May–what a glorious month in which to launch my new sleuth, Kate Clifford. On Tuesday, publication day, I’ll be signing books at noon at Seattle Mystery Bookshop. Wednesday evening, the Medieval Women’s Choir will help me launch the series with glorious medieval music at University Bookstore in the U District (Seattle). An exciting few days!
Kate has collected wonderful prepublication reviews.
“…what Robb really excels at are action scenes, and there are several sprinkled throughout the narrative. They really make this a rocket powered read. … The story of Kate’s brother’s death, threaded through the story, is especially horrific…. It’s wonderful to have a new novel and character to cherish from this talented writer.” Robin Agnew, owner of Aunt Agatha’s Bookstore
“The Service of the Dead by Candace Robb is a strikingly well crafted novel that is a compelling page-turner from beginning to end. Very highly recommended…” Midwest Book Review
“Robb’s deft hand creates a realistic political and commercial climate as King Richard II’s reign draws to a close in 1399…a satisfying historical read…with … its strong political setting and multiple plot strands.” Booklist
“It is a winner!… The story has many surprises, betrayals, intrigue, danger, and death. All are expertly spliced into the main thread of the story, drawing historical facts and historical fiction into a tapestry well worth reading. I give the book five stars…” Raven’s Reviews
“…the novel resonates with its compelling portrayal of an England on the brink of crisis.” Publishers Weekly
The collaboration with the choir is a dream come true. Women’s voices—that’s been the theme of my writing of late, with the novels The King’s Mistress and A Triple Knot. After working with Alice Perrers and Joan of Kent, strong women trapped in the gilded cage of the royal court, I felt the need to return to the women of York—and Kate Clifford took shape in my imagination. From the first she refused to be a secondary character. So I gave her a history, a reason to be skilled in weaponry, ever vigilant, pragmatic about the dangers of being a woman determined to choose her future, scarred emotionally, and liable to have skeletons in her closet resurrecting in her life.
I also gave her an otherness, like Owen Archer. Like him, she’s an integral part of the city without being completely at home there, which I believe works well for a sleuth. Kate feels out of place in the city. She was brought up in the country, the far North of England, the border country with Scotland, with feuding, Scots raids, and the defense of the family manor a constant in her childhood. Her parents brought her to York for her safety. But, as my readers already know, York of the late medieval period is not a place of safety. Kate is a bit wild, with her Irish wolfhounds, her weaponry, the way she’s chosen her household help. But she’s determined to make the best of her life in York.
I hope you’ll enjoy her adventures!
(Rest easy. This does not spell the end of the Owen Archer series. This is yet another set of characters who, I hope, will capture your hearts.)