cover image Season of Blood: A Crispin Guest Medieval Noir

Season of Blood: A Crispin Guest Medieval Noir

Jeri Westerson. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8747-4

At the start of Westerson’s solid 10th medieval mystery (after 2016’s A Maiden Weeping), Crispin Guest, a former knight who now investigates crimes for six pence a day, notices he’s being followed one cold March night through the narrow lanes of London. Crispin manages to waylay his pursuer, who turns out to be a beautiful young woman seeking his services. They withdraw to a small house Crispin has a key to, where the woman asks him to find her niece, who has fallen into the clutches of Simon Winchcombe, a vile seducer who just happens to be Crispin’s nemesis. Before Crispin can learn the woman’s name, there’s a knock at the door. He opens it and has to quickly sidestep the falling body of a Cistercian monk with a dagger in his back. The unknown woman disappears, but that doesn’t stop Crispin, who has a strong sense of justice, from trying to help her niece—and going after the monk’s killer. Fans of 20th-century noir will relate to Crispin, who doesn’t say no to a drink and is a sucker for damsels in distress. Agent: Joshua Bilmes, JABberwocky Literary. (Jan.)