Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

The Service of the Dead

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Service of the Dead (2016) Candace Robb

Set in York, England in 1399

Kate Clifford is a widow struggling to recoup the financial losses of her husband while trying to maintain her independence and avoid a marriage pushed upon her by family.

And also to stay out of politics.

The truth was, if the king decided the Nevilles were a threat to his reign, Kate might be ruined with them. Though she had never taken the name, she had married a Neville.

Having grown up on the borders, Kate is a strong woman, raised to protect those in her care, even if those supposed to care for her had either failed in their duty or were dead in the attempt. So she protects herself and hers.

(T)he small battle-axe— a third the size of a soldier’s, but efficient and deadly— that her father had given her on her twelfth birthday. She kept it sharpened and ready, in the fine leather pouch that was small enough to slip into the compartment in the right side of her skirt. She would prefer a larger weapon, but even this was difficult enough to hide.

When a man is found murdered in her guesthouse, her first worry is to make sure the death was not linked to her, thus ruining one of her more lucrative businesses, the income from shipping being troubled because of the current political situation.

I liked the mystery and the history, and most of the characters, but I didn’t find the story as strong as her Owen Archer series. Part of it might have been Kate’s conflicted worries and loyalties, part of it because although she was acting within the restraints of her time, it sometimes felt as if she were being weak rather than circumspect.

In other words, I’m kinda glad I borrowed it instead of paying full price, but I’d still like to read the second book.

Too bad it’s not in our library.
Rating: 7/10

Publisher: Pegasus Books

Categories: British, Female, Historical, Mystery     Comments (0)    

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