Crispin Guest Medieval Noir Series #5
Minotaur Books, October 2012
In this, the fifth book in the Crispin Guest, medieval noir series, the hero’s mystery solving skills are once again complicated by his attraction to a beautiful woman. But is she someone who needs protection, or is she a woman from whom Crispin needs protection?
Crispin, his knighthood taken away years before on a charge of treason, has been known to drown his sorrows in strong wine— whenever he can afford it. On a cold October night, he is making his way home long after curfew when a body plunges from London Bridge into the Thames right in front of him. He goes into the icy water after the man in an ill-judged attempt to save him, but is too late. The man, a well-known armourer, is dead. His neighbors, and especially his fiancee, the beautiful Anabel, all say he committed suicide. Crispin thinks differently. Crispin, after all, is known as The Tracker for his ability to hunt down criminals and solve baffling crimes.
Crispin and his apprentice, Jack Tucker, are soon involved in what becomes a most puzzling case. They discover the armourer has been working on a piece guaranteed to make the wearer invincible in battle. A spear, actually a holy relic, is involved, and so are men of the highest order, including Geoffrey Chaucer. Jack and Crispin come close to death several times as they work to solve this murder.
Ms. Westerson’s research is impeccable. From the visor on a knight’s helm, to his sword, and even to the armour his horse wears, the reader is treated to a true picture of the times. Clothing, food, dwellings, all are spot on, for the lowest servant all the way up to the king. Sword fights are accurately orchestrated.
The creation of a detective series set in the 14th Century is a stroke of genius for an excellent writer who brings the times to glowing life. And Jeri Westerson does just that. I can almost guarantee you’re going to be hooked on the Crispin Guest adventures.
Reviewed by Carol Crigger, October 2013.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.