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Posts Tagged ‘jeri westerson’

Serpent in the Thorns: A Medieval Noir (Crispin Guest Novels) by Jeri Westerson

Serpent in the ThornsReviewed by Teri Davis

Crispin Guest is not your typical resident of London during the year of 1384. Having grown up in a life of privilege and even becoming a respected knight in service to the king.

When Richard II came to the throne as a boy, many people questioned his right to the crown and whether someone else would be a better leader for the people. Child kings do not possess the wisdom of their elders and the years of life experiences. Crispin’s mentor was one of those who could have claimed a right to the throne.

Through scheming and aligning himself with the wrong people at the wrong time, Crispin found himself in the position of being a threat to the king. Most of those with him were executed, but Guest’s life was saved by the young king only through the intervention of his former mentor. Read the rest of this entry »

The Demon’s Parchment: A Medieval Noir (Crispin Guest Novels) by Jeri Westerson

The Demon's Parchment Reviewed by Teri Davis

Oh, reading a well-written, well-researched, well-organized novel where the crime is horrendous, but the writing is so outstanding that you feel as if you are the investigator is a privilege and luxury. That is reading THE DEMON’S PARCHMENT.

THE DEMON’S PARCHMENT is one of a series in an unusual medieval series which is considered a noir by its darkness and style. This particular novel in Westerson’s Crispin Guest series is the third, following VEIL OF LIES, and SERPENT OF THE THORNS. Previously, I have reviewed the fourth book, Troubled Bones, and enjoyed it so much that I was asked to look at the previous ones. These books can be read as standalone novels, but are definitely better when you know the characters and some of their history.

Crispin Guest is a former knight who lost everything when he was accused of treason and lost his favor with the king. Essentially living minimally in a bare existence now, with his young apprentice, Jack, he works as a Tracker, one who logically tracks from the victim back to the criminals.

Crispin has agreed to find the lost parchments stolen from a Jewish physician residing at the King’s court. This is definitely unconventional since Jews are not allowed to be living in England at this time and were previously expelled. It was generally believed that those of this religion practiced human sacrifice.

Also, Crispin has agreed to help the new sheriff in stopping who is killing young boys in a distinctive gruesome manner. These unfortunate victims though have not been reported as missing. Why would someone give their son to another?

THE DEMON’S PARCHMENT is enthralling. The characters are believable and likable with the murderer always being in disguise. With shared responsibilities, the relationship between Crispin and Jack is strong while neither is without fault. The supporting characters are outstanding with vivid descriptions and definitely showing the “shady” side of London while still demonstrating how nobility was frequently above the law. With actual historical events being intertwined into this story, the reader truly feels like this mystery transports them to another time and place. THE DEMON’S PARCHMENT is not for the feint-of-heart. The descriptions are graphic and gory. However, this novel excels in all categories and proves that Jeri Westerson is a true story teller.

Troubled Bones: A Medieval Noir by Jeri Westerson

Troubled BonesReviewed by Teri Davis

In the year of 1385, Crispin Guest has a new assignment in Canterbury, England protecting the bones of Thomas a Beckett from being stolen and destroyed. Unfortunately, one of the first people he meets there is his old former friend, Geoffrey Chaucer. Obviously, the two forfeited their former friendship and now Crispin visibly shows animosity around Chaucer.

Almost immediately, a prioress is murdered in the exact spot where Beckett was assassinated nearly two-hundred years earlier. Added to that, Beckett’s bones are missing and another unrelated murder occurs. Were Beckett’s bones missing before Crispin came to Canterbury?

With Crispin is Jack Tucker, his young companion and apprentice, who falls in love immediately with a young nun, the one who witnessed the prioress’s murder. Meanwhile, Chaucer is imprisoned by the archbishop who plans to execute him if is Crispin does not discover the real murderer. Read the rest of this entry »