MYSTERY

A Conspiracy of Wolves

Crème de la Crime: Severn House. (Owen Archer, Bk. 11). Aug. 2019. 256p. ISBN 9781780291154. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9781448302246. M
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In the 11th entry in this English medieval mystery series (after 2008’s Vigil of Spies), Captain of the Guard Owen Archer is grieving the recent deaths of his patron and his aunt. He must decide on his next posting: spy for Prince Edward or serve as Captain of the Bailiffs closer to home. On the road to his house in York, Owen is startled to come across the mauled body of Hoban Swann, a member of a prominent family in York. Fear grows in the village; some think wolves attacked Swann. But then more Swann family members are threatened. Dame Lucie, Owen’s wife and a noted apothecary, works with local healers to save the victims as Owen investigates the attacks.
VERDICT Robb easily conveys the intricacies of court politics and intrigue, allowing narrative space for relationships and humorous exchanges between characters to develop. It is not necessary to have read previous books in the series to appreciate this entry, as ample historical and character background are provided. Recommended for fans of other historical writers such as C.J. Sandsome, Ellis Peters, and Sharon Kay Penman.

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