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Serpent in the Thorns: A Medieval Noir (Crispin Guest Medieval Noir #2)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  393 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Convicted of treason, Crispin Guest was stripped of his title, his land, his money and his friends. Now with only his considerable wits to sustain him, Guest works the mean streets of 14th century London, building a small reputation for his skill. In 1383, a simple-minded tavern girl comes to his door--a body was found where she works and she's the only person who could ha ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 688)
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Rossrn Nunamaker
Reading the first book in the series, I found I liked the fact that the stories are set in medieval times, because it is not what I typically read. I enjoyed the character and how the story progressed. The lone flaw was that the writing in certain spots didn't work for me.

In book 2, I felt the same way. The pacing was good, there were some nice twists as the story progressed. I was glad to see that there wasn't as much interaction with the local sheriff in this book. And the development of Crisp
Former knight turned street detective Crispin Guest begins an investigation into the death of a French courier transporting a holy relic to Richard II. Soon he himself becomes not only a target of the killer but also a prime suspect in an attempt on the king's life. On the run from the authorities and desperate to clear his name by finding the true assassin, he returns to court and discovers more than he bargained for - including the truth behind the plot that led to his downfall and almost cost ...more
Jan 14, 2012 Katherine rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery readers, medieval history readers
Recommended to Katherine by: Independent Authors Guild
Westerson has accomplished an extraordinary rendering of the back streets of London during the early years of the reign of Richard II. If the pace of action seems measured it is because she takes the time to bring the reader into the most intimate contact with her novel's world. And she brings us veritably under the skin of her debased former knight and poverty-stricken sleuth, Crispin Guest.

Finding a suitable language for characters in the past to speak is always a delicate matter. The 19th ce
Peejay Who Once Was Minsma
A 3.5 maybe. Crispin Guest remains a dashing and intriguing character reminiscent of Errol Flynn. His exploits sometimes stretch credulity, but that remains fun rather than irritating to me. I'll continue with the series, but this book read flatter than the first. The plot seemed painfully predictable at times, and for such a smart fellow, Crispin can at times be rather dim. Mostly, I suspect, for the author's convenience in stretching out the mystery. Crispin ignores an obvious clue early on, a ...more
Beth Camp
Jeri Westerson kicks up the intensity in Serpent in the Thornsbook two of her Crispin Guest series. As a writer, I wanted to see what changes she's made since Veil of Lies (book one). Here's what she gives her fans: tight, believable plot; crisp dialogue, escalating conflicts, surprising twists, emotional intensity, and a 14th Century London that comes alive. I was particularly drawn to her deft handling of dialogue tags rather than the more common 'he said' 'she said'. For historical fiction, t ...more
3.5 stars. I really wish Goodreads would figure a way to allow individuals to do half stars.

The second installment in the Crispin Guest series, Spent in the Thorns was a fast paced read. A simpleton comes to Crispin, telling him that she killed a man. Crispin goes with her and finds a man wearing the livery of the French court dead of an arrow shot in her room. With him is a reliquary containing the Crown of Thorns that supposedly adorned Jesus' head at the crucifixion. Those who wear it become
Sep 27, 2009 Maki rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys adventure/mystery
Another great installment by Jeri Westerson. This book was a page turner and a great read. I would have never guessed that I could be hooked by an adventures of a P.I. in Medieval, England, as I pretty much devoured this book in a couple of days. Great writing, and great storyline. I highly recommend this book.
Can't wait for the next one!
Barbara Ardinger
Good twisty-turny plot, honorable outlaw protagonist, good use of history, but really lousy editing. This book was published by a major publisher; who do they hire to edit their books??? The author was very, very poorly served by her publisher. I wish her luck.
K.B. Inglee
Sep 27, 2014 K.B. Inglee rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans
Recommended to K.B. by: the author
Love it. The feel is right for my interpretation of the time. Very sensual; you can almost smell the dung and offal. Just the right amount of violence.
Another fabulous installment in Jeri Westerson's Crispin Guest Medieval Noir series! This story was packed with intrigue, and action, arrows flying all over the place, assassination attempts on kings and nobility, and through it all Crispin serves as the dashing, heroic, honorable (and very banged up) disruptor of plots and solver of mysteries.

I did have the prime conspirators in this story pegged very, very early on, but there were certainly twists that I did not see coming. The mysteries are p
John Lee
This is my second in the adventures of Crispin Guest - degraded knight, and many of the questions that I had after the first book were answered here.
This was an ebook that I started on my reader and maybe got about 25% through when a 'real' book arrived and I started on that instead. It is in this books favour that I could return to it so easily and not have lost track of the story despite the interruption.
It is a good yarn with a reasonable plot and well drawn characters. The 'who-done-it' elem
Kae Cheatham
Source: Public Library
On occasion I enjoy reading books set a very different locale. Since I write American historical fiction and science fiction, I'm drawn to something that isn't in my bailiwick. Serpent in the Thorns certainly fit that.

I was immediately swept into the 14th century London setting. Jeri Westerson does a great job conveying sense of place--one of the keys to keeping me a happy reader.

The mystery involving series protagonist Crispin Guest, was intricate and filled with action a
Did this as a buddy read and wasn't impressed. I've read an awful lot of historical fiction, and while I'll never be a historian, I think I've absorbed a sense for several periods in history, including this one (late 1300s).

It grates on me when a book isn't true to it's time period and setting. The spell of an otherwise good story is easily broken by anachronisms and other errors. A few quickies: the Duke of Lancaster, John of Gaunt, who according to a quick web search is the 16th wealthiest pe
Serpent in the Thorns by Jeri Westerson

Jeri Westerson,Medieval mysteries,noir mysteries,knights

'announce me to you master...the name is Crispin Guest'

Murder and courtly intrigue recalling the people involved in the Tracker’s fall from grace are woven into Book 2 of the Crispin Guest novels including Lancaster, the Abbot of Westminster Abbey, and of course Richard.
As a character, Guest has developed further in Westerson’s second novel. He’s rounding out, has substance and feels like an old friend
Second in this medieval mystery series featuring Crispin Guest, a former knight who was stripped of lands, title and wealth but spared his life when caught in a treasonous plot seven years previously against young King Richard. Now he lives in the London slums and works as a Tracker, basically a private detective. In this book, he is hired by a scullion in an inn, whose mentally challenged sister keeps confessing to the killing of a French courier--who was carrying a relic that may be the genuin ...more
Convicted of treason, Crispin Guest was stripped of his title, his land, his money and his friends. Now with only his considerable wits to sustain him, Guest works the mean streets of 14th century London, building a small reputation for his skill. In 1383, a simple-minded tavern girl comes to his door—a body was found where she works and she’s the only person who could have killed him. Except for the fact that the man was killed in place by a precisely aimed crossbow bolt. Making matters worse, ...more
I'm looking forward to reading more Crispin Guest mysteries for years to come.
In this book Crispin wakes up to find a woman asking for his help "There's a dead man in me room". He realizes that she was "a bit dim". But become's more intrigued when she confesses to the crime.
In this second book in the series Crispin is still very much angry about having ended up in his current state of affairs, no land, not money, no title. While investigating the scene of the murder he thinks he see's a way to
Ken Kugler
Crispin is back in the second book in this Medieval mystery series. This time he has a young man, Jack, who has sort of made Crispin take him under his wing. Crispin, known as the tracker, has a woman show up at his boarding room who is very slow, mentally. She tells Crispin that there is a dead man at her room and she must have killed him even if she does not remember doing so. The man is a French courier, who is bringing the CROWN OF THORNS to the king of England. Yes, that crown of thorns. It ...more
Return to the life of The Tracker, Crispin Guest, who finds a young woman in his room. The woman asks Guest to help her because there is a dead man in her room. She declares that she killed him. Guest know that this is highly unlikely because the man has an arrow in his chest. Next to his body is a chest which holds a crown of thorns. The man is French, a courier.

The arrow in the courier's chest is identical to one shot at Crispin and at the sister of the young woman. A chest by the courier has
Russell lawson
If you like medieval times then this is a great book to read. this story is about a guy named Crispen who lives poorly and wants a better life. this book was very well written all though i started on book 2 first. The book is action packed end on end thriller to me. I loved the part when he fliped miles over and was like throat or gut ither way you are going to die. This is one of the many books i have loved and i don't read very much. this book starts off as Crispen the tracker he recovers los ...more
Crispin Guest is still the Tracker and well known in London for his ability to help find things - up to and including murderers. As the story opens a slow serving girl is in his rooms saying a dead French man is in her rooms and since no one else is there she must have killed him. She turns to him as her sister was out and didn't know what else to do. He returns with her to the scene of the crime and finds a dead man with a well made arrow in him along with a crown of thorns. Letters identify hi ...more
I loved this second novel in the Crispin Guest Medieval Noir Series! Jeri Westerson has certainly made her mark in the mystery genre, and given it it such a wonderfully new spin. I love the idea of Medieval Noir. It has such a nice ring to it, and there are so many places to go with it. Of course, I am looking forward to Crispin's next adventure. He's such an intriguing and noble character. He comes across a crown of thorn in this book. Could it truly be "the" crown of thorns? Who murdered the c ...more
Keesling Mary
I simply can't get enough of Crispin Guest. Westerson has a great flair for historical noir, and this is an absolute page-turner. My husband and son are hooked, and now son's gf is addicted, too... Sans calories!
This is the 3rd book in this series that I have read and I think they just get better and better. I have read several books where John of Gaunt is a prominent figure and it is interesting to see his character in these stories and how he is portrayed. Recommend to anyone who likes history and mystery.
A really interesting medieval period and leading characters--not to be missed by historical mystery buffs.
Kay Robinson
Place a cracking good espionage thriller of today into a medieval setting, with all the mystery, the murders and the seemingly impossible task our hero meets to solve the crimes and you have a winner. Crispin Guest dons his cloak and dagger once again and struggles against even greater odds, placing himself and those he cares for in great danger. Yet once again he wins out, and once again he lets his stubborn pride get the better of him, turning his back of the greatest prize and sadly the chanc ...more
Crispin Guest is a knight without title, land or sword. He was convicted of treason against Richard II and only by the pleading of his foster father, John of Gaunt, was his life spared. Now he survives as the Tracker in the cesspool that is London in the 14th century. A French courier turns up dead. He was carrying Christ's Crown of Thorns, a relic sent by the King of Franch to the King of England. Crispin must find the killer and restore the relic to its rightful owner. This series is well-done ...more
An afternoon has been well spent finishing the second adventure in the Crispin Guest series and I have already place a hold for the next one! Jeri Westerson is a bold and brilliant writer of the historical mystery genre or the Medieval Noir as it is so-called! I was waiting for a chance to sink myself into this story and I was not disappointed! I know so many exclamation marks but it is a great read and there's really nothing more to say than if you enjoy mysteries, adventures, history and just ...more
This is a hard-boiled detective story that takes place in the middle ages. The main character is a disgraced former knight who ekes out a meager living by solving mysteries. That's a pretty innovative idea, but a book needs more than that to keep interest. This one isn't too engaging at first. I did think the ending was surprising and exciting, though.

Also, despite clearly emulating the hard-boiled realistic style of detective novels, this book takes a few small detours into the supernatural for

I like this Crispin Guest series...and was surprised to find out that this is only the third one! I do, however, wish that the author would figure out a way to get Crispin some new clothes, rather than to continue on and on about how he has worn the same things for years upon years! JAck's gradual development as Crispin's servant is fun to see, and the glimpses into the poverty stricken side of London is not what is always presented. Grim, ugly and yet real life for more people than lived the gl
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L.A. native Jeri Westerson writes the critically acclaimed “Crispin Guest Medieval Noir” series. Her protagonist is a disgraced knight turned detective, plying his trade on the mean streets of fourteenth century London. Author Tim Hallinan says about her latest CUP OF BLOOD, “CUP OF BLOOD starts like a clap of thunder. Crispin maintains his standing as one of today’s (and yesterday’s) most engagin ...more
More about Jeri Westerson...

Other Books in the Series

Crispin Guest Medieval Noir (8 books)
  • Veil of Lies (Crispin Guest, #1)
  • The Demon's Parchment (Crispin Guest, #3)
  • Troubled Bones (Crispin Guest, #4)
  • Blood Lance (Crispin Guest, #5)
  • Shadow of the Alchemist (Crispin Guest, #6)
  • Cup of Blood (Crispin Guest #7)
  • The Silence of Stones (Crispin Guest, #8)
Veil of Lies (Crispin Guest, #1) The Demon's Parchment (Crispin Guest, #3) Troubled Bones (Crispin Guest, #4) Blood Lance (Crispin Guest, #5) Shadow of the Alchemist (Crispin Guest, #6)

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