Christina Hardyment

Author and Journalist

Alyce Chaucer II: Book of the Duchess

The sequel to The Serpent of Division begins six months later in May 1467. An urgent summons from Duchess Cecily Neville, the king’s mother requires Alyce Chaucer to leave the garden and library of Ewelme Palace, her beloved Oxfordshire home, and ride for London to investigate the mysterious murder of a scrivener involved in the management of an illegal printing press.

With her she takes Tamsin, her tiring maid, her secretary Simon Brailles and her Persian physician Farhang Amari. At least she will be able to collect her beautifully illustrated copy of her grandfather’s Canterbury Tales, rebound by her ebullient bookseller friend Joan Moulton. But Joan is preoccupied with preventing bailiffs arresting her widowed goddaughter Kate and discovering the whereabouts of Kate’s kidnapped son. Worse, Alyce’s old enemies are again planning her downfall, this time using her own copy of Canterbury Tales as evidence of treason. An eventful barge journey up the Thames ends in a climax in front of King Edward IV and his conniving queen in Windsor Castle.

I have again published it privately, and it is now available from this website as a limited edition (100 copies) hardback (£20+£3 p&p) or a paperback (£10+£3 p&p). First class postage stays at £3, however many copies you buy. If you are interested in ordering, please press one or both of the payment boxes to the right for a link to Pay Pal – which can charge via your credit card if you don’t have a PayPal account.

It is also available from the White Horse Bookshop, Blackwells and Amazon (all £10 or £20) and as an Amazon Kindle ebook for £3.99

Please spread the word if you’ve enjoyed the two Alyce books. I rely on personal recommendation, as I’m a duffer at social media. I am now revising the third in the series, Murder Will Out, in which the central mystery of the murder of the Duke of Suffolk is revealed after Alyce makes a peril-filled journey to Tintagel in Cornwall. It will be published in October 2024, and if I have your details, you’ll be invited to its launch in Oxford to celebrate the completion of the trilogy.