Sword of Shadows

Jeri Westerson. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8921-8
An improbable narrative hook—a search for Excalibur—hampers Westerson’s 13th medieval noir (after 2019’s Traitor’s Codex). Disgraced English knight Crispin Guest (aka the Tracker) is shopping at a London swordsmith for a new dagger for his apprentice, Jack Tucker, when shady treasure hunter Carantok Teague offers the sleuth a lucrative job. In 1377, Teague got permission from the current king’s grandfather, Edward III, to dig for treasure across the kingdom on condition that any gold recovered be handed over to the crown. Now, in 1396, Teague is on the trail of the ultimate prize—King Arthur’s legendary sword itself, which his research causes him to believe is in Tintagel, Cornwall, Arthur’s birthplace. Guest and Tucker accept the gig, an assignment that leads them to probe multiple murders and an encounter with a femme fatale who may be responsible for them. Anachronistic language (“do some damage”) doesn’t help with suspending disbelief. With this series nearing its end, fans can only hope it goes out on a high note. Agent: Joshua Bilmes/JABberwocky Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/15/2020
Release date: 04/01/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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