1374. When a member of one of York’s most prominent families is found dead in the woods, his throat torn out, rumours spread like wildfire that wolves are running loose throughout the city. Persuaded to investigate by the victim’s father, Owen Archer is convinced that a human killer is responsible. But before he can gather sufficient evidence to prove his case, a second body is discovered, stabbed to death. Is there a connection? What secrets are contained within the victim’s household? And what does apprentice healer Alisoun know that she’s not telling? Teaming up with Geoffrey Chaucer, who is in York on a secret mission on behalf of Prince Edward, Owen’s enquiries will draw him headlong into a deadly conspiracy.
Buy Link https://amzn.to/2YHDW0v
Publishing Journey from the 10th Owen Archer to the 11th.
We humans are a perverse species. In the midst of a terrific day we can find ourselves yearning for an even better day. Often the perfection of the moment is obvious to us only in retrospect. Curious creatures.
Call it beginner’s luck. My first book—well, no, that’s not true, my first published book (The Apothecary Rose) introduced a cast of characters who endeared themselves to readers. Even better, it was the first in a series, and, as the characters deepened in subsequent books my readers followed with enthusiasm. I enjoyed spending time in late medieval York in the company of Owen Archer, Lucie Wilton, Bess and Tom Merchet, Archbishop Thoresby, Magda Digby, Jasper de Melton, and others. Writing a book a year was challenging, but quite doable.
But I had not started out to write historical mysteries; as a teen I loved the big, fat, juicy historical novels like Anya Seton’s Katherine. I yearned to write such a book. By the publication of the 7th Owen Archer I was fidgety. When a series is selling well, growing an audience, agents and publishers discourage such detours. It was suggested I play with a second series—that might satisfy my itch. I wrote A Trust Betrayed, the first of what became the Margaret Kerr trilogy. Another Owen Archer. And then the two that completed the trilogy. During that time, my editor at my new US publisher died. Her sudden death was a shock to the publishing community and to me. I’d jumped publishers to work with her, and she was everything I’d hoped for. With her death, I was orphaned in the US. It felt like an omen—time to strike out on a different path. I wrote two of the types of books I’d yearned to write. I am proud as can be of The King’s Mistress and A Triple Knot, but I found the experience frustrating: I disliked publishing them under the pseudonym Emma Campion on the insistence of my publisher’s marketing department; I found writing about the royal court suffocating and missed the far more interesting variety in my crime series; and I hated that I couldn’t change the fates of Alice Perrers and Joan of Kent, women I’d come to love and admire, for I was writing fictional biographies and it was not my purpose to change history.
In short, I discovered that I’d been doing what I love most all along. While puzzling over this I was approached in a daydream by an intriguing young woman walking down Stonegate in York flanked by two fabulous Iris wolfhounds. Kate Clifford, who debuted in The Service of the Dead. But a funny thing happened as I returned to late medieval York—by the second Kate Clifford book (A Twisted Vengeance) an Owen Archer character showed up. Older, wiser, different. Two more appeared in the third book, A Murdered Peace, one becoming a central character in the book. By now it was clear I was ready to return to the Owen Archer series.
I hope you enjoy Owen Archer #11, A Conspiracy of Wolves, as much as I enjoyed writing it, and will continue to enjoy writing more.
I’ve discovered I was happy all along.
About the Author
Candace Robb has read and researched medieval history for many years, having studied for a Ph.D. in Medieval & Anglo-Saxon Literature. She divides her time between Seattle and the UK, frequently visiting York to research the series. She is the author of ten previous Owen Archer mysteries and three Kate Clifford medieval mysteries.