This is the sixth Owen Archer mystery, the first I have read and possibly the last. This is a Medieval mystery set in the late Middle Ages. Owen Archer is working for the Duke of Lancaster, looking to recruit archers in South Wales for his master and also to check if the defences are sufficient should a French fleet invade. Owen Archer is of Welsh origin but hasn’t been back to his homeland for fifteen years. He is accompanied on his mission by a certain Geoffrey Chaucer. The pair intended to meet with John de Reine one of Lancaster’s men from Cydweli, but they arrive too late as Reine has been murdered. Owen Archer maybe Welsh but he lacks the wit and wisdom of Cadfael. The mystery isn’t especially gripping, I wasn’t anxiously turning the pages, and I found a lot of the Welsh names (like Dafydd, Dyfrig and Gruffydd) confusing, despite having lived 5 years in Wales myself. The setting seems authentic and there is a lot of description of Medieval apothecary (I note the first book in the series is “The Apothecary Rose”). In addition to Geoffrey Chaucer, a famous Welsh bard of the time Dafydd ap Gwilym has a cameo role.
My rating 3 out of 5