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

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  190 ratings  ·  40 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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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.
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
Ken Kugler
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
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
Mary Keesling
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fred Rauch
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
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!
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
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
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
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
Lexie Graham
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.
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.
Hazel West
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
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.
Kathy Jund
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
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
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
Another good Crispin Guest story. I like the way the stories also depict what is going on in England at the time. The whole Richard II/Henry Bolingbroke story I find very interesting.
Susan Ash hanson
Really liked it, but couldn't stop thinking about Harry Potter. LOL
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:
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.
Edith Maxwell
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.

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.
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
This is my third book in this series and while I found the other two thoroughly enjoyable this one simply did not hold my interest. Far too much time spent on the symbol and parchment clues in my opinion. However, this will not stop me from looking forward to the next book!
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MYSTERY NOVELS B...: Book Giveaway 1 6 Sep 25, 2013 02:59PM  
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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)
  • 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)

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