the king's bishop book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

The King’s Bishop is the 4th book in the Owen Archer series and I am still enjoying them immensely. Owen has his little girl with Lucie, and they have started moving into their new house next door, the present from Lucie’s father.

After a night of partying at the castle, a young page is found dead in the moat the next morning.  The same young page that Owen’s friend Ned was seen having ‘words’ with. Since Ned is known to have a temper and the young man seemed to be friends with Ned’s woman, Ned is suspected of doing away with the lad. Lucky for Ned, he is vouched for by the King’s mistress as to his whereabouts.

Shortly after that Ned is sent as an escort to a party on the King’s business. When they get to York, Owen is put in charge of the mission and he makes Ned second in command. Owen is missing some key information and things don’t turn out well. En route, someone attacks Ned and flees into the night. Since there are no witnesses, Ned himself is blamed for attacking the other man. After Ned learns that his love has drowned, he also runs off. This turns out to be bad in more ways than one. And Ned seems to keep making the worst decisions he possibly can–if he wants to prove his innocence.

Owen is put to the test trying to find out what is going on, who did what to who and who is guilty of what. The Archbishop, who set him on this task, is also trying his hand at sleuthing, and is finding he has some knack for it. But what he learns might not be to his liking. Several innocents were murdered and the blame seems to sit on Ned, though there isn’t any strong reason for him to have done such a thing.

This was both a reasonably tense and a frustrating book. I was pretty certain I knew who the guilty party was half way through the book, but the why took a little longer. However, as confident as I was it wasn’t Ned, he seemed hell bent on getting his neck stretched in a noose. I understood Owen’s frustration with his friend, who kept his own council and continued to do rash things despite Owen’s attempts at helping him. Still a well written book and a good story. Great series–I still recommend them!

Also by Candace Robb:

The Nun’s TaleThe Lady ChapelThe Apothecary Rose

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Candace Robb. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.