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Shadow of the Alchemist (Crispin Guest Medieval Noir #6)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  246 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
“Creative and enthralling . . . If you enjoy authentic Medieval history combined with modern suspense, this one's for you.” —John Lescroart

Once a Knight of the Realm, Crispin Guest was stripped of his title and his lands and must now earn his meager living through his wits. With the help of his young apprentice, reformed thief Jack Tucker, Guest is known to certain populat
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by Minotaur Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Crispin is a cool, badass dude who just has to be drop dead gorgeous, right? Only he missed out on the "stay out of trouble" gene. I love his adventures, and his sidekick Jack.

And (no fair peeking ahead) this one has a really satisfying ending tidbit.
Ken Kugler
Feb 23, 2014 Ken Kugler rated it it was amazing
First thing I have to say is that I love this series. This latest addition to the series is #6 and Jeri Westerson, the author, clearly loves her characters and the time period. I swear I can smell the filth of the streets and the poor side of town that Crispin Guest and his apprentice Jack live in. The Cheapside is a long fall for a former knight and one who fell by believing someone he had looked up to for guidance. Only through luck and Crispin's skills as a Tracker (detective) has he been abl ...more
Jan 04, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it
Very good entry in this series, mysteries solved by Crispin Guest, a disgraced and disinherited former knight. Currently known as The Tracker and excellent at finding things, Guest resides in a disreputable section of London in 14th century England. Here Crispin is hired by a French alchemist of note to find his kidnapped wife/partner. The ransom is The Philosopher's Stone, the secret to making the Elixir of Life and turning dross objects into gold. Possibilities abound, as do the clues - puzzli ...more
Blair Hodgkinson
Jun 03, 2016 Blair Hodgkinson rated it really liked it
Jeri Westerson once again weaves a tale that blends gritty medieval violence with high adventure surrounding an object of supernatural significance. This time, Crispin Guest must unravel the mysteries connecting an alchemist's missing wife, the watchful gaze of a secret brotherhood, mysterious deaths, baleful sheriffs, political intrigue and conspiracy while hoping against hope that his old friend, Henry of Derby, is not involved in the worst of the unfolding events which threaten the peace and ...more
Mary Keesling
Nov 05, 2013 Mary Keesling rated it it was amazing
Fantastic reading, I've read the other in this series, and by this point I'm well and truly spoiled! Crispin Guest, our protagonist, has a brilliant mind, a fine moral compass, a great heart, and an amazing past-- he was once a knight of the realm!-- but no longer. He's barely getting by in late 14th century London, solving crimes and locating lost items (and/or people) by his wits. He has a very bright and very real apprentice, Jack, an orphan who scraped by as a pickpocket. I am absolutely hoo ...more
Feb 14, 2016 Susie rated it really liked it
Real rating - 4.5. I love these Crispin Guest "Medieval Noir" mysteries. This one is especially good. Crispin and Jack are stronger in terms of their character growth as well as their working relationship. I don't know what is next for Crispin Guest but I do know I check Fantastic Fiction and Jeri Westerson's website for updates on future novels with some regularity and I'm always the first to request the newest installment.
Nov 30, 2013 Rick rated it really liked it
Just finished reading Shadow of the Alchemist (A Crispin Guest Medieval Noir) by Jeri Westerson. I highly recommend all of her novels. This was intense action and mystery, still wondering about a few things myself. I know this was the intention...or I'm pretty certain Jeri wanted to leave us wanting more.
I look forward to the next Crispin and Jack adventure.
Jan 04, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Westerson's blending of history and her own imagination creates a medieval London that is rich and fascinating. Crispin Guest is a great hero, and the historical characters come to life quite believably. The stories are always interesting and never quite turn out the way you think they will.
GEPL Staff Picks
This medieval mystery continues to be fun with engaging characters and time period detail. This is the most recent addition to the series so start at the beginning (Veil of Lies) if you want to get the whole story!
Jan 04, 2014 Denise rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable. The plot got a little convoluted towards the end, but the characters and the historical detail were believable and captivating. This is my first book by Jeri Westerson, I'm looking forward to reading more.
Oct 08, 2014 Ann rated it really liked it
Just like the previous five books in this Medieval Noir series, Shadow of the Alchemist has Crispin Guest, the former knight, tracking what he has been hired to find. This time his client is Nicholas Flamel, the famous French alchemist. Thrust into the secretive and little-understood business that is alchemy, Crispin needs to call upon all his smarts and experience in observation to uncover the truth, even from his client. Jack Tucker, Crispin's apprentice, continues to show promising signs of b ...more
Laura Ruetz
Apr 07, 2014 Laura Ruetz rated it it was amazing
More Crispen Guest! With Shadow of the Alchemist we are taken back, once again to medieval London. I love mysteries, I love history, and I love these books. Crispin is a disgraced knight, working as a tracker, a finder of things, along with his apprentice, Jack. Through the books, we have seen Jack grow and it is always enjoyable to see him continue on his journey to adulthood. The Crispen books all center around a relic, but in this book, it is not a religious relic that is the focus, it is the ...more
Jan 11, 2014 eyes.2c rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oct 14, 2013 Am pretty excited about this but am saving the pleasure for a long flight

Jan 11, 2014 I do subscribe to Jeri Westerson's newsletter and read her blog
When she asked us to preorder I did. How could I not.? Crispin Guest is so much a wonderful character.
This treat has been sitting in my eBook collection since October. Talk about delayed gratification. But I was waiting for a special moment to savour this reading. These are the times when I wish
Pamela Hofman
Nov 02, 2013 Pamela Hofman rated it it was amazing
My only complaint about this book was that it ended. I was enjoying it so much that I wanted to read slowly to make it last, but alas, found it too much fun to put down. I have loved every book in this series and found the progression and growth of the main characters, Crispin Guest and Jack Tucker, believable and satisfying. Crispin is a disgraced knight who freely admits his own guilt as the cause of his fall from grace, yet simultaneously has the most personal integrity of any other character ...more
Fred Rauch
May 04, 2014 Fred Rauch rated it it was amazing
Ms Westerson has written 6 books involving Chrispin Guest as her "tracker". This is book 6. I guess it is not so much the book as Guest himself I enjoy so much. He used to be a knight of the realm who trusted the wrong people (his godfather) and lost everything except his life when the plot to overthrow the king failed. Through all his troubles, he remained true to his beliefs. This is the part I admire so much about him. Shadow of the Alchemist traces his hunt for an alchemist's wife and involv ...more
Hazel West
Nov 14, 2013 Hazel West rated it really liked it
Maybe not my personal favorite in the series, but still an entertaining, enjoyable read as always, and the end was especially lovely. The only thing that kept this from being quite as good as some of the others was that it was a little slow for the first half, though I did enjoy the riddles and such (I always like things like that.) Frankly, I found Avelyn annoying, I was with Jack on my impression of her. I'm so sad to see my Jack growing up, he's not going to be my adorable curly ginger boy fo ...more
May 12, 2015 Denise rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Jeri Westerson's Crispin Guest series never disappoints. In book 6, Crispin encounters yet another intriguing historical figure: alchemist Nicholas Flamel, who hires the Tracker to find his missing wife. The case rapidly becomes more complicated than it seems at first glance as it turns out that Perenelle Flamel has been abducted, the alchemist's apprentice turns up brutally murdered and it appears that Henry Bolingbroke, Crispin's old friend and son of his former patron the duke of Lancaster, m ...more
Jan 11, 2014 Kerry rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this sixth entry into Westerson's Crispin saga. I especially liked the fact that Crispin is softening up a little bit. He's a hard man living a hard life but maybe he's just mellowing with age. I enjoy his interactions with Jack and it's nice to see the inclusion of Henry Bolingbroke, a favorite of Crispin's. The story moved along well and definitely kept my attention.

I really enjoy the aspects of the religious relics in these books. This time we have a magical relic and alchemists. Fu
Kathy Jund
Aug 15, 2014 Kathy Jund rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars!!! Crispin and Jack are led on a merry chase throughout London which tests his skills to the limit, not only trying to find his kidnapped client, but to find the culprit behind a scheme to harm Henry Bolingbroke Lancaster's son. Let alone the new batch of sheriffs (and their henchmen) have no regard for Crispin, added to his plate is to also discover and bring to justice the one responsible for bringing danger to the community which has resulted in over 25 deaths. Add to this the mys ...more
Francis Mulhern
Feb 15, 2016 Francis Mulhern rated it really liked it
Another solid book with an excellent storyline and characters. The series has gotten better and better as it has progressed. Westerson does draw a very real set of characters and the relationships between Guest and his noble 'friends' and his servant/ apprentice are very well written.
This story has a great pace, with some excellent twists and turns ( a little fanciful at times but good nontheless). I've read all the series one after the other and would happily read another 6 if they were availab
Aug 12, 2016 Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is a great addition to a wonderful series. The details of life of the period really makes these books feel real to me. I liked this book, although I didn't give it more stars because I felt it became a little bogged down in the middle. Despite this, I never once thought to put it down. In fact, I raced through the last quarter of the book to the end. I would very much recommend this book and all of the series. I look forward to reading more about this interesting hero and his investigations ...more
Jul 27, 2013 Scott rated it really liked it
finished her new book today and it's one of her best. Just sent her my interview questions. The book itself doesn't come out until Oct. 16 but I have time travel skills when it comes to books.:)

I've interviewed Jeri before and will do so again.last interview with her was here:
Now I want to read Harry Potter again. Nicholas Flamel, indeed!

What can I say? This was another fantastic entry in the Crispin Guest series. I still like Blood Lance the best, but this one was excellent, with alchemy, rebellion stirring, a kidnapped woman, and poison.

*Minor spoiler*
Also, yay sword!!

That is all.
Aug 28, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads

The plot got a little complicated towards the end not my personal favorite in the series but still an entertaining read as always. I did enjoy the riddles and stuff. I especially liked the fact that Crispin is softening up a little bit. The story moved along well and definitely kept my attention.
Edith Maxwell
Dec 07, 2013 Edith Maxwell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Westerson keeps upping the ante on historical noir. I loved this installment of Crispin Guest and Jack. The mystery kept circling around, Jack keeps getting smarter and wiser, and my immersion in early days London was deeper yet. I learned about alchemy without even trying and loved the little twist at the very end, Thank you, Jeri! Now I have to wait for the next book. Sigh.
Lexie Graham
Feb 18, 2015 Lexie Graham rated it liked it
I didn't like this title as much as most of the others in the series but it was still a good read. The plot revolving around alchemy was okay but the little hints about the Philosopher's Stone and the Elixir of Life didn't really fit. The main characters, Crispin and Jack, seemed a little stiff and underdeveloped.
Dec 20, 2013 Carol rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyable book. Love Crispin and Jack and their adventures. This book had a much more historical bent but Sid not distract from the sleuthing and derring do of the main characters. This authoress has a true talent for writing an engaging adventure coupled with action, ro,ance and humor. Keep em coming I say
Mar 30, 2014 Kim rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished
I'm done with these. Although there are never any details, the author has this guy sleep with anyone, plus he's drunk all the time. It is very obnoxious and I can't take it anymore. The stories are good, so it's sad she feels like all the crap has to be included for him to be a 'real man' or whatever.
I received this book through the First Reads program. That in no way affects my judgement. I've read a couple of the previous books in the series. This one is the best so far. The characters are clearly and interestingly drawn. The twists and turns of the mystery are surprising, yet definitely "fair play". The conclusion wraps up the story nicely. I was ready for the next book right away.
Georgia Lengyel
Oct 21, 2014 Georgia Lengyel rated it it was amazing
I haven't read a book of this series recently. Decided to get caught up, so I read the fourth book and now the sixth. A really good series, with most of the historical events of that time mentioned. Enjoyed it very much and couldn't put it down until I was finished.
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Los Angeles native and award-winning author Jeri Westerson writes the critically acclaimed Crispin Guest Medieval Mysteries, historical novels, paranormal novels, and the Skyler Foxe LGBT Mysteries.

Her books have been shortlisted twelve times for a slew of national mystery awards, including the Macavity, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Agatha, and the Shamus, and her sixth in the seri
More about Jeri Westerson...

Other Books in the Series

Crispin Guest Medieval Noir (9 books)
  • Veil of Lies (Crispin Guest, #1)
  • Serpent in the Thorns (Crispin Guest, #2)
  • The Demon's Parchment (Crispin Guest, #3)
  • Troubled Bones (Crispin Guest, #4)
  • Blood Lance (Crispin Guest, #5)
  • Cup of Blood (Crispin Guest #7)
  • The Silence of Stones (Crispin Guest, #8)
  • A Maiden Weeping (Crispin Guest, #9)

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