cover image A Fox in the Fold

A Fox in the Fold

Candace Robb. Severn, $29.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-78029-137-6

In Robb’s excellent 14th Owen Archer mystery featuring Capt. Owen Archer (after 2021’s The Riverwoman’s Dragon), Archer, an experienced soldier and a devoted family man, seeks to keep order in 14th-century York. The first sign that a new danger has come to York is the discovery of a dead man just outside the city gates, naked and covered with stab wounds. When Archer learns the murdered man was one of a party coming from far away Winchester to deliver special stones to a Benedictine convent, he suspects there are some serious agendas at work. One of the men Archer must now contend with is William Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, who’s been “a catalyst for death in the city.” But even worse, other newcomers to York include an enemy from Archer’s past, from a time long before he became captain of the bailiffs. What makes this entry a standout are the supporting characters, all of them carefully nuanced, and the emotions boiling up in Archer, who must fight to protect his wife and children as they become targets of violence. This is a mystery with both high stakes and a layer of true feeling. Robb reinforces her place among the top writers of medieval historicals. Agent: Jennifer Weltz, Jean V. Naggar Agency. (Oct.)