Apothecary Rose is a book that combines a couple of my favorite things. It's a mystery; it's written by a woman; and it's set in medieval times. Owen Archer is the hero/detective of the 14th century tale, a Welshman who lost an eye in the "wars in France" and now makes his living as "an honest spy" in the employ of the Archishop of York. Apothecary Rose is the first in the series, which now number in the double digits. While Owen is the protagonist of the books, his "supporting cast" includes a couple of strong female characters--his apothecary wife Lucie, and Bess Merchet, a local tavern keeper.
Candace Robb has a PhD in medieval literature, and the books are full of all sorts of vivid details that make the time period come to life. She also writes a series of novels about Margaret Kerr, which are set in 13th century Scotland. Margaret's first "case" involves her own missing husband (A Trust Betrayed), I find it kind of amazing that A Trust Betrayed has only 17 reviews on Amazon while other books (Gone Girl comes to mind) have thoursands. (Gone Girl, in case you're wondering, has more than 18,000 reviews. I liked it too but really? Eighteen thousand and Candace only gets 17? The balance seems a bit off.)
Candace's books are cozies, and sometimes, after a long day of dealing with clients, that's just what I'm in the mood for. If you are too, and you've already read all of the Brother Cadfael books twice, check out Candace's books.