Not even the company of a beautiful woman can turn dangerous Paris into a romantic destination for Roger the Chapman.
Just returned from a hair-raising trip to Scotland (The Green Man, 2008), Roger the Chapman is unhappy when Spymaster Timothy Plummer calls him to Beynard’s Castle and insists that he travel to France in the guise of husband to manipulative Eloise Gray. His orders are to discover whether King Louis is planning on marrying his son to the daughter of the Duke of Burgundy rather than Princess Elizabeth of England. To make matters worse, Roger is tasked by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, to find an Englishman living in Paris who may have some information concerning the paternity of Richard’s dying brother. Is Edward the rightful King of England or a bastard? Together with Eloise, Roger reluctantly sets off accompanied by the spy John Bradshaw, and Phillip Lamprey, a recently widowed friend, posing as servants. Aware that investigations in London have left a trail of dead bodies in their wake, Roger becomes suspicious of fellow travelers Will Lackpenny, Robert Armiger, Armiger’s much younger wife and her brother, a cook at Beynard’s Castle who vanishes overboard on the trip to Calais. Arriving in Paris, Roger does his best to complete his dangerous task despite his lack of French; difficulties with Eloise and Phillip; and danger lurking in every fetid alleyway.
As usual, Sedley excels at bringing the Middle Ages to life. Even though there’s not much mystery here, Roger’s latest adventure will certainly hold the interest of the faithful.