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The Guilt of Innocents
Owen Archer series #9

by Candace Robb

      The long wait is over at last, and here is the ninth book about Owen Archer and his delightful household. Owen’s adopted son Jasper goes to school at St Peters, and has been warned before about not getting into scrapes with the bargemen. But this time a fellow student’s scrip has gone missing, and the scholars eagerly try to wrest it from shifty bargee Drogo. Somehow it all goes wrong, and the man ends up dead - but what exactly was in the stolen scrip that impoverished young Hubert de Weston is so eager to retrieve?

One of the joys about this particular series - apart from the sound historical knowledge that underpins it and the adept plotting - is Owen Archer and his household. However hairy the adventures and villainous the adversaries, every chapter or so we are shown what is going on at home with these reasonably realistic - but very nice - people. But they aren’t cozies apart from this, although at times they could almost be. I missed the political intrigue which sets this series apart from the common run of historical crime and into the realm of mainstream fiction; this time the novel is a whodunit, albeit a good example of the "histmyst" sub genre. Ms Robb has packed a lot of plot into this novel as usual, and alongside this we get to know what has been happening with the various members of Owen’s extended family. Entertaining, exciting, and at the same time relaxing.

Reviews of previous title by this author

A Spy for the Redeemer #7 [Review 1] [Review 2]
The Crossed Legged Knight #8
The Guilt of Innocents
A Vigil of Spies #10
A Conspiracy of Wolves #11

The Book

Weidenfeld & Nicholson (Orion)
5 April 2007
Trade Paperback
Historical Crime - 1372, York, UK
More at Amazon UK
NOTE: Not yet up on US amazon site

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2007
© 2006