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Clif's Book World

Adventures from reading books captured within short reviews.

Death and the Chapman (Roger the chapman, #1) - Kate Sedley This is the first book of a twenty book series of medieval mysteries featuring Roger the Chapman written by Kate Sedley. I read it for simple pleasures and to check if the series is worth reading. The main character, Roger the Chapman, has given up a monk's cell for the freedom of peddling his wares on the road. He apparently has a knack for bumping into murder mysteries waiting for him to solve.

The author does a good job of placing the story within historical events and living conditions of England in the year 1471 near the end of the War of the Roses. However, I've concluded the book is more of a murder mystery than it is a historical novel. (It's interesting to note that the term "War of the Roses" is not mentioned in the book which I presume is historically correct in that the term was probably developed later by historians.)

At the beginning of this book Roger is a young man on his first trip to London. Along the way he learns of two missing person cases of others who have previously travelled to London and disappeared. Friends and family of these missing persons ask Roger to check into their disappearances and see if he can solve the mystery of what happened to them. Well, he checks into the mystery and almost becomes another missing person statistic in the process. Readers shouldn't be too surprised to learn that he lives through the experience since we know that he needs to survive to tell the stories contained in the next nineteen books of the series.