||Troubled Bones is the fourth offering in Jeri Westerson’s Medieval Noir series featuring degraded knight Crispin Guest. Years ago, Crispin was snared in a false treason plot contrived by his lord, the Duke of Lancaster, to out the religious heterodox; Crispin made the mistake of staying loyal to the Duke and was subsequently stripped of his title and holdings, forced to make his living as a Tracker, a finder of things and people. Joining him in this work is his adolescent apprentice, Jack Tucker, whom Crispin saved from Newgate Prison (back in The Demon’s Parchment).
A Pardoner, a Miller, a Prioress, a Summoner, a Manciple and a Wife of Bath make a pilgrimage to Canterbury: sound familiar? Westerson has taken Chaucer’s characters–and the poet himself, cast as an old friend of Crispin’s–and seamlessly woven her own mystery around them. The Prioress and Sir Philip Bonefey are feuding over 10 disputed acres, formerly Bonefey’s but recently ceded to the Prioress’s House by an ecclesiastical court headed by Archbishop Courtenay of Canterbury. There’s a murder, then a second, and soon readers are pulled into a tangle of heretical movements, court intrigue, crooked master stonemasons and the missing bones of the blessed martyr Thomas à Becket (if they’re really missing, that is). Aficionados of medieval murder mysteries will delight in Westerson’s accurate period details and an intriguing plot guaranteed to keep the reader guessing into the night. —Judith Hawkins-Tillirson, proprietress, Wyrdhoard Books, and blogger at Still Working for Books
Discover: An intriguing mystery involving a disgraced knight, Chaucer, assorted pilgrims and missing bones.
|Minotaur, $25.99 hardcover, 9780312621636|
Troubled Bones: A Medieval Noir, by Jeri Westerton [first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers, 10/25/11]