The Guilt of Innocents

The Guilt of Innocents by Candace Robb. Johnson County Library of Shawnee Mission, Kansas provided Robb’s latest entry in the Owen Archer series. It’s been three years since I’ve read an adventure featuring the captain of the Archbishop of York’s guard, his wife Lucie Wilton, a master apothecary, and their blended family. Robb is one of those authors that devote as much time to developing the family life of her main characters as she does to the mystery in each book.

In this tale, she specifically focuses on Jasper, Owen and Lucie’s adopted son, who is growing into a young man. He works as an apprentice to Lucie, competes with another apprentice, Edric, for the attentions of the family’s nursemaid, Alisoun, and attends St. Peter’s School. Jasper becomes involved in Owen’s investigation into the death of one of the church’s bargemen after a skirmish with boys from the school. The victim had taken a purse belonging to Hubert de Weston, one of Jasper’s classmates and once Hubert is discovered missing, Jasper accompanies Owen through the winter snows to Weston in hopes of uncovering some secrets there that might shed light on the bargeman’s death. The mystery itself is not too complicated with several clues pointing towards one obvious suspect, but the blending of the action with the daily struggles of the Archer-Wilton household and the detailed rendering of life in 14th century York makes for an enjoyable read.


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