesn't expect is to find a dead body in her rooming house. There are more surprises for Kate in The service of the Dead as she tries to unravel who this person is and why he was killed.

Even though it took me a little bit to get invested in the story I found myself rooting for Kate and donning my inspector hat along with her. The year is 1399 and there is political tension throughout the realm of York. This isn't a long book, 236 pages, a nice cozy mystery perfect for the beach. I enjoyed reading this one, getting to know Kate and it wasn't hard to feel for her plight as it seems each direction she goes she gets slammed with a another challenge.

The Service of the Dead is the first book in the Kate Clifford Mystery Series. There is mystery here, action and a wide cast of characters with enough historical detail to get a great feel of the era. Though I found this book a little slow at times I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next in the series called The Twisted Vengeance.

Thank you to Amy at HFVBT for the opportunity to be part of this tour.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Candace Robb did her graduate work in medieval literature and history, and has continued to study the period while working first as an editor of scientific publications and now for some years as a freelance writer.

Candace has published 13 crime novels set in 14th century England, Wales, and Scotland. The Owen Archer series is based in York and currently extends over 10 novels beginning with THE APOTHECARY ROSE; the most recent is A VIGIL OF SPIES. The Margaret Kerr trilogy explores the early days of Scotland’s struggle again England’s King Edward I, and includes A TRUST BETRAYED, THE FIRE IN THE FLINT, and A CRUEL COURTSHIP.

 Writing as Emma Campion, Candace has published historical novels about two fascinating women she encountered while researching the Owen Archer mysteries, Alice Perrers (THE KING’S MISTRESS) and Joan of Kent (A TRIPLE KNOT). 

Candace was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has lived most of her adult life in Seattle, Washington, which she and her husband love for its combination of natural beauty and culture. Candace enjoys walking, hiking, and gardening, and practices yoga and vipassana meditation. She travels frequently to Great Britain.

For more information, please visit Candace Robb's website.

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


During the Blog Tour we are giving away a copy of The Service of the Dead and A Twisted Vengeance to one lucky winner!

To enter please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

  Kate Clifford Series Blog Tour

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