The Woodville Connection
The illegitimate Francis Cranley’s father was killed in battle fighting for the Duke of York. The Duke then took in the boy, Francis, who grew up alongside his own son, Richard of Gloucester. Francis and Gloucester become loyal friends, and when an old soldier (who once saved the Duke’s life) arrives at the castle one wintry morning, accused of murdering a child, Gloucester turns to Cranley for help in proving the man’s innocence.
I found The Woodville Connection to be an easy-to-read medieval murder mystery, with much intrigue and drama, set against a dramatic event in English history. With its fast pace and some great twists and turns in the story, this debut novel from author K.E. Martin keeps the reader turning the pages, wanting to know what happens next. The historical detail of the daily life and customs of this period was fascinating, and, telling the story through the eyes of Francis Cranley proved an excellent way of engaging the reader in the action taking place.
I had only one minor complaint: I found the old-English dialect irritating. A scattering here and there would have been OK, but great lengths of it made for laborious reading, and I found myself skimming over those parts after a while. However, that aside, I would recommend The Woodville Connection to readers looking for a light medieval “whodunnit”.