Blood Lance Review
Click here to buy posters
In Association with
Mystery novels come in all shapes and sizes, with literary sleuths ranging from gritty veteran cops to gifted grannies. Rarely, however, will you find a mystery that’s as distinctive (or as historically detailed) as author Jeri Westerson’s Medieval Noir novels—like Blood Lance.

Disgraced knight turned 14th-century detective Crispin Guest is on the way home to his room in the Shambles after solving his latest case, when he sees a man fall from London Bridge into the Thames. Crispin dives in to save the man, but it’s too late; he’s already dead.

At first, it seems as though armorer Roger Grey threw himself from the bridge—and the city’s sheriffs are ready to rule his death a suicide. But Crispin believes otherwise, and he feels compelled to investigate.

Before long, Crispin’s investigation turns into a two-fold new job. Grey’s betrothed, Anabel Coterel, hires Crispin to find his killer, while Sir Thomas Saunfayl, an old friend from Crispin’s past, also hires him to find a valuable relic that he’d purchased from the armorer. And the case becomes all the more complicated once Geoffrey Chaucer arrives, looking for both Sir Thomas and the missing relic.

Westerson's fifth Crispin Guest novel (after 2011’s Troubled Bones) offers so much more than the same old whodunit. Sure, the case itself is captivatingly complex. There’s a murder to solve and a priceless religious relic to recover—and a multitude of characters who seem to be involved in some way or another. It’s basically the same in each installment in the series, but the formula never gets old. After all, on its own, the story is more challenging—and more layered—than the average mystery.

Still, there’s even more to this story than just a murder (or four) and a missing relic. In Blood Lance, Westerson continues to develop her characters—both the troubled tracker and his clever young apprentice, Jack Tucker. Both characters continue to grow and evolve throughout the story. Jack struggles to learn his place as an up-and-coming investigator—and the apprentice of a former knight. Crispin, meanwhile, continues to struggle with his own unusual position. While King Richard sees him as a traitor—and most of his former acquaintances are reluctant to associate with him—he still maintains contact with some of his old friends. And while he still carries himself as a knight, he’s now a poor man, living in a small room, surviving from job to job. It’s a challenging situation for a man who’s used to holding a high position—one that continues to affect his actions and decisions.

At the same time, Westerson also fills the adventure with fascinating historical details, using real characters like Chaucer, King Richard, and others to season an already intriguing story. Along the way, she throws in well-researched descriptions of the city streets and the medieval lifestyle. She even includes a little bit of jousting action this time around.

Combined with the complex characters and the challenging mystery, those added details help to make Blood Lance one of Westerson’s best. Whether you’re a faithful fan of the series or a curious newcomer, you’re sure to find yourself absorbed in this clever historical whodunit.

Submissions Contributors Advertise About Us Contact Us Disclaimer Privacy Links Awards Request Review Contributor Login
© Copyright 2002 - 2018 All rights reserved.