The Demon's Parchment

A Medieval Noir

The Crispin Guest Novels (Volume 3 of 6)

Jeri Westerson

Minotaur Books

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Introduced in Veil of Lies, which was a finalist (for Best First Novel) for two major mystery awards (the Macavity and the Shamus), Crispin Guest returns in this latest adventure. Crispin Guest, a disgraced knight who was convicted of treason and stripped of his friends, his land, his title and his honor, is reduced to living off his wits, the only thing left to him.  In London, 1384, Guest has become known amongst the rabble in London as the “Tracker” – a man who can find anything, can solve any puzzle, and will do so for hire.  With the help of his apprentice, Jack Tucker, an orphaned street urchin with more than a touch of the criminous in his recent past, Guest has had his share of odd and deadly “cases.”  But this time, he’s approached by someone he never expected to work for – a physician called Jacob of Provencal.  Jacob is a physician brought in from France by the King and staying at court.  He’s also a Jew in a country which officially expelled them nearly a century before, wherein an uneducated population fears them and the educated one disdains them as pariahs (social and otherwise).  Back in his days at court, talking to one such as Jacob would have been beneath Crispin Guest, much less working for one.  Now, he can’t afford to behave as such.  But what Jacob wants of him might be impossible – a series of parchments have been stolen from his rooms.  But those rooms are at court and Crispin has been banned from court forever at the risk of his life should he defy the king’s decree.

“A medieval Sam Spade, a tough guy who operates according to his own moral compass and observes with deteached, dry humor….This book is pure fun!” – Boston Globe on Veil of Lies

“A medieval sleuth who is a far cry from the gentle monks and scholars we’ve come to expect….Crispin Guest is compared not to the gentle Brother Cadfael but to the tough and streetwise Sam Spade.  And this second outing for Guest is every bit as solidly plotted and historically deft as the first.”  -- The Globe and Mail on Serpent in the Thorns

“Teens who like their hero with more devotion to justice and honor than to common sense, are going to love this novel. There are gripping scenes of escape, vivid descriptions of everyday life, and a mystery that keeps you guessing until the end.” –School Library Journal on Serpent in the Thorns

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Book Excerpts

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1London, 1384
“HE’S STILL OUT THERE.” Jack Tucker leaned his head and shoulders out the window.
“Close the damn shutters,” growled Crispin. “It’s too cold in here as it is.”
“Sorry, Master,” said the boy, doing as bid. His ginger hair was dusted with snow. “It’s just that that man is still out there, looking up at us. Makes me a bit shivery.”
“The cold will do that.” Hunkered by their meager fire, Crispin held one hand toward the flames. The other was curled around a bowl of tart wine.

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Reviews

Praise for The Demon's Parchment

"This superb series isn’t kidding when it describes itself as medieval noir.... The writing is wonderful and the history vividly presented. Not to be missed by fans of real historical mysteries."
--RT Book Reviews (Top Pick!)

"Westerson skillfully lulls her sleuth and the reader into a sense of 'I know what is going on,' then zings them with the truth. Absolutely first-class; highly recommended."
--Library Journal

"A solid plot and cast of characters, a feel for the story’s place and time (fourteenth-century England), and an appealing noirish air. A welcome addition to the medieval-mystery landscape."
--Booklist

"Westerson's third 14th-century historical featuring disgraced knight Crispin Guest ... is the best yet."
--Publishers Weekly

"Information on 14th-century anti-Semitism and homosexuality are highlights of Crispin’s third adventure, based on a real 15th-century crime spree."
--Kirkus Reviews

 


In the Press

THE DEMON’S PARCHMENT by Jeri Westerson | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of THE DEMON’S PARCHMENT . A disgraced knight who's been scratching out a living as a private-inquiry agent in medieval London takes on a case that challenges him in ways he never expected.
- Kirkus Reviews


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About the Author

Jeri Westerson

Jeri Westerson is the author of two previous books featuring Crispin Guest – Veil of Lies and Serpent in the Thorns.  She is also a journalist, and noted blogger on things mysterious and medieval.  She lives in Menifee, California.

Jeri Westerson

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Demon's Parchment
A Medieval Noir
Jeri Westerson

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
October 2010
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429942485
ISBN10: 1429942487
304 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
September 2011
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312609269
ISBN10: 0312609264
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 320 pages
$17.99
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