The Night of the Wolf
Cassandra Clark. Severn, $31.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4483-0666-4
Clark shines in her third 15th-century murder mystery featuring Rodric Chandler (after 2021’s The Day of the Serpent), effectively recreating the tensions roiling England under Henry IV. Chandler, who once worked for the crown as an interrogator and a spy, is on the outs with the new regime. The king, viewed by many as a usurper, has implemented a new law, under which heretics are to be publicly burned at the stake. Chandler narrowly escaped that fate after he interfered with efforts to incriminate Geoffrey Chaucer, and he gets embroiled in a whodunit after the wife of a wool merchant dies under suspicious circumstances. Though her fall from the roof of her home, where she was apparently visiting her private garden, appears to be an accident, her husband suspects foul play. Chandler’s investigation coincides with his efforts to secure the only existing copy of The Canterbury Tales from the king’s forces, who would destroy it. Clark’s use of period detail is unparalleled, and the plot remains taut and brisk til the end. Readers will hope this series has a lengthy run. (June)
Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated that this was the fourth book in a series.
Reviewed on: 03/20/2023