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The Saint John's Fern (2002)

The Saint John's Fern (2002)
3.97 of 5 Votes: 5
0312276834 (ISBN13: 9780312276836)
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The Saint John's Fern (2002)
The Saint John's Fern (2002)

About book: This is yet another entertaining medieval tale from Kate Sedley. It's 1477 and Roger the Chapman, still on his 'honeymoon'with his new bride in Bristol, England, finds his restlessness returning. Driven by some instinct that he skills as a sleuth are needed, he sets off through Dartmoor to Plymouth on the southwest coast of England. Roger's instinct is soon proven well founded when he hears of a brutal murder, the victim a Master Capstick, a well respected and wealthy businessman. The chief suspect is Capstick's great-nephew, Beric. He is seen leaving the scene by many witnesses, but when the constables arrive at his manor, Beric had somehow managed to vanish completely.The locals believe the witchcraft of their ancestors, and blame the Saint John's fern, which if eaten can make a man invisible. Roger, is not convinced, and begins his own inquiries, and when an attempt is made on his life, he knows he must be close to a truth. A most enjoyable read that provides the reader with an excellent sense of life in those harsh times of medieval England. As a murder mystery, the plot was an interesting one, but I have to admit that I solved it a couple of chapters before the end.

A rich old man is beaten to death. His nephew is seen leaving the scene, all bloody, and has now disappeared. The question of why and how the accused murderer disappeared as if invisible is a neat mystery. Roger the Chapman doesn't like murderers who get away with it, but things don't work out quite the way he expected. He can charm clues out of the local housewives, but somebody is working hard to twist the information.Roger's forest travels made me feel his love of nature. It balances his chatty, sociable nature and gives me a sense of being at home on the road with him.
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