A Spy for the Redeemer
by Candace Robb
Category: Fiction / Mystery
320 pages; ISBN: 0892967625
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
In 1370 St. David’s, Wales Owen Archer looks forward to returning home to his wife Lucie and their children now that his family business in his homeland is finished. However, his departure becomes delayed when the local Archdeacon orders Owen to investigate the death of Cynog the mason, whom seemingly hung himself. Owen begins making inquiries even as he sympathizes with the local rebels.
While Owen remains stuck in Wales, a customer accuses apothecary Lucie of poisoning her. Widower Roger Moreton helps Lucie with the accusation and with the handling of her late father’s estate. Among other distracters, some not so minor, include whether Owen will ever return to his beloved family as rumors fly he joined the cause of the rebellious Welsh.
The two story lines remain on separate tracks until the very end. Though a bit disjointed historical fiction fans will relish the depth that Candace Robb furbishes on Welsh history including maps of York and St. David and a short glossary. Those readers interested in an Archer mystery will find his investigation takes a back seat to the insight into the era while the lead male protagonist also shares the novel with his wife’s activities that further supplement the deep look into the late fourteenth century. A SPY FOR THE REDEEMER is either a cavity extraction (for historical mystery aficionados) or a wonderfully vivid tale (historical fiction buffs) depending on the reader’s particular genre taste.
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