Jeri Westerson has given readers a new anti-hero in the person of Crispin Guest. Our hero has all the faults and foibles of a 1940s gumshoe, though the setting is 14th Century London rather than San Francisco or New York.
So, who is Crispin Guest? He is a former knight, now detective, living and working on the mean streets of medieval London. In this latest edition in the chronicles of Crispin, "Blood Lance", our hero and his trusty side-kick Jack Tucker, are on a quest to find the legendary Spear of Longinus.
From Jeri's website:
"The series begins with VEIL OF LIES where Crispin is hired by a jealous husband and falls into murder and international intrigue. The second is SERPENT IN THE THORNS, a medieval thriller wherein Crispin must stop an assassin before he kills the king of England, and the third is THE DEMON’S PARCHMENT, where a sinister killer stalks the streets and alleys of London. The latest, TROUBLED BONES, is a retelling of the Canterbury Tales…with murder."
Readers of this new genre "medieval noir" will have no trouble adopting Crispin as their own and gladly fall in behind as he traverses the seemy side of London in the quest for truth and justice. If you haven't already, one humbly suggests you don't fall too far behind - who knows what dangers lurk in the shadows.
As for "Blood Lance", I loved it - my only regret is not having read the previous four instalments prior to this chapter in the adventures of Jeri's hero, Crispen. I would love to see these books turned into a series along the lines of Cadfael.