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The Wayward Apprentice (Stephen Attebrook Mysteries #1)

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  669 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Stephen Attebrook, a crippled knight facing poverty and ruin, seems condemned to a quiet life when he takes a position as deputy coroner in the small town of Ludlow.

But instead, he plunges into a web of murder and intrigue.

A death Attebrook rules an accidental drowning turns out to be a murder, and he must find the killer with little evidence pointing the way.

Then a commis
Kindle Edition, 213 pages
Published (first published June 14th 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 925)
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Mel Fouch
I had never heard of this author before (from a quick Google I think he usually writes non-fiction) but I like historical whodunits and it was under a for the Kindle so I thought I'd give it a shot and was pleasantly surprised.

It's a fairly gritty portrayal of the period it's set in, which I think is probably the best approach when writing a murder mystery (they really don't lend themselves to coziness) and the main character has a darkly numerous outlook on life which is quite engaging and aga
P. Christopher Colter
This book was okay. I have to admit that I only picked it up because it was billed as similar to "The Unquiet Bones" by Mel Starr, which I loved, and it was only 99 cents.

I won't go over the details of the plot, other than to say it is the story of a washed-up knight named Stephen in medieval England who is now making his way in the world as deputy coroner in a small village. When some murders occur in his jurisdiction, Stephen sees a connection and takes it upon himself to solve them.

The period
Apr 07, 2014 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: historic-fiction
The Girl in the Ice is the first book I read in the Stephen Attebrook series by Jason Vail. I liked it, but it wasn't a book that I loved. It is the latest in the series, and it appears that this one of those series that need to be read in order. I decided to begin at the beginning.

I found The Wayward Apprentice, the first in the series and discovered that I liked it much better than The Girl in Ice. Was it because I already had some familiarity with the main characters? Or is it really a better
Francis Mulhern
Oct 23, 2015 Francis Mulhern rated it really liked it
Vail writes in a very simplisitic fashion, yet still manages to develop good characters. Stephen Atterbrook is a down on his luck Knight returned from Spain and living at a local Inn in Ludlow. He takes up the case of a wayward apprentice which leads to a series of events and murder which all intertwine in what becomes a good story.
Atterbrook has a past, and is portrayed as someone who had a lot and lost it all. His grumpy attitude, his position in life and his quick witted remarks (especially w
Annie Thompson
Mar 21, 2016 Annie Thompson rated it it was amazing
Great read with lots of action!

Well fleshed out and like able characters with an engaging plot. Wonderful use of imagery. I was on the edge of my seat a few times!
Lyn Hood
Feb 11, 2014 Lyn Hood rated it it was amazing
I read this four book series backwards; this is the first of the lot. The Wayward Apprentice introduces the character of Stephen Attebrook, a knight who recently lost 1/2 his foot, his fortune, and his wife in Spain. The description of the effect of these events have for a man living in 12th century England, what it means to be a younger son of a landed family, and the attitudes and daily life for such a man is as interesting as the main story. I enjoy how the author has obviously researched the ...more
Mar 09, 2016 Marv rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
I found this book quite enjoyable. The characters and plot were well done. I would've gladly given it a four-star rating, but I was annoyed by the poor proofreading and copy editing. For example, not just once, but twice, the word "principle" was used, instead of the correct word "principal." Worse, there was one other occurrence of confusion of homonyms. There were sentences with missing words or doubled words. Still worse, there was one instance where the word used was somewhat similar to what ...more
Karen Brooks
Feb 14, 2013 Karen Brooks rated it really liked it

Recommended to me by a good friend after I placed a social media call-out for books set in medieval times that I haven’t read (it’s becoming harder!), I purchased The Wayward Apprentice by Jason Vail, not really knowing what to expect. At 99 cents on Amazon, it’s beyond a bargain and, I have to say here (as both a writer and reader), that it astonishes me that books can be sold so cheaply – especially when you consider the labour and love, the research and time that goes into the production neve
Jul 16, 2013 Tisha rated it really liked it
A medieval mystery set in 13th century England, focusing on Stephen Attebrook, a knight fallen on hard times after losing a foot during battle with the Moors. He ends up in a small village as the deputy coroner and immediately becomes embroiled in a drowning/murder. He has a great sidekick in Gilbert and the relationship b/w Gilbert and Edith is fun without diverting from the story.

This is a light, fun book. It isn't meant to be a treatise on medieval history, merely a fun book with a not-too-co
Alison Dellit
I picked this up because it was dirt cheap, and the period setting is a good one. The book has strong elements - a grittier look at life than medieval crime often engages with, and some distinctly drawn characters. Probably the biggest strength is the loose intersection of the plot with the political intrigue leading up to the civil war. However, the book isn't the most memorable.
Susan Johnson
Oct 17, 2012 Susan Johnson rated it liked it
This book takes place in 1262 when a poor knight takes the job of deputy coroner in Ludlow. He was injured in battle with the Moors and is just scraping by. He goes out to investigate a death apparently by drowning and discovera a murder. I thought it was great that the jury comes out to the place of death and views the body. Talk about immediate justice.
As he investigates this murder, he takes the case of finding a run away apprentice. As he juggles the two cases, he must fight off attackers an
Dennis M
Sep 04, 2015 Dennis M rated it liked it
A good read that could use an editor's touch at some points, not enough to mar the flow, but an occasional stumble. Another discovery from the Kindle Unlimited list.

Interesting characters and settings, nice period detail. Plot is a bit hard to follow occasionally, becomes easier as one becomes more familiar with the characters.

I will try the second in the series at some point.
In the same genre as the King's Hounds, or Mel Starr's books, although the central characters are not quite as well drawn.

I enjoyed it and may well read another in the series at some time - but I don't feel compelled to dash and buy one straight away.
Dec 14, 2013 Gigi rated it really liked it
Very interesting story....familiar some how. I read a lot of historical fiction. This reminds me a bit of Ariana Franklin's book series, that begins with The Mistress of the Art of Death (a superb book). But this book is not as dark, or in-depth. If reading a murder mystery set in 1262 England could be called "a light read," this book may be it. Which of course does not diminish the enjoyment of the book, but merely puts it in context. There is much that can be expounded upon in later books: fur ...more
Mar 30, 2016 Janet rated it it was amazing
I began this book with an open mind - Stephen is an interesting character with a unique background, and a family of characters surrounding him that pulls the reader into their lives. I enjoyed this mystery very much.
stuart boyden
May 29, 2016 stuart boyden rated it liked it
Easy read

Pleasant little book not too deep,a good read to those who want something easier to occupy themself,will recommend the others in series to see how character developed.
Feb 18, 2015 Judy rated it liked it
This was interesting and I'd like more of the back story on Stephen, but the writing was a little uneven. I have the next three books to read, maybe the writing will get better.
Marcy Schroeder
Feb 11, 2015 Marcy Schroeder rated it it was amazing
Good hero

I will continue to read this series. Enjoyable. Action is good and not too lengthy. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to read historical mysteries.
Robert Davidson
Jun 15, 2011 Robert Davidson rated it really liked it
The Wayward Apprentice has an unadorned opening, with an undefined, underlying menace that bodes well for the reader. The prose is graphic and optimally captures the ambience of medieval Ludlow and its environs. The characters develop into three dimensional players, with intriguing but human defects that add to the realism of the work, and the plot, while not convoluted, holds the reader’s interest. One minor observation is that the prose could be tightened on occasion—but only marginally and th ...more
Apr 14, 2012 V rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
In this medieval mystery, a young knight (Attebrook) begins his career as a coroner, encountering multiple unexplained deaths. The action begins quickly and the initial mystery is laid out clearly, but before long the story takes on many twists. Although not confusing, the multiple twists and red herrings leave the reader wondering "whodunit?" until the very end. Once the multiple mysteries are solved, and the reader expects the denouement, the action continues with one last breathtaking scene b ...more
Cindy Lea
Jul 10, 2014 Cindy Lea rated it really liked it
Entertaining read...

while not mentally challenging with its current verbiage use, it was a very quick and entertaining read and hope to zoom through more by this author!
Frank D
Jun 18, 2014 Frank D rated it liked it
Good enough of a start to make me want some more. Characters are engaging plot was not that compelling.
Jan 23, 2014 Hannah rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting book. Not just for the story line, which I thought was rather original, but for the glimpse this story provided as to how the justice system worked back in the day. Would definitely read the other books in this series.
Mar 11, 2015 Aspin rated it it was ok
No proof reading. Here's a quote from the book.
"Stephen squeezed around a cart blocking the gate, getting a good whiff brine from the barrels in carried."
That's classy writing?
j bradshaw
Jan 23, 2014 j bradshaw rated it liked it
Medieval mystery

entertaining mystery set in a turbulent period of English history. The author could have shown more of the rift between the Crown and the Barons. Perhaps he is saving that story line for later.
Mar 31, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it
I found it enjoyable for the price. I also like period fiction. I'm interested in learning more about Stephen's life and how he fell down on his luck.
Mark Vargo
Jul 13, 2015 Mark Vargo rated it liked it
Worth checking out the rest of the series.
May 11, 2013 George rated it really liked it
A Stephen Attebrook mystery set in September, 1262 in the small town of Ludlow, England. Attebrook is an impoverished crippled (lost part of a foot fighting in Spain) who is seeking to earn a merger living by taking the position of deputy coroner. Attebrook rules that a death is an accidental drowning which turns out to be a murder, and he must find the killer with little evidence pointing the way. The case quickly becomes much complicated involving a run away apprentice and intrigue.

Sep 11, 2012 Lesley rated it it was ok
I enjoy historical fiction and mysteries, so thought I'd give this book a go. I liked the characters, the plot moved along at a good pace and there was enough of a medieval feel to make me believe in it. I can't say it's the best of its kind but it was a good enough read, especially for it's low kindle price, but I did think the author should have used a decent proof-reader before publishing. I would read more in the series if I found them at the same price.
Roy Rogers
Jun 21, 2012 Roy Rogers rated it liked it
solid book. i generally dislike historical fiction but enjoyed this one a good deal. very well done action sequences and a very good pseudo-noir character. avoids many of the exhausting trappings/pitfalls of the genre it plays with (historical fiction, noir, etc.).

could use some serious editing, but the mistakes do not make the book unreadable by any means.

also: it is .99 cents on amazon kindle and thus is very much worth your money.
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“He’s by the fence over there,” Stephen pointed to a legless man a few feet away by the gate to the inn’s yard. Harry had undone himself from his board and was sitting with his leg stumps splayed out, whittling on a small piece of wood. Already its end resembled the figure of a man tugging a noose about his neck. Harry was only a few years older than Stephen, hardly thirty, but with a ratty beard that hung down to his chest, wild hair and crazy blue eyes, he seemed far older. He had been a free farmer once, but then a cart had rolled over his legs. Gangrene had set in and a barber surgeon amputated both legs above the knee. Most men would have died, but Harry had held on. He was a beggar now.” 0 likes
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