cover image The Riverwoman’s Dragon

The Riverwoman’s Dragon

Candace Robb. Severn, $28.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-78029-136-9

A pestilence looms over 14th-century York, England, in Robb’s craftily plotted 13th Owen Archer mystery (after 2020’s A Choir of Crows). When Sam Toller, the trade agent for merchant Guthlac Woolcott, is found dead in the Ouse River with his skull cracked open, suspicion falls on Magda Digby, a healer some locals believe to be a witch. Sam’s widow claims he angrily confronted Magda shortly before his death and accused the healer of causing Guthlac to become ill. Owen, now captain of the city bailiffs, investigates. Meanwhile, he must also find out who stabbed Matthew Brown, one of Guthlac’s employees, in the back three times and left the body in the ruins of Matthew’s burnt home. A possible link between the two murders emerges. The stakes rise as Owen struggles to maintain order in a city wracked by fear over the devastating illness. Robb effortlessly integrates details about the state of medical knowledge at the time through the characters of Magda and Owen’s apothecary wife. This is a highlight in a solid series. Agent: Jennifer Weltz, Jean V. Naggar Agency. (Nov.)