THE RIVERWOMAN'S DRAGON by Candace Robb - Excerpt

When the wise woman Magda Digby is suspected of murder, Owen Archer sets out to prove her innocence in this intricately plotted medieval mystery.

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The Riverwoman's Dragon

May, 1375. Owen Archer returns from London to find York in chaos. While the citizens are living in terror of the pestilence which is spreading throughout the land, a new physician has arrived, whipping up fear and suspicion against traditional healers and midwives. With the backing of the new archbishop, he is especially hostile towards Magda Digby, the wise woman who has helped and healed the people of York for many years. At the same time, Magda is uneasy about the arrival of two long-lost kinsfolk. Though they say they are seeking her help, she senses a hidden agenda.

Magda’s troubles deepen when she discovers a body in the river near her home – and finds herself under suspicion of murder. Days later, fire rips through a warehouse in the city. Amongst the charred debris lies the body of a man – not burned, but stabbed in the back. Could there be a connection to the corpse in the river?

Determined to prove Magda’s innocence, Owen sets out to find answers – but the more he uncovers, the deeper the mystery becomes . . .


Enjoy an Excerpt from

The Riverwoman's Dragon

York, mid May 1375

Water was her element, despite the fiery reputation. In the liminal light of late evening she played in the River Ouse, leaving a trail of silver droplets as she arched and dove, reemerging from the peat-brown water, shaking her head, arching and diving once more, circling the rock that had been her home this long while. The ease, the grace, the joy of movement reminded Magda Digby of a time when her own body sliced through chilly waters alongside the most beautiful man she had ever known. She followed the happy memory as a scent on the wind and a taste of salt in the brown water signaled the turning of the tide in the loamy water of the Ouse. Until the gentle splash of an oar called her back to her seat in the doorway of her home on the rocky island in the Ouse. Slipping back onto the roof, the dragon gave one more shake, droplets raining down on Magda, and resumed her watch.

A coracle emerged from the fog thrown up by the dragon play. Magda wondered whether it would be Sten. For why else the recent tidal wave of memories? But he had doubtless died of old age years ago. Their son? She walked to the edge of the rock, calling to the passenger to toss her the line. As she secured it on the stake driven into the rock she noted that the river lad’s companion was too short to be Sten. Their son? Grandson? There must be a reason Sten haunted her dreams. But as he turned to toss the line she saw that her visitor had nothing to do with her distant past.

It was Sam Toller, Guthlac Wolcott’s factor, or agent for trade, his face creased with worry as he disembarked. She might guess that at last old Guthlac had let go the incompetent leech attending him and sent for her but that Sam pulsed with fear for himself, his family…and her. Perhaps the leech had stirred up more trouble? Or was she sensing Sam’s fear of the pestilence? Both, most likely.

End of Excerpt.

The Riverwoman’s Dragon ©2021 Candace Robb. Shared with permission.

The Author

Author Candace Robb

I’m Candace Robb, a writer/historian engaged in creating fiction about the late middle ages with a large cast of characters with whom I enjoy spending my days. Two series, the Owen Archer mysteries and the Kate Clifford mysteries, are set in late medieval York. The Margaret Kerr trilogy is set in early 14th century Scotland, at the beginning of the Wars of Independence. Two standalone novels (published under pseudonym Emma Campion) expand on the lives of two women in the court of King Edward III who have fascinated me ever since I first encountered them in history and fiction.

I am a dreamer. Writing, gardening, walking, dancing, reading, being with friends—there’s always a dreaming element.



Genre: Historical Mystery

Publisher: Severn House

Series: (Book 13 in the Owen Archer series)

Release: June 1, 2021

Type: Novel

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Limited-Time Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of The Riverwoman’s Dragon by Candace Robb! We have 1 copy available to the US and 1 to the UK.

The giveaway ends November 1, 2021. You must be 18 or older to enter. Void where prohibited by law. This giveaway is sponsored by the author and hosted by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.


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