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.
Publication Date: August 1, 2019
Severn House/Crème de la Crime
Hardcover & eBook; 256 Pages
Series: Owen Archer, Book 11
Genre: Historical Mystery
For a while they had traveled behind a group of players who serenaded them with songs and japes, a felicitous arrangement, though he hoped that his eight-year-old daughter Gwenllian would forget the bawdier lyrics. Now that the players had moved on, the monotonous rattle of the cart and horses was punctured occasion¬ally by sounds of reapers and gleaners in the fields, though not as many as on their journey to Freythorpe. Harvest was almost over. Adding to the monotony, his companion droned on and on about something – Owen had stopped listening to Geoffrey a while back. Chaucer was shaping one of his poems aloud, replete with mythical palaces, gods, fantastical creatures, which might be entertaining but for his pauses to play with language, trying a phrase this way and that. Owen was perhaps to blame, having insisted that Geoffrey not address the mission that had brought him to York until they returned to the city. He’d hoped the man might ride in silence, but he’d know that was too much to ask of the chattering jay.
In her wisdom, Magda Digby might have found a way to delay Geoffrey’s departure. Thou art needed in the city, she had told Owen as they sat beneath an oak the previous evening, drawing down the day. Depart in the morning.
But Lucie . . .
Agrees with Magda. She has readied the children.
How do you know?
Not the question, Bird-eye. She had turned to him, pressing her forefinger to the spot between his eyes. Open thine eyes. Trust thyself. The wolves circle their prey. Thou hast the sight to see what awakens.
He’d questioned the wolves. They came only in winter, the wolves that the steward of the Forest of Galtres swore no longer bided in the land.
What do folk see when they see a wolf, Bird-eye? The animal? Think again. Magda Digby, his guide, his tormentor. In his mourning for John Thoresby, Owen had sought her out, confided in her all that was in his heart. Long she listened, holding his hands, looking into his eye. Open thine eyes, she repeated and corrected him when he argued that he had but one. He did not understand, and she did not explain. Her last words to him on departing Freythorpe, Trust thyself, Bird-eye. Thou art called.