(The seventh book in the Owen Archer series)
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In the year of our Lord 1369 the much-loved Queen Philippa 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. Leonardís Hospital and rumors that these crimes are connected to the hospitalís dwindling funds. The Master of St. Leonardís, Sir Richard Ravenser, hurries north from the queenís deathbed to summon Owen Archer, soldier-spy, to investigate the scandal before it ruins him.
Owen Archer series by Candace Robb - Goodreads
On a snowy morning in 1367, Sir William of Wyndesoreís page is found in the icy moat of Windsor Castle, and some whisper that the murderer was Ned Townleyóa 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 harmís 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 Maryís drowning, Ned vanishes into the wild.
In mid-14th-century York, England, Owen Archer is a detective (referred to as a "spy") for John Thoresby, the Archbishop of York and sometimes lord Chancellor of England. (He was previously a Captain of Archers (hence his last name), until he lost an eye.) His wife, Lucie Wilton, is an apothecary, and often helps him solve mysteries.Candace M. Robb began her Owen Archer medieval mysteries series in 1993 with the novel The Apothecary Rose. The series lasted ten novels, concluding in 2008 with the novel A Vigil of Spies. Below is a list of Candace Robb’s Owen Archer books in order of when they were first published (which is the same as their chronological order):The setting for the latest in the Owen Archer Series, Guilt of Innocents,, is Winter 1372, York. A man has drowned in the River Ouse after a skirmish with boys from St Peter's School. It soon becomes clear that his death was not an accident; but why would a humble pilot on the river be killed for possessing a young boy's purse? Suspicion falls on Father Nicholas Ferriby-Vicar of Weston and master of a small grammar school, who has already offended many with his unpopular beliefs. But is he really a murderer?One-eyed spy, Owen Archer, Captain of Archbishop Thoresby's guard and noted for solving many crimes, is quickly brought to the scene by his adoptive son, Jasper. Clear that the pilot has been killed for more than a purse, an increasingly cantankerous Thoresby reluctantly agrees to let Owen investigate the man's murder. Torn between solving the crime and looking after his wife, Lucie, who is expecting their long-awaited third child, Owen is soon taken away from home. When another body is found in the river and Owen and Jasper get nearer to the truth, they find their own lives in jeopardy...Christmastide, 1363- and, at an abbey in York, two pilgrims die mysteriously dead of an herbal remedy. Suspicious, the Archbishop sends for Owen Archer, a Welshman with the charm of the devil, who's lost one eye to the wars in France and must make a new career as an honest spy.