LLewelyn ap Gryffud's war. Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. A gripping crime thriller full of suspense Detectives Kane and Col With numerous victims, but no DNA, can police catch him before he kills?
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There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I've never read an historical novel in quite this exact genre. This is Medieval Noir, a window into a world Centuries ago amid the crime and intrigue in rural 13th Century England. This is a real place with a very different feel than the world we live in today, or with the cliches we know and love, at once familiar and suprisingly alien in it's detail. A place with an unusual combination of harsh laws and swift justice are carried out in French to an English speaking courtroom, yet where crime and mayhem can lurk just around the corner.
A place where nobody misses Sunday mass, but men go to the public bath house to dally with 'bath girls' over a couple of beers. Where theft can get you hung, but outlaws lurk in every forest. Where a warm meal can be had in a roadside tavern, and the beggar in the street is a bitter man, once a warrior.
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- The Wayward Apprentice by Jason Vail.
The protagonist, Stephen Attebrook, is a widower and a veteran soldier and nearly a cripple himself, with half his foot missing from an encounter with a Moorish warrior in Spain. Shell shocked from the death of his wife, he approaches his new job without great enthusiasm or hope. He has come into the position of assistant Coroner, which had a different meaning in 13th Century England than it does today.
His job is to certify the cause of death of everyone who dies in his district, to verify the legal status, which can have serious legal and political ramifications. This is not a Medieval CSI, autopsies are unheard of in this era, and disinterrments are rare, but Stephen reluctantly performs one when a case takes an unexpected twist.
Somewhat against his will, he is drawn into the dark secrets of his new home town, and eventually entangled in a lethal Political struggle which overlaps the personal dramas, lovers spats and petty jealousies of his neighbors. Hired to investigate a murder whose youthful prime suspect has a tragic past in certain respects similar to his own, it's not long before Stephen has alarmed some dangerous people and finds himself having to fight for his life.
But fighting is one thing Stephen, a hardened veteran, is capable of if not eager to indulge in, and the deadly brawls which break out along the lonely roads of this place have a sense of danger and verisimilitude that not only reveals the author who also wrote a book on Medieval knife fighting techniques as a trained martial artist, but also has the unpredictable feel and fierce immediacy of a real street fight.
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Despite being maimed, Stepheen proves able to hold his own, and being a Crown officer does not prevent him from doing what is necessary to cover up the bloody results of attempts to silence him. Like Philip Marlowe or Sam Spade, Stephen doesn't have a rigid puritanical morality, but tries to do the right thing in a world he does not expect to be fair. As we get to know the man better, we learn that beneath his humble exterior Attebrook is a man of many skills.
He will need them all to survive the hornets nest he has stirred up. I really enjoyed this novel and I suspect I hope we will see more of Stephen Attebrook in the future. I can easily see this turning into a series. If you want to spend a little time in a medieval world as your ancestors may have actually experienced it, I highly recommend picking this one up. I love historical mysteries, but honestly the genre is starting to get stale and repetitive. The Wayward Apprentice is a breath of fresh air. It has all the elements you love, but the protagonist isn't a cookie-cutter hero.
Apr 07, Jen rated it really liked it Shelves: I liked it, but it wasn't a book that I loved. It is the latest in the series, and it appears that this one of those series that need to be read in order. I decided to begin at the beginning. Was it because I already had some familiarity with the main characters?
Or is it really a better book? I think it is the better book, and there is a little more back story, but not a lot. The Wayward Apprentice introduces the character of Stephen Attebrook, a knight who has lost almost everything but his horses and his armor. After nearly ten years fighting the Moors in Spain, a Moor with an ax cut off half of Stephen's foot.
The injury prevents him from being terribly effective on horseback in a close battle, so his military days are over. He is a second, and not favored, son. His opportunities for advancement were looking quite good in Spain until his injury. Then his wife dies of a fever, and somehow, not yet explained he loses the riches he had gained. Back in England, he is forced to take the position of deputy coroner to the king in the small village of Ludlow. When summoned to hold the inquest of a carter who is believed to have drowned, the verdict is that of an accidental death.
Later, however, when the widow in preparing the body for burial, she discovers a knife wound. The historic details concerning the duties of the coroner, the inquest, the way the legal system functions, the fees owed the king, etc. There also develops another plot concerning the runaway apprentice of a rich merchant named Baynard that brings in the political divisions of the time between Henry III's supporters and those barons who support Simon de Montfort. Owing allegiance to the wrong side can be deadly, and though Stephen doesn't want to be caught up in the various plots, his position as coroner pulls him into some perilous situations.
And when Baynard is murdered, Stephen must attempt to clear the young apprentice of the charge of murder. A good mystery with the historic elements important, but not distracting. The characters are well developed, each having secrets and complex personalities. I was quickly drawn into the world of Ludlow, forming affection for some characters, and antipathy for others. As soon as I finished, I downloaded the next in the series.
Feb 01, Marv rated it liked it Shelves: I found this book quite enjoyable. The characters and plot were well done. I would've gladly given it a four-star rating, but I was annoyed by the poor proofreading and copy editing. For example, not just once, but twice, the word "principle" was used, instead of the correct word "principal. There were sentences with missing words or doubled words. Still worse, there was one instance where the word used was somewhat similar to what I found this book quite enjoyable. Still worse, there was one instance where the word used was somewhat similar to what seemed would have been the correct word, but the word that made it into print was clearly the wrong one.
I do not want potential readers to avoid this book or the others in this series, or others by this same author, since his skill is evident, and since the level of poor copy editing and proofreading, while annoying, was only somewhat worse than the unfortunate level of those arts as prevalent these days.
While I believe the author did not get his money's worth for whatever proofreading and copy editing went into this volume, I do look forward to the other three books in the series. Jul 16, Tisha rated it really liked it. A medieval mystery set in 13th century England, focusing on Stephen Attebrook, a knight fallen on hard times after losing a foot during battle with the Moors. This is a light, fun book. It isn't meant to be a treatise on medieval history, merely a fun book with a not-too-co A medieval mystery set in 13th century England, focusing on Stephen Attebrook, a knight fallen on hard times after losing a foot during battle with the Moors.
The characters were not simple or stereo-typed I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a little period history, likes a mystery or just a book on the things that go wrong, and right, in the relationships between people Oct 17, Susan Johnson rated it liked it. This book takes place in when a poor knight takes the job of deputy coroner in Ludlow. He was injured in battle with the Moors and is just scraping by. He goes out to investigate a death apparently by drowning and discovera a murder.
I thought it was great that the jury comes out to the place of death and views the body. Talk about immediate justice. As he investigates this murder, he takes the case of finding a run away apprentice. As he juggles the two cases, he must fight off attackers an This book takes place in when a poor knight takes the job of deputy coroner in Ludlow. As he juggles the two cases, he must fight off attackers and find justice for all those involved in the case.
This is not a serious historical mystery like CJ Sansom writes but it is good fun. I really enjoyed reading about that time period. There are not a lot of stories from those years. I enjoyed reading about their food, sleeping situations and system of justice. If you're looking for a good time then I highly recommend this book. Oct 07, Francis Mulhern rated it really liked it.
Vail writes in a very simplisitic fashion, yet still manages to develop good characters. Stephen Atterbrook is a down on his luck Knight returned from Spain and living at a local Inn in Ludlow. He takes up the case of a wayward apprentice which leads to a series of events and murder which all intertwine in what becomes a good story.
Atterbrook has a past, and is portrayed as someone who had a lot and lost it all. His grumpy attitude, his position in life and his quick witted remarks especially w Vail writes in a very simplisitic fashion, yet still manages to develop good characters. His grumpy attitude, his position in life and his quick witted remarks especially with the crippled beggar Harry are well worked in the story.
At 99p on kindle these are very good reads - short enough for 3 days on the train to London each morning. One complaint - spelling and missing words need reviewing.
Series: Stephen Attebrook mystery
PLenty of small errors, but Vail cannot be making more than 30p per book so probably cannot afford a proof reader - which is a shame as it does hamper the story. Dec 09, Gigi rated it really liked it. I read a lot of historical fiction. This reminds me a bit of Ariana Franklin's book series, that begins with The Mistress of the Art of Death a superb book. But this book is not as dark, or in-depth. If reading a murder mystery set in England could be called "a light read," this book may be it. Which of course does not diminish the enjoyment of the book, but merely puts it in context. There is much that can be expounded upon in later books: This book has much to recommend.
The Wayward Apprentice (Stephen Attebrook mystery, book 1) by Jason Vail
Apr 13, V rated it it was ok Shelves: In this medieval mystery, a young knight Attebrook begins his career as a coroner, encountering multiple unexplained deaths. The action begins quickly and the initial mystery is laid out clearly, but before long the story takes on many twists. Although not confusing, the multiple twists and red herrings leave the reader wondering "whodunit? Once the multiple mysteries are solved, and the reader expects the denouement, the action continues with one last breathtaking scene b In this medieval mystery, a young knight Attebrook begins his career as a coroner, encountering multiple unexplained deaths.
Once the multiple mysteries are solved, and the reader expects the denouement, the action continues with one last breathtaking scene before a satisfactory conclusion is reached. The characters are simple, but likable, which makes for an enjoyable, light read.