I liked this book a great deal and plan to get the second book in the series to continue with it. Setting the stage for the characters and the location slowed down the reading of the book early on, but the history was excellent as was the characterization.
The stage is set for an unusual historical era, Spring 1353 in Oxford is just past the plague or Black Death which took the lives of many. Nicholas Elyot, bookseller, scrivener and former scholar and University fellow is discussing with his motherless children the possibility of adopting a puppy. His sister Margaret, also bereaved and childless , who serves as his housekeeper was against the idea but they agree to give it a try.
Later that day as he was coming from Yardleys farm for goose feather quills for his business he passed over a bridge and came upon a young man floating and dead in the Cherwell River. Two lay brothers of St. John's Hospital help him pull out William Farringdon. Was he a suicide? Was it a murder ?
The crime would occupy his and his friend Jordain as well as his employees in a variety of ways.
Nicholas children and sister, as well as family members of the deceased become at risk as the tale unravels. Recommended for Medieval mystery fans with fine period detail.