cover image The Burgundian's Tale

The Burgundian's Tale

Kate Sedley, . . Severn, $28.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7278-6216-7

In the spring of 1480, Roger the Chapman, the hero of Sedley's beguiling historical series (The Lammas Feast , etc.), is planning a peddling excursion away from his troubled family in Bristol when the duke of Gloucester's spymaster summons him to London to help look into the murder of Fulk Quantrell—the ambitious son of a lady-in-waiting to the duke's sister—found battered to death in Fleet Street. Once in the capital, Roger joins forces with one of the duke's officers, Bertram Serifaber, and they soon have a number of suspects. Another death narrows the field, but the suspects are united by a tangle of family and business interests. Family preoccupies everyone—the duke wants to resolve Fulk's death for the sake of his much-loved sister, and Roger and Bertram each have difficulties with their own families. The tale starts slowly, but Sedley provides a wonderful window to England during the Wars of the Roses, from members of the aristocracy and the artisan and mercantile classes to the agrarian poor. This is not only splendid social history but a rich and satisfactory mystery to boot. Agent, David Grossman (U.K.). (July)