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The Dance of Death
Roger The Chapman - Book XIII

by Kate Sedley


Following his adventures in Scotland, Roger the Chapman is looking forward to heading home to Bristol to see his family.††But Spymaster General Timothy Plummer has other plans for him—this time it is a mission to Paris!††He must even pretend that dangerous Eloise Gray is his wife, and pose as a wealthy haberdasher on a trading trip.††The object of the mission is ostensibly to discover who the French king wants the Dauphin to marry, but actually it is something far more secret.

This is another one of those long-running series that shows no sign of running out of steam.††The plots are kept inventive and fresh by Rogerís frequent trips away from Bristol, and I like the way that ordinary whodunits are interleaved with spying missions like this one.††Other writers try this sort of thing and fail, but another strength of this series is its remarkably even quality; there are no dud entries where things just tread water.†† Roger makes a lively and interesting narrator, who regales us with descriptions of the crossing, Calais, Paris and the parsimonious lodgings at Baynardís Castle.††At times I felt that the characters spent an inordinate amount of time in this book being angry with each other and arguing, which almost got to the point of being tedious but actually made the story seem remarkably realistic instead.††It is not a long novel, this series producing uniformly succinct volumes, but nicely crammed with incident, vigorous characterisation and local color.††I look forward as always to the next one.

The Book

Severn House
May 2009
0727867458 /9780727867452
Historical Crime / 1480s London and Paris
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2009
© 2009