NB: This review I originally posted in 2005, but it got flushed when I rebooted the blog. Someone searched for it today from a LibraryThing link, so I figured I’d put it back up! Let’s give it up for younger me!

The Apothecary Rose : An Owen Archer Mystery by Candace Robb

I also decided that I should be doing nanoremo as well as nanowrimo, so I’ve been juggling a few, this one, Post Captain by Patrick O’Brien and the Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I’ll post those up when I’m done with them.

The Apothecary Rose is a mystery set in 1300s England, York to be exact. It follows our hero, a half blind ex-archer who is employed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to discover why and how one of his wards had died. There was foul play afoot, and Archer has to discover it, as well as gain the trust of the female apothecary that he is using as a front.

This book was interesting enough. It was a bit light of substance, for instance I did not really get the feeling that the action was taking place in medieval times from the interactions of the characters, and I felt that most of the characters were one dimensional, and used only as plot devices.

That being said, I read the book in one sitting. The scenery was very well done, and did give a sense of place and time, and the pacing as the end of the book approached picked up nicely. The climax came a bit early, though, leaving a bit of an awkward denouement. This was probably to help set up the next book (which I have beside me, The Lady Chapel), but still, Ms. Robb could have saved it for then.