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Death and the Chapman (Roger the Chapman #1)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  701 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
In fifteenth-century England, a nineteen-year-old itinerant peddler named Roger the Chapman investigates the disappearance of an alderman's son and embarks on an adventure that takes him from country roads to grand mansions. Reprint.
Paperback, 362 pages
Published April 1st 1994 by Harpercollins (Mm) (first published October 3rd 1991)
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Best Historical Mystery
278th out of 1,314 books — 3,402 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,673)
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Wanda
Oct 24, 2015 Wanda marked it as to-read
Recommended to Wanda by: Bettie☯
24 OCT 2015 - recommended by Bettie. This one checks all the boxes of that which I love! Thank you!
Jacqueline
Sep 09, 2013 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing
I love medieval mystery series and this one did not disappoint. In fact I'm embarrassed that it took me this long to start reading it. Detailed, with a tightly plotted mystery I really felt like Roger Chapman was in danger from the moment he started poking at things that shouldn't have been poked at.

It's clear that the author did her research and the fact that she has a human and sympathetic Richard III is a win in my book. I will most definitely be continuing with this series.
Wallyworld
Nov 03, 2009 Wallyworld rated it it was amazing
This is the first book in a series set in the 1300s in England. If you've read Ellis Peters' series with Brother Cadfael, you might like this series.
Bettie☯
Description: In fifteenth-century England, a nineteen-year-old itinerant peddler named Roger the Chapman investigates the disappearance of an alderman's son and embarks on an adventure that takes him from country roads to grand mansions.

Opening: In this year of our Lord 1522 I am an old man. I've lived through the reigns of five kings; six, if you count young Edward. By my reckoning, I'm three score years and ten, the age, so the Bible tells us, which is man's allotted span on earth, and when my
...more
Kathleen
Sep 07, 2012 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
have read every one and love them
LJ
First Sentence: In this year of our Lord 1552 I am an old man.

Roger Chapman is 70 years old. As he approaches the last chapter of his life, he decides to write the memoirs of his years spent on the road as a peddler and solving mysteries. Young 18-year old Roger has left the Benedictine monastery for the road with London being his objective.

His first investigation is into the disappearance of two separate gentlemen and the second's servant while their bags were left behind. Both men were carryi
...more
Donna
Read again 04/30/14 for Maze Mystery Discussion Group.

Set in 1471 but "written" in 1552 by Roger, a failed monastic and current peddler. Roger discovers a talent for resolving puzzles and detection. He also has a pleasant run-in with none other than Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who will become King Richard III. Roger finds the Duke an amiable man.

I am not as fond of mysteries written in the first person, but the author does a good job here. Sedley has also mastered the historical aspects of the
...more
Jill Martin
May 26, 2012 Jill Martin rated it really liked it
A well written book. I am a stickler for good grammar, and this book fulfilled all my requirements. The characters were well rounded, plot was clear and reasonably paced, and the historical detail was accurate and well expressed. This all sounds rather clinical, and does not reflect the warmth reflected off the pages, the smells of the streets, the pain felt by a man for a girl, the delight in a face at the simple sight of the chapman' wares. Kate Sedley's descriptions are vivid, bringing the st ...more
Ann Buechler
May 26, 2014 Ann Buechler rated it really liked it
This was a lovely book. I have an affinity for fiction written about this time period and this was a fresh look for me - with characters who are not royalty. I really enjoyed the main character and how he is telling the story while he is an old man. The mystery was intriguing and the writing itself was very descriptive. I felt like I could see, hear, smell, and feel, right along with the characters. Definitely a great read. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and am so glad I found ...more
Farrah
Jun 30, 2015 Farrah rated it really liked it
What a fun series for the summer! Short, quick but expertly detailed mysteries solved by Roger the Chapman. Loved it! Can't wait to read book #2.
Roxanne
Jun 04, 2011 Roxanne rated it it was ok
The book sounded promising from the reviews, but in the end, it's a slight story. It's short -- less than 200 pages -- so you can easily finish it in an afternoon or two. However, I would have enjoyed it more if the historical setting had been more fully-developed and the plot had a bit more substance.
Sharon
Apr 08, 2014 Sharon rated it it was amazing
The first book in the Roger the chapman series and a delight to read how this former novice and current chapman (pedlar) solves mysteries and in the process is almost killed himself; serves the aristocracy of medieval England and acquires new friends in low places.
Darkpool (protesting GR censorship)
Mar 18, 2011 Darkpool (protesting GR censorship) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Darkpool (protesting GR censorship) by: Gill
Shelves: read-in-2011
A perfectly nice little mystery, with an engaging protagonist. Looking forward to reading more in the series.
Clif Hostetler
Nov 16, 2011 Clif Hostetler rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the first book of a twenty book series of medieval mysteries featuring Roger the Chapman written by Kate Sedley. I read it for simple pleasures and to check if the series is worth reading. The main character, Roger the Chapman, has given up a monk's cell for the freedom of peddling his wares on the road. He apparently has a knack for bumping into murder mysteries waiting for him to solve.

The author does a good job of placing the story within historical events and living conditions of En
...more
Hugues
Après [series:Matthew Shardlake|49599], retour au moyen âge avec Roger le Colporteur. Peu après Barnet (1471), Roger est un jeune novice qui abandonne la voie religieuse et se fait colporteur. Cette première aventure le mène de Bristol à Londres. Si la résolution de l'intrigue - des disparitions autour d'une auberge - est très prévisible, le cadre historique est très bien utilisé et l'époque est mise en scène avec talent. Je ne regrette pas et compte bien lire la suite.
Yomi Ri
Apr 07, 2016 Yomi Ri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En La posada siniestra encontrarás un libro de misterio que te llevará junto a Roger Chapman al Londres de 1471 para desvelar algunas desapariciones sospechosas, y cómo este inocente buhonero se vera envuelvo en la trampa de ciertos personajes.
Kate Sedley tiene una pluma limpia y ágil que con los detalles necesarios te llevan al siglo XV, para que descubras quiénes son los culpables y si en algún momento serán atrapados.
Un muy buen inicio de saga que en lo personal, me muero por continuar.
Jan McClintock
Jun 16, 2016 Jan McClintock rated it liked it
The first of a series of historical mysteries set in fifteenth-century England and introducing Roger, a young man who quits the monastery to be a traveling salesman and discovers his talent for solving mysteries. Told in flashbacks by Roger as an old man, which I didn't particularly enjoy. But I already knew this was a series, so he obviously doesn't buy it in the first book.

The mystery itself began as just a lack of information but eventually took a few fascinating twists to keep me interested.
...more
Miles Atkinson
Oct 27, 2015 Miles Atkinson rated it really liked it
One of the main things that I liked about this book was how much it managed to convey with relative brevity of style and length. No time is wasted and every page helps advance the plot. A former monk turned peddler, Roger Chapman discovers an aptitude for solving puzzles that gets him into investigating an unexplained disappearance in London during the early autumn of 1471. The period detail is excellent and the action well-paced. It's not a long book and therein lies my one slight problem. Some ...more
Robin
Jan 16, 2015 Robin rated it really liked it
It was interesting to read a book set in gentler times.

Times when people were drugged, murdered and dumped in the Thames!

With no DNA testing, no fingerprints or forensic science of any sort its down to quick wits and clear thinking. Both of which frequently desert our hero.

The good news is he gets there in the end.
Alethea Bothwell
Mar 07, 2015 Alethea Bothwell rated it liked it
This series was recommended by a fellow-student in the "England in the time of Richard III" Mooc. And it is good. I do like medieval mysteries. I don't know if this is better than others I've read, but I did enjoy it.
Mary
Dec 02, 2015 Mary rated it liked it
Great book. I'm definitely looking for more in the series. This story is set in the late 1400's and the picture painted of life in England then is fascinating. There are lots of great details. I'd love to know how the wine really tasted. The murder mystery plot was well done and plausible.
Terri Lauria
Jan 27, 2015 Terri Lauria rated it really liked it
I stumbled upon this book at the thrift store. This was the first in the series and I hope to come across the others. I'd never read anything set in medieval times and this was an excellent start. Really enjoyed it.
Leighbeth Winter
Author start right off with intrigue, cant wait to start another of her books
Dora Wagner
Oct 22, 2014 Dora Wagner rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the entire series. Each book got better.
Kenneth John
Dec 02, 2014 Kenneth John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent!
Rosemary
Jul 19, 2014 Rosemary rated it liked it
Sedley writes with effortless historical detail, which makes me want to overlook the gratuitous vulgarity and read the rest of the series. Unfortunately, I can't quite.
Sandra Strange
This one's a good read for those who enjoy historical mysteries. Well researched, the book recreates the time of Henry VIII with an appealing protagonist, a chapman, a kind of peddler who deals in things people want and can then enter all kinds of homes and deal with all levels of society to "solve" horrific murders, this set concerning mysterious disappearances of travelers.
Kara
Oct 23, 2013 Kara rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery

It just doesn't work as a historical mystery series. The "I" POV made it very awkward when the narrator would shoe horn in a brief lesson on the history of England circa 1440 - 1470 and jumps around in what level of history its going to be looking at, having the main character both involved in high politics and ordinary lives. Just didn't gel.
Christine
Nov 18, 2008 Christine rated it really liked it
I picked up this little paperback for 2$, mostly because I liked the cover art (woodcuts). In the end it was a fun read, though I would recomend it more for history buffs and anglophiles than for mystery fans. A bit dry/slow story-wise but full of details about life in England in the 1470s.
Hapzydeco
Sep 28, 2012 Hapzydeco rated it liked it
Kate Sedly introduces the reader to Roger the Chapman, a charming sleuth. Using the Middle Ages as her setting, Sedley has written a total of 20 Roger Chapman mysteries. As in this novel, Chapman encounters mysterious situation which he resolves using his cunning and reliance on God.
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Kate Sedley, the pen-name of Brenda Margaret Lilian Honeyman Clarke (born 1926) is an English historical novelist. She was born in Bristol and educated at The Red Maid's School, Westbury-on-Trym. She is married and has a son and a daughter, and one granddaughter.
Her medieval historical whodunnits feature Roger the Chapman, who has given up a monk's cell for the freedom of peddling his wares on th
...more
More about Kate Sedley...

Other Books in the Series

Roger the Chapman (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • The Plymouth Cloak (Roger the Chapman, #2)
  • The Weaver's Tale (Roger the Chapman, #3)
  • The Holy Innocents (Roger the Chapman, #4)
  • The Eve of Saint Hyacinth (Roger the Chapman, #5)
  • The Wicked Winter (Roger the Chapman, #6)
  • The Brothers of Glastonbury (Roger the Chapman, #7)
  • The Weaver's Inheritance (Roger the Chapman, #8)
  • The Saint John's Fern (Roger the Chapman, #9)
  • The Goldsmith's Daughter (Roger the Chapman, #10)
  • The Lammas Feast (Roger the Chapman, #11)

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