Blood and Roses: One Family's Struggle and Triumph During the Wars of the Roses.
Helen Castor gives us so much more than Paston letters! She has delved deep into other clues and provides amazing insights into the thinking and the legal system of 14th and 15th century England.
For example, I have not found in other histories particular mention that there was neither a standing army nor a police force at that time. Citizens were expected to capture and deal with their own criminals. Yikes! In the heat of the moment, folks can so easily be dead wrong.
I am enjoying Matthew Lewis's The Wars of the Roses: The Key Players in the Struggle for Supremacy. His other non-fiction is also about this era so I know he has invested his time in that instead of dancing off to the Norman Conquest or WWII. He manages to include a great deal about motivations without claiming to read anybody's mind.
Then there's his prose: "..strong enemy's watched from just across the border, their menacing presence like the bright eyes of hungry wolves glinting in the dark forest of an uncertain future."
In The Woodvilles: The Wars of the Roses and England's Most Infamous Family, Susan Higginbotham takes on the slander against that remarkable family with a proper legal approach and a great deal of digging into the legal papers of the time.
Arlene Okerlund's Elizabeth Wydeville: The Slandered Queen is also an excellent and interesting source. Any speculation is clearly noted.
George Goodwin Fatal Colours: Towton 1461 England's Most Brutal Battle George Goodwin does not rely too much on what he learned majoring in history, but avails himself of the latest research and digs into the archeology. From these he gives us an interesting tale of the background of the battle and a peek into the logistics behind such huge armies.
Do you know how the medieval archers got their arrows so high? They strung their bows with cannibus.
The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter. Allan and Elizabeth Kronzcks book is actually an encyclopedia of magic from various countries. It even includes what centuries certain things were believed. 'Tis very useful to someone trying to understand the thinking of 15th century people. (They had no problem with black cats or the number thirteen.)
The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer. This is my answer book, even though I am writing about the next century. It not only has highways, clothing, and prices; it has a chapters on medicine and law. Now I know that Anthony's work as a justice of the peace would be right around his manor and King's Lynn.
Peter Tremayne celebrates the highly civilized land of 7th century Ireland with his series of mysteries. They are solved by Fidelma. Besides a detective, she is an Irish princess, a 'nun', and a lawyer.
In Behold a Pale Horse, Peter Tremayne has Fidelma in Italy where murder stocks a monastery. Is it due to the lure of a legendary Roman treasure?
Skipping to another century, I enjoyed Drums of Change by Janette Oke. Most of the characters are of the Canadian Blackfoot nation. The missionery among them helps them transition into an English- speaking world with such exotic things as stoves and trains.