Convicted of treason, Crispin Guest was stripped of his title, his land, his money and his friends. Now with only his considerable wits to sustain him, Guest works the mean streets of 14th century London, building a small reputation for his skill. In 1383, a simple-minded tavern girl comes to his door―a body was found where she works and she's the only person who could have killed him. Except for the fact that the man was killed in place by a precisely aimed crossbow bolt. Making matters worse, the murdered man was one of three couriers from the French king, transporting a relic intended to smooth the troubled relations between France and England. Events quickly spin out of control and Guest now finds himself the prime suspect in the murder, one with terrible diplomatic implications. As the drumbeat of war between the two countries grow, Guest must unravel the con spiracy behind the murder to save not only his country, but himself as well.
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JERI WESTERSON is a journalist, author of Veil of Lies, and noted blogger on things mysterious and medieval. She lives with her family in Menifee, California.From Publishers Weekly:
Westerson's second medieval mystery to feature former English knight Crispin Guest (after 2008's Veil of Lies) works better as a suspense novel than as a whodunit. Implicated in a plot against Richard II, the disgraced Guest (aka the Tracker) has reinvented himself as an investigator for hire, with both private and public clients. One day in 1384, Grayce, a simpleminded scullion, seeks Guest's help because there's a dead man in her room at the King's Head Inn in Southwark. Grayce claims she killed the man, who turns out to have been a French courier bearing a gift for the English king—the legendary Crown of Thorns, rumored to have been worn by Jesus and to have the ability to confer special powers on its wearer. The Tracker soon finds himself in a political tempest. Westerson's mix of period terms and American tough-guy prose—at one point an archer asks the detective, Didn't you use to be somebody?—may grate on the ears of some historical fans. (Oct.)
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