Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Prodigal Son

The Prodigal Son is the best mystery I've read in quite a while - maybe two years.  I've read several very good books that happened to be mysteries in that time, but Sedley's 2006 entry in her Roger the Chapman series is probably the best example of the genre (barring re-reads of books by Christie and Sayers, of course) I've read since I started this blog.

Roger is enjoying an ale in his favorite inn when a young man who looks vaguely familiar strikes up a conversation.  A few days later, the young man is identified a fugitive accused of committing a long-ago murder and asks Roger - who, it turns out, is his half-brother, for assistance.  Roger agrees to investigate the decade-old murder of Audra Bellknap's housekeeper, a task complicated by the reappearance of the elder Bellknap son, Anthony, who'd disappeared a few years before the crime.  Anthony insists that Roger be treated as a guest rather than a peddler, and then dies himself under mysterious circumstances.  Using wits and logic, Roger discovers the true murderer, and also some surprising information about his new-found brother.

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