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A Gift Of Sanctuary (2000)

A Gift of Sanctuary (2000)
3.93 of 5 Votes: 2
0312974779 (ISBN13: 9780312974770)
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A Gift Of Sanctuary (2000)
A Gift Of Sanctuary (2000)

About book: Owen and Geoffrey Chaucer are sent on a mission for the Duke of Lancaster ostensibly to check on fortifications in Wales, but really a retainers son has called his father to account for marrying a suspected traitor's daughter. Brother Michaelo and Sir Robert come along on a pilgrimage. The man they are to meet does not appear so they continue on to deliver the men to their pilgrimage. The bishop has just found a dead body and it is the man they were to meet. Owen gets dragged into resolving this mystery. Meanwhile another mysterious man is found injured and is sought greatly by some soldiers of the accused father. On top of this Sir Robert is quite ill and Owen is seeking out his family after having no contact since he left home. The lack of our regular players was sad no Lucie and no York Tavern was no fun, but Sir Robert's story was quite moving. The mystery itself was quite convoluted with personal and political combining and diverging to throw Owen down different paths.

One of the better books in the Owen Archer series. This one truly was a mystery until close to the end. The only thing that keeps it from being a five star book was the death of a main character - and only that because the death happens in Wales and not York. I understood the reasoning, but did not see how it advanced the story. However, one of the reason that I enjoy the Archer books so much is that Robb does very well at her descriptions of area and life in the 14th century; and her descriptions of life in Wales in this book does not disappoint at all. I really enjoyed this book and can highly recommend it to both mystery and readers of the medieval genres.
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While it definitely doesn't rank as the worst book I've ever read (or tried to read) A Gift of Sanctuary violates one of my personal "rules" for what makes a mystery good/great. It's a blatant case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. There are a multitude of characters connected to the mystery of a man's death, all of whom have their own agendas. One in particular seems to have no motive for his involvement other than causing discomfort for the local nobility.Because of all of the people/agendas/motives the waters are so completely muddied that the solution hardly seems like one at all. It seems more like a cop-out.
Vicki Cline
I read the first five books in this series years ago, so I was expecting to reacquaint myself with Lucie, an apocethary in York, but this was all about her husband, Owen Archer, who has to go on an errand to Wales for the Duke of Lancaster. It's an interesting mystery, but I was a bit confused by the Welsh names and political situation, also by the switching among three different POVs by three main characters. Owen left Wales many years ago and he reconnects with the remaining member of his family. His relationship with his father-in-law, who came with him on a pilgrimage, is very interesting. I'll be glad to get back to York in the next book, however.
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