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De marskamer en de dood (Roger de marskramer, #1)
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De marskamer en de dood

(Roger the Chapman #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  883 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Eigenlijk was het de bedoeling dat hij monnik zou worden, maar als novice houdt Roger het in het klooster niet erg lang uit. Zonder vrijheid kan hij niet en hij besluit als marskramer langs de wegen van Zuid-Engeland te gaan trekken. Marskramers waren in de Middeleeuwen vaak de enigen die als vreemden in de kleinste dorpjes kwamen, en Rogers onderzoekende geest brengt hem ...more
Paperback, 254 pages
Published October 2003 by Abc Uitgeverij (first published October 3rd 1991)
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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
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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
Oct 24, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wanda by: Bettie
24 OCT 2015 - recommended by Bettie. This one checks all the boxes of that which I love! Thank you!
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
John Lee
I am not quite sure how I found this one. I suspect that it was a recommendation based on previously enjoyed books of the genre.
It was a gentle enough introduction to Roger which also taught me the origin of the surname.
The story and characters were easy enough to follow although I found the brief lesson on the monarchy at the end of the 15th century more difficult.
I liked the premise that the story was being recorded by Roger as an old man for the benefit of his children and grandchildren and
Ann Buechler
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
have read every one and love them
Jill Martin
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
May 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 01, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Darkpool by: Gill
Shelves: read-in-2011
A perfectly nice little mystery, with an engaging protagonist. Looking forward to reading more in the series.
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a fan of medieval mysteries, especially ones with an ecclesiastical bent this one works for me right off the bat. Roger Carverson, known in this book and I get the impression from here on in as Roger the Chapman, or as is it was usual at the time to use a profession as a surname, Roger Chapman, is just starting on the road as a solver of mysteries. In both a figurative and literal sense. Having left behind the cloistered life of a novitiate, knowing that he truly was not suited to a ...more
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure at first if I'd like this book. But after a few pages, I really began to enjoy it.
Roger the chapman (a seller of items such as ribbons, needles, thread, etc. from a backpack) was educated in a local monastery near Glastonbury, where the Benedictine monks taught him to read and write. Roger's mother dies and he leaves the monastic life behind him to go travelling. He wants to go to London to make his fortune.
Along the way, Roger meets many interesting people, some of whom share
Set in 1471 England, Roger Carverman begins his new career as a chapman, a seller of notions and baubles. Even though he's left a religious life, he's still smart, reads, writes, and is good at solving puzzles. What a puzzle! He must discover where three men have disappeared to after staying at the Cross Hands inn.

What a tangled tale, what great imagery, and on the mystery that will surprise you at the very end of this tale.

While reading this mystery, you'll learn about what people ate, wore,
Aug 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Blah to unlikable protagonist who just stumbles into things and really was more the final almost victim of the killer(s) than he was a detective - in any sense of the word. Okay, he was trying to solve the mystery, but his "investigation" consisted mainly of conveniently meeting people. I guess that would've been forgivable if he were more likable, but he wasn't.

Also, I have no idea why the person who involved him in the mystery to start with even did so. (view spoiler)
Kathy Piselli
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This first story of the Chapman is printed in a way that makes it seem older than it is, lending an atmosphere to a story taking place in the late 15th century. Sedley's writing, too, does a good job of conveying that atmosphere – the custom of urinating indoors, in an upstairs room, rather than going outside in the night cold, for example. Pulling corpses out of the river, stripping them for clothing to sell, then throwing the naked corpses back into the river. Yes, the past is another country.
Cindy (motsetgourmandises)
I love historical mysteries and the time period of this series, the end of the war of the roses, was interesting, but there was barely any plot. Roger Chapman is bring into the mystery in a very awkward way which didn't make any sense and then it was just a bunch of coincidences upon coincidences without any real investigation and clues. But Roger said again and again that it wasn't coincidences but God sending him messages. I'm not sure I'm gonna continue with this series.
Yuliya Polivanova
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-books
I am very satisfied within the story it has sequels after that it was the first book for Weaver's hidden story. I like this book just for the author's words and her narrative style. I received so much joy to read this book. I advice this book to read for people after 50+ they like such kind of quiet stories like Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle-Kate Sedley use the same style like those authors.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the series. It is not the best written book but still it had an interesting premise and the main character is endearing. Sedley's use of history was not well incorporated in the story. The mystery was very easy to see through but Chapman's slowness in solving it is attributed to his youth and inexperience so that worked.
Michael McCue
Pretty good medieval mystery. Roger doesn't want to stay home in Wells and become a stone carver like his father so he gets a back and becomes a traveling peddler or chapman. On his travels who learns about some people who suddenly never to be seen again disappeared in London. Roger promises the father of a missing young man that he will look into it when he gets to London. Adventures follow.
Good little story with good characters. Very much like brother Caedfel without the monastery and the medicinal angles. The historical content is weak and a little confusing.
All in all a good read for miserable days.
Indroneel Das
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A simple detective novel set in the backdrop of 14th century England. A pleasant read.
1471 London about a peddler that solves a murder mystery
Clif Hostetler
Oct 19, 2011 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
Jan McClintock
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.
Miles Atkinson
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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

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)