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Cover image for A spy for the redeemer : an Owen Archer mystery
A spy for the redeemer : an Owen Archer mystery
Publication Information:
New York : Mysterious Press, [2002]
Physical Description:
305 pages : maps ; 24 cm
Number in series:
Too Long Away -- Prayers Unanswered -- Freythorpe Hadden -- The Archdeacon's Will -- Six Horsemen -- The Captain's Tale -- Chaos -- Into the Wood -- The High Sheriff -- Math and Enid -- Rumors -- Cynog's Secret -- Puzzles -- A Spy for the Redeemer -- High and Mighties -- Ambivalence -- Mistress of the Hall -- A Pattern of Evil -- Penances -- The Morality of Hywel's War -- Troubling Uncertainties -- Wretchedness -- Not As They Seem -- Gloucester -- Journeys -- A Crowd -- An Unnatural Sleep -- Bedeviled -- Ill News -- The Maze -- Beneath the Linden.
Owen Archer is caught in St. David's, Wales first by a murder and then by rebellion. Meanwhile, his wife Lucie must deal with mysteries and temptations of her own in York.


Call Number

On Order



Candace Robb "lives up to the standard set by the master medievalist Ellis Peters" says Booklist. Here, in her new novel in the highly acclaimed series featuring the one-eyed spy Owen Archer, she once again re-creates the splendor and intrigue of fourteenth-century York and the treacherous, spy-ridden coast of southwest Wales.

Author Notes

Candace Robb lives in Seattle, Washington.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

The seventh Archer mystery from medieval scholar Robb (The Nun's Tale, etc.) presents an absorbing picture of 14th-century Britain, which is rife with intrigue, rebellion and murder. As Welshmen chafe under English rule, ex-soldier Owen Archer (who won his surname from his skill with a bow) is caught between family obligations in York and his mandate to find whoever hanged Cynog, an eminent but also enigmatic stonemason, who had been working on the tomb of Mistress Archer's late father. Having lost an eye in battle, Owen is reduced to conducting religious tours and investigations for clerics and other local powerbrokers. The scenes change quickly and often between St. David's shrine in Wales and Archer's home in north England, where his impatient wife, Lucie, an apothecary, and their restless son await his return. Wife and son both question Owen's loyalty to England when he's linked to the cause of Wales's legendary redeemer, Owain Lawgoch. Rumor has it that Owain has come from France to free his homeland. Strong faith and fear of God permeate all aspects of people's lives in this dour tale of misery and deprivation. Medievalists will enjoy such raw descriptions as that of the hero's visit to the high sheriff's castle, replete with floggings, acrid smells and streams polluted by offal and waste, but others less familiar with Welsh history and place names may find themselves lost in the maze. Maps, an author's note on the historical background and a glossary provide both interest and guidance. (Apr. 25) FYI: Last year Robb launched a new medieval series with A Trust Betrayed: First Chapter of Margaret Kerr of Perth. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

Robb should have subtitled her seventh medieval puzzler "An Owen Archer and Lucie Wilton Mystery," as husband and wife face an equal number of trials and tribulations. Owen is back in his native Wales when the father-in-law who'd been accompanying him dies after receiving a vision at the shrine of St. Non's Well. Arranging for Sir Robert's tomb delays Owen's return to England. Then Cynog, the mason sculpting Sir Robert's portrait, apparently hangs himself, prolonging the delay. When the Archdeacon of St. David's demands that Owen investigate Cynog's death, the delay looks as if it may last forever. As Owen, far from the settled life he leads in England, sorts out power struggles among the English, Welsh, and French, he is drawn to the rebel cause. While her husband flirts with conspirators, Lucie faces temptations no less complex. Her widowed neighbor, Roger Moreton, gives her support when an apothecary customer accuses Lucie of poisoning her. Moreton also lends his mysterious new steward, Harold Galfrey, to Lucie when she must go to her father's estate and help her ailing aunt cope with Sir Robert's death and an armed robbery. Among Lucie's other challenges are a senile aunt plagued by a lost document, her servant's love for her aunt's wounded steward, and her son's adolescence. When Owen finally returns, the couple reunites amid confusion and violence. Even Homer spared Penelope from forever unraveling knots. Now that Owen is home, pray that Robb (A Gift of Sanctuary, 1998, etc.) will find less distracting and complicated plots for her heroic pair.

Booklist Review

Spymaster Owen Archer returns in another medieval mystery brimming with political intrigue and personal vendettas. Prevented by circumstances from leaving Wales after completing his latest mission for the duke of Lancaster, Owen investigates the murder of a stonemason with treasonous ties to the rebel cause. A Welshman himself, Owen sympathizes with his discontented countrymen and even contemplates taking up arms with them. Meanwhile, his wife, apothecary Lucie Wilton, is left alone in York to deal with her father's death and a series of inexplicable threats against his rural manor house. As both Owen and Lucie attempt to deal with their difficulties, their lives are threatened by shadowy enemies. Another solid entry in an artfully crafted series of historical whodunits. Margaret Flanagan.

Library Journal Review

In far-off Wales, Owen Archer struggles to discover who murdered a stonemason he had hired while entertaining notions of staying in his native land. Back in England, his wife, Lucie Wilton, contends with mysterious violence at her family's manor and a steward who is both more and less than he seems. There are several interesting mysteries in the seventh tale in this pleasing medieval series, but the best part is the inner struggle of the main characters and the way they eventually reconnect. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 1
1 Too Long Awayp. 5
2 Prayers Unansweredp. 17
3 Freythorpe Haddenp. 24
4 The Archdeacon's Willp. 36
5 Six Horsemenp. 47
6 The Captain's Talep. 61
7 Chaosp. 71
8 Into the Woodp. 84
9 The High Sheriffp. 95
10 Math and Enidp. 112
11 Rumorsp. 118
12 Cynog's Secretp. 132
13 Puzzlesp. 147
14 A Spy for the Redeemerp. 160
15 High and Mightiesp. 172
16 Ambivalencep. 179
17 Mistress of the Hallp. 185
18 A Pattern of Evilp. 197
19 Penancesp. 211
20 The Morality of Hywel's Warp. 223
21 Troubling Uncertaintiesp. 233
22 Wretchednessp. 245
23 Not As They Seemp. 248
24 Gloucesterp. 253
25 Journeysp. 255
26 A Crowdp. 260
27 An Unnatural Sleepp. 262
28 Bedeviledp. 271
29 Ill Newsp. 273
30 The Mazep. 280
31 Beneath the Lindenp. 288
Epiloguep. 297
Author's Notep. 300
Glossaryp. 304