The Tintern Treasure
Roger Chapman is a peddler who has, quite by accident, become an agent of King Richard III. His reputation as the king’s man has made Roger a minor celebrity in his home town of Bristol, but Roger feels his relationship with the controversial king is often more of a burden than a boon. In this, the 20th installment of Roger’s story, he must uncover a plot against the king before there is open rebellion in England and before the mutinous agents of Henry Tudor follow through on their threats against Roger’s family.
I’ve not read the earlier Roger Chapman novels, but given their reputation I’d like to. I like Roger as a character, and Sedley does a good job setting up a scene. However, sometimes the insertion of historical background is contrived, making dialogue seem unrealistic. Another fault, which may be my own misunderstanding, relates to the novel’s genre. I’d read that Sedley was a mystery writer and that her Chapman novels were whodunits. However, The Tintern Treasure offered very little in the way of mystery. Sedley gives up every murderer well before Roger figures it out for himself. Had I expected this to be a straightforward historical novel I might not have been looking for a mystery element. The Tintern Treasure is informative and enjoyable, but not quite a mystery novel.