Fallen knight Crispin Guest is a hapless hero, at times brooding, at times patriarchal and at times melodramatic. His relationship with his apprentice, Jack, is endearing. Although the noir aspect of this mystery is well-done, at times it is also overdone. Westerson’s prose is still effective; the imagery of medieval London is almost tangible. Even better is the afterword, regarding Christian relics that may or may not be real — a little history served up with your mystery.
Crispin trudges tiredly along toward home one evening, after an altercation with the London Guard, and witnesses a man falling from a high room straight into the Thames. Crispin, now known as “The Tracker,” immediately jumps in to rescue the fallen man, but finds much more than he expected when he pulls the body from the water. Romping through the city, having an illicit affair, jousting on the London Bridge — it’s all part of a day’s work for Crispin. (MINOTAUR, Oct., 336 pp., $25.99)