"Oswald the Thief" A Medieval Caper By Jeri Westerson: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Oswald of Harlech lost his mother early in his life, and sans a father, her one wish was for him to leave Wales, travel to London, and make something of himself. It was a blessing for Oswald when a traveling tinker agreed to take him on as an apprentice, and over the next five years, traveling in and around England, Oswald learned more than the tinker trade. He also perfected the Game: pickpocketing, the Shell, and the more lucrative burglary. After his mentor’s death, Oswald took possession of his tools, finally reached London, and set up his own shop. London, however, is ripe for his other skills, too, especially that which deals with women.

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Oswald the Thief Earns 5+/5 Minstrel Songs…Clever, Witty & Epic Caper!

It’s 1308, London, and although one might have the experience, the skill, and a plan, things can always go wrong, but it was hard to pass on an easy, potentially profitable job. Oswald had wooed the young maid for information about her master’s wealth and had the confidence he’d be able to abscond with a nice haul. He didn’t, however, count on the hidden entrance, a clever trap, a guard, and a disturbed master to impede his escape, but the dead body in the garden is something that’ll come back to haunt him. He did get away, until the next morning…Knock! Knock! Knock! The aggrieved master stood in the doorway, but to Oswald’s surprise the man stood alone, no sheriff to back him up.

Percy de Mandeville, the King’s Keeper of the Wardrobe at the Tower of London, was prepared to have Oswald, and his dim-witted, yet innocent companion Geoff, arrested for theft, but the most shocking and compelling threat, of murder, too. Oswald’s pleas that he got away with none of the man’s wealth and the dead body had nothing to do with him fell on deaf ears. Still more surprising, The Lord Keeper made him “an offer he can’t refuse”…steal the Crown Jewels in return for a percentage of the booty and, more importantly, no hangman’s noose. It appears “he owns me,” but to minimize the threat, Oswald decides, before he engages in what most likely is treason, he needs to know more about that dead body and its connection to the Lord Keeper. He needs a crew! He needs a plan! He needs all the luck he can muster!

Brilliant Fun! Jeri Westerson did not disappoint with this well-written, sometimes intense, “medieval caper” starring the clever, competent, and confidant Oswald the Thief. The plan to steal royal property is an engaging storyline using insider access, recruited friends and experts, and Oswald’s capable skills to accomplish an impossible task, but it is questionable whether or not it is a fool’s errand? Can he pull it off and stave off the Lord Keeper’s threats? The suspicious death of a young man in the Lord Keeper’s household is one way to get the upper hand in this quid pro quo arrangement, but getting information is hindered by the fact the sheriffs in the investigation know him all too well, Lord Keeper is attempting to stonewall any interest, and of course, a lack of any modern tools and forensic knowledge. For quite an exciting drama add to the company a reluctant landlord who knows how to read and write, a simpleton with great skill and greater loyalty, a “not a wench” woman who herself is in jeopardy, an oddball alchemist who has something they need, and a mighty blacksmith whose brawn is valuable. But, there are secrets, two shadows, and a change in the timeline that kept me swiping left. Page turner deluxe! Engaging epic!

Jeri Westerson’s writing style is one I’ve always enjoyed filled with sensory-laden description anchored in medieval society: its environment, its mores, and its class structure. The first-person narrative from Oswald’s perspective is well-written in his voice with words sometimes abbreviated or written using slang and inner thoughts that illustrate well his personality. The characters are quite diverse in class, status, gender, mental acuity, and temperament, and friendship, honor (even among thieves), and justice are prominent themes. The one of many heartwarming highlights is the dynamic between Oswald and his friend Geoff and the surprising and endearing revelations that come about. Excellent entertainment!

Be a Big Fan of Jeri Westerson!

Award winning “author of medieval mysteries, historicals, and paranormals” Jeri Westerson takes readers to different eras, different setting, and different characters, real and unreal. She wrote Roses in the Tempest: A Tale of Tudor England along with my favorite Crispin Guest Medieval Noir series that transports readers to the fourteenth century, the urban fantasy series Booke of the Hidden, and the Enchanter Chronicles, a gaslamp fantasy-steampunk series. She also writes the Moonriser: A Werewolf mystery series, and under the name Haley Walsh, the humorous Skyler Foxe LQBT mysteries.

Facebook: Author Jeri Westerson

Website: Jeri Westerson

To enter to win either an ebook or print copy of Oswald the Thief, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "oswald,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 18, 2022. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. Be sure to state if you want print or ebook. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

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Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This is certainly different! Count me in!

  2. This books sounds like a fascinating rad. I would love a print copy!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  3. Sounds like a fun read. thanks

  4. I'd love to get a print copy! tWarner419@aol.com


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