This is book number 1 in the Kate Clifford series.
The year is 1399 and young widow Kate Clifford just had a world of trouble thrown on her doorstep. She has two young wards by her late husband's mistress to watch out for, King Richard's (the II) men keep raiding her shipments, and, oh, there's a dead body in her guesthouse. Robb has created a masterpiece and one hell of a compelling protagonist. I loved every twist and turn of this most excellent historical mystery.— Ivy
Expertly recreating the social and political upheavals of late medieval Europe, acclaimed author Candace Robb introduces a new series starring Kate Clifford, a woman forged on the warring northern marches of fourteenth-century England.
Political unrest permeates York at the cusp of the fifteenth century, as warring factions take sides on who should be the rightful king-Richard II or his estranged, powerful cousin in exile, Henry Bolingbroke. Independent-minded twenty-year-old Kate Clifford is struggling to dig out from beneath the debt left by her late husband. Determined to find a way to be secure in her own wealth and establish her independence in a male-dominated society, Kate turns one of her properties near the minster into a guest house and sets up a business. In a dance of power, she also quietly rents the discreet bedchambers to the wealthy, powerful merchants of York for nights with their mistresses.
But the brutal murder of a mysterious guest and the disappearance of his companion for the evening threatens all that Kate has built. Before others in town hear word of a looming scandal, she must call upon all of her hard-won survival skills to save herself from ruin.