The Prodigal Son

Kate Sedley, Author . Severn $28.95 (252p) ISBN 978-0-7278-6337-9

At the start of Sedley's solid medieval historical, the latest in her series to feature Roger the Chapman, the genial peddler discovers that he has a half-brother who has just been accused of a murder committed six years before. Roger's sense of justice and the nascent sibling bond drive him to leave his young family for Croxcombe Manor, the scene of the crime. There, he questions the widowed Dame Audrea Bellknapp, his brother's accuser. The sudden return of Audrea's long-banished son, Anthony, sets the already contentious household at odds. Anthony's shady dealings, womanizing and rudeness give nearly everyone at the manor cause to want him dead. The initially slow plot comes vividly into focus when someone finally does Anthony in. Sticklers may notice anachronisms in the book's treatment of 15th-century Britain, but the affection and color with which Sedley (The Burgundian's Tale ) depicts Merrie Olde England, plus Roger's entertaining narration, will be enough to satisfy most readers. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/27/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
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