cover image Blood Lance: A Crispin Guest Medieval Noir

Blood Lance: A Crispin Guest Medieval Noir

Jeri Westerson. Minotaur, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-00018-7

Clever twists and convincing period detail make Westerson's fifth 14th-century historical featuring disgraced knight Crispin Guest (after 2011's Troubled Bones) one of her best, though she's not yet at the top level of the medieval subgenre. After a successful battle against some thuggish members of the London Watch, Guest sees a man plunge into the Thames from the upper story of a house on London Bridge. Without hesitation, the sleuth dives in after him, only to find that the man is already dead. Guest is skeptical of claims that the deceased, identified as armorer Roger Grey, took his own life, especially after Grey's two apprentices disappear. Sir Thomas Saunfayl, a former comrade-in-arms of Guest, paid Grey a great deal of money to fashion a relic "suitable for a knight" that's now missing, and he hires Guest to recover it. The quest for the relic leads inexorably to the surprising truth about Grey's death. Agent: Joshua Bilmes, Jabberwocky Literary. (Oct.)