Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Veil of Lies: A Medieval Noir” as Want to Read:
Veil of Lies: A Medieval Noir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Veil of Lies: A Medieval Noir (Crispin Guest Medieval Noir #1)

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  846 ratings  ·  156 reviews
"A great read, through and through. Westerson's finely wrought portrait of gritty Medieval London is embued with great wit and poignancy. Crispin Guest is a knight to remember." -- Cornelia Read, author of A Field of Darkness, on Veil of Lies.

Crispin Guest is a disgraced knight, stripped of his rank and his honor - but left with his life - for plotting against Richard II.
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 28th 2008 by Minotaur Books
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Veil of Lies, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Veil of Lies

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,609)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This is the first in a series about Crispin Guest, a disgraced knight, who is now working as a finder, the Tracker he is called; someone who discovers culprits or things people have lost. Living in rather abject poverty, he remains scrupulously honest, insisting that his self-appointed servant, Jack, return purses he has picked. Crispin had unfortunately allied himself with the Lancastrians when Richard II became king and his conduct being considered treasonous lost everything except his life, t ...more
Okay I admit it, the cover drew me in. Seriously what's not to love about the hot medieval guy with long hair and a sword? I don't know who he is, but I certainly wouldn't kick him out of my bed unless he had lice. Having said that, it was the blurb made me buy and I am SO glad I did. Being a fan of Ellis Peters and Sharon Kay Penman, I've been looking for something in this genre and through a twist of fate (or being bored on GR), I found it. Veil of Lies: A Medieval Noir is what you'd get if Co ...more
The mystery plot was interesting, and the medieval setting was a nice change of pace for me. Crispin Guest was a thoroughly unlikeable snob, though. The man's angst over his reduced social status made him feel less like a medieval Sam Spade than the kind of person that a medieval Sam Spade would punch in the face.

If I hadn't read the afterword, I'd never have associated this book with the hardboiled detective stories that helped to inspire it. Purely on a story level, the comparisons are clear.
3.49 stars.

There is a lot about this book I really enjoyed. The author describes it as Medieval Noir (so hard-boiled detective story set in 1384) and that alone caught my attention. The history is really well done. I liked the descriptions of London and the characters.

I loved the protag – Crispin Guest. He’s a tortured hero, a disgraced knight. He’s good with his fist, his knife, and his brains. The secondary characters were well done as well. I especially liked Crispin’s servant Jack.

The story
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a “medieval noir,” but I do have a fondness for historical mysteries and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Now I know little to nothing about London in 1384, so I’m not going to comment on the historical accuracy. I will say that the setting felt real to me, was an integral part of the story. London is a dark, grimy, dangerous place, if you’re not one of the upper class.

Crispin is the sexy detective, but with a medieval outlook. He’s the character the book re
I gave this one about 30 pages and then skipped ahead to see if the answer to the locked-room mystery was ingenious. It wasn't. The prose is self-conscious and over-written, the characters and situations are cliches. Someone (even more of an officious snob than I am) had "helpfully" gone through the library copy and commented on the anachronisms, some of which were innocent enough not to have bothered me. But with my to-read pile as tall as it is, this one won't take up any more of my time.
In Ms Westerson's debut in a genre dubbed Medieval Noir, Crispin Guest, a former knight who has lost everything due to an ill-advised foray into treason and now struggles to make a living as a 'watcher', is hired by a wealthy, eccentric merchant to investigate the possibility that the merchant's nubile wife is an adulteress. What seems at first to be a mundane and quick way for Crispin to make some money quickly twists into a murder case with no obvious culprit or motive, and a frantic search fo ...more
Peejay Who Once Was Minsma
A very entertaining read. Ms. Westerson has taken the Raymond Chandler noir detective idea of a detective-knight with his own quixotic but unshakable moral code and a weakness for damsels in distress quite literally. Crispin Guest really is a disgraced knight, stripped of all rank and privilege because of crossing King Richard II. Now living on the margins of society, Crispin keeps himself from starving (barely) by working as a Tracker—usually of lost goods—and constantly running afoul of the la ...more
Crispin Guest stripped out of all his wealth and status eight years ago when he committed an unsuccessful treason to Richard II. Now, years afterward he was still mopping and whining about his lost in the poor London street and slum.

As he lost his land, therefore his income along with his nobility, he was forced to rely on one thing that he hasn't lost, his brain. He became the tracker. He'll find missing things that his clients want for fees. Though it burns him with shame to do honest living
VEIL OF LIES (Hist. Mys-Crispin Guest-England-1384) – G+
Westerson, Jeri – 1st in series
St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780312379773

First Sentence (Personally, I think this is a terrible first sentence): The rain didn’t bother him, even though London’s rain fell thicker and harsher than country rain. (LJ- WHAT?)

Crispin Guest, a disposed knight, is hired by Master Walcote, a wool merchant, to find out whether his wife is being unfaithful. When Walcote is murdered, his wife hired
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth Camp
Westerson makes this tale of a dispossessed knight set in medieval London, scrambling to make ends meet, quite an engaging and well-written read. The historical settings ring true, the characters are fascinating as much for their action as for their inner conflicts. Expect a bit of a love story and insight into the political wrangling from an outsider's view. At 273 pages, this is a bit of a quick read, but I'm ready for book 2 in the series.Veil of Lies
It seems like most of my favorite mystery writers have aged along with me. Some have died, some have stopped writing. It makes it tough to find new series to follow. I had hopes for this series.

It was good but there was so much repetition in some places, if it were paper, I'd be tearing out pages. I also figured out the leader of the bad guys almost at the moment of his appearance.

Repetition: it seems it always rained in winter London, and rained and rained. Crispin trekked mud into every house
"A great read, through and through. Westerson's finely wrought portrait of gritty Medieval London is embued with great wit and poignancy. Crispin Guest is a knight to remember." -- Cornelia Read, author of A Field of Darkness, on Veil of Lies.

Crispin Guest is a disgraced knight, stripped of his rank and his honor - but left with his life - for plotting against Richard II. Having lost his bethrothed, his friends, his patrons and his position in society. With no trade to support him and no family
Veil of Lies is one of the most enjoyable mystery stories I've read in a long time! The character development was excellent, the main character, Crispin Guest, was sympathetic and sexy, the damsel in distress was beautiful and tough, and the story was full of action. This book was a layer cake of mysteries, sure to appeal to fans of paranormal mysteries, murder mysteries, spy thrillers, and noir. This was just a good, strong, entertaining story, driven by really good characters. Lots of fun!
Well, here it is fellow readers : Veil of Lies is not only a great mystery,it is also a great adventure and I am definitely looking forward to the next installment of the Crispin Guest Medieval Noir series. If you like the idea of knights, ladies and lords of the realm thrown together with the street urchins and bandits of Medieval London then Jeri Westerson's historical novel with spying, and intrigue will engage you to the very end!
Anita Clenney
Sherlock Holmes and Monk, make room for Crispin Guest. He's a medieval investigator who was once a knight but now has lost everything and must rely on only his wits to survive. With his sidekick, Jack Tucker, Crispin exposes plots and solves mysteries that extend to the throne. Jeri Westerson does an excellent job of telling this story and her descriptions are so vivid you can almost smell the streets where Crispin roams.
I "met" Jeri through Sister in Crime when she mentioned her latest release. Being one of those people who has to read in order I went out and picked up Veil of Lies. In her afterward she talks about what Hammett would have done in a medieval mystery. She does a fabulous job of doing just that. Crispin Guest definitely grows on you.
Kathy Jund
Veil of Truth

Veil of Lies is the first installment in Jeri Westerson’s medieval mystery series featuring Crispin Guest, a disgraced knight now turned private investigator long before the elusive named profession was ever coined!
Venture back to 1384 England, Crispin Guest was once raised in the home of the Duke of Lancaster, once thought to be his protégé and as such followed at the Duke’s side into court under Prince Edward. At the death of Prince Edward, Crispin believed Lancaster; uncle to the
Jayne dArcy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Evan Gonzalez
I chose this book because my dad picked it out for me, and I read the back and liked the plot. Crispin Guest is a former knight living on the streets in 14th century England. Crispin gets a job from a wealthy cloth merchant to follow his wife whom he believes is cheating on him. When he finds out that the merchant is dead, he has to find the killer, but could it be the merchant's beautiful wife? My favorite quote is "He had thought that burning the cloth would remove the truth. But it was never ...more
Almost, but not quite 4 stars

There are three things that attracted me to this "medieval noir": I already liked author's writing (through her gay mystery-lite Skyler Foxe series), I am a fan of Shakespeare's Henriad and the book is set during Richard II's rule and Crispin grew up in the household of Henry of Bolingbroke - future Henry IV and, well, it's medieval noir, for vera icon's sake!

I liked Crispin, though he does himself no favors when he holds himself above the commoners he is forced to l
Diana Sandberg
New series. Crispin Guest, a 14th century degraded knight, scrapes out a living as a Tracker – an investigator of sorts. I had a few minor quibbles, but essentially I enjoyed the book and look forward to the next in the series. I particularly liked Guest’s immense difficulty with the question of rank – having been displaced from the rank in which he was born and bred, he is cut off in ways that more democratic folks can only dimly grasp. The simultaneous attraction and repulsion he feels for the ...more
Scott Rhee
Someone (or maybe it was me) once said that the private eye is simply a 20th-century white knight, minus the horse and the suit of armor. Jeri Westerson, in her novel "Veil of Lies", flips it around by transporting the prototypical 20th-century roman-noir private eye to 14th-century London. If you can imagine Sam Spade or Phillip Marlowe walking the medieval streets of London, you will begin to understand the uniqueness and fun of Westerson's "medieval noir" (as she calls it) hero Crispin Guest. ...more
Crispin Guest is a disgraced knight, stripped of his rank and his honor - but left with his life - for plotting against Richard II. Having lost his bethrothed, his friends, his patrons and his position in society...With no trade to support him and no family willing to acknowledge him, Crispin has turned to the one thing he still has - his wits - to scrape a living together on the mean streets of London. In 1383, Guest is called to the compound of a merchant - a reclusive mercer who suspects that ...more
Veil of Lies is subtitled A Medieval Noir and it is that, tough, cynical characters in bleak settings, suggestive of danger or violence; Lies is set in the late 14th century, definitely medieval.
Crispin Guest is a disgraced knight, once a member of the court of Richard II and found guilty of treason. Through the intervention of John of Gaunt he is not executed but banished. Living a rough life on the streets of London, Crispin survives by his wits. Known as the Tracker he hires himself out as a
Joan Szechtman
VEIL OF LIES by Jeri Westerson
Published 2008 by St. Martin’s Minotaur, New York

Veil of Lies: A Medieval Noir is Jeri Westerson’s debut novel featuring Crispin Guest; a medieval tec of the Sam Spade ilk. Originally from nobility with land, wealth, and a promising future, he loses it all to a rash and treasonous act against King Richard II. Although lucky to be alive, he was degraded and left with nothing but the clothes on his back.

Though literate, Crispin doesn’t have the skills for most employm
Ana T.
In London of 1384, Crispin Guest is a man adrift in a rigidly defined society. Left with only his life, he’s a disgraced knight, convicted of treason, stripped of his rank and his honor for plotting against Richard II. Having lost his patron and his friends, with no trade to support him, Crispin has turned to the one thing he still has--his wits--to scrape a living on the mean streets of London.

Crispin is called to the compound of a reclusive merchant who suspects his wife of infidelity and want

VEIL OF LIES: A MEDIEVAL NOIR is the first book in a series by Jeri Westerson. Crispin Guest is a man without a place in the rigidly stratified world of England in 1384. Crispin had been the protege of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, uncle of King Richard II. He had been knighted when he was 18 but an accusation of treason had cost his his lands, his money, and his knighthood. In need of an income, Crispin becomes the Tracker, the man who uses the fighting skills he learned as he moved through
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 86 87 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Hangman Blind (An Abbess of Meaux Mystery, #1)
  • The Nightingale Gallery (Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan, #1)
  • Wine of Violence (Medieval Mystery, #1)
  • The Unquiet Bones (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #1)
  • A Shrine of Murders (Kathryn Swinbrooke, #1)
  • Death Comes As Epiphany (Catherine LeVendeur, #1)
  • A Plague on Both Your Houses (Matthew Bartholomew, #1)
  • Remedy For Treason (Chronicles Of Issac Of Girona, #1)
  • Fortune Like the Moon (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #1)
  • Death and the Chapman (Roger the chapman, #1)
  • My Lady Judge (Burren Mysteries, #1)
  • A Mortal Bane (Magdalene La Batarde, #1)
  • The Wolves of Savernake (Domesday, #1)
  • The Alehouse Murders (Templar Knight Mystery, #1)
  • The Apothecary Rose (Owen Archer, #1)
  • One for Sorrow (John the Eunuch, #1)
  • The Ninth Daughter (An Abigail Adams Mystery, #1)
  • Goodnight Sweet Prince (Lord Francis Powerscourt, #1)
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 (7 books)
  • Serpent in the Thorns (Crispin Guest, #2)
  • 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)
Serpent in the Thorns (Crispin Guest, #2) The Demon's Parchment (Crispin Guest, #3) Troubled Bones (Crispin Guest, #4) Blood Lance (Crispin Guest, #5) Shadow of the Alchemist (Crispin Guest, #6)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »