Serpent in the Thorns

September 2010, $15.99
ISBN-13: 978-1625674180

2010 shortlist for the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award and for the Macavity–the Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award.

After being stripped of his knighthood for treason and cast out from high society, Crispin Guest has reinvented himself as the Tracker, an investigator who can find anything and anyone. When Grayce, a distraught scullery maid arrives on his doorstep, frantic after finding a dead man in her room, Crispin examines the scene of what he thinks is a straightforward murder. After learning that the murdered man was an important courier in possession of a dangerous holy artifact, an object so valuable its absence could begin a war between empires, he quickly realizes this is no ordinary case.
During his investigation, Guest unexpectedly encounters his nemesis, Miles Aleyn, the treasonous mastermind behind his fall from grace. Aleyn is acting suspiciously, and Guest must conquer his desire for revenge to find out just what he may be hiding.
Surrounded by possible suspects, Guest will have to use his wiles to navigate both the exclusive halls of King Richard’s court, and the hardscrabble streets of 14th century London. In a world full of old friends, mysterious strangers and dangerous enemies, he will have to uncover lies well told and truth well hidden to find the murderer, protect his country and save himself.

The riveting second mystery in the Crispin Guest series is an evocative and thrilling medieval noir tale of suspense and murder. Serpent in the Thorns was a finalist for both the Macavity Award and the Bruce Alexander Mystery Award.


Go To Discussion Guide


Foreign Covers

Serpent in the Thorns, French version, 2012 (Thorns and the Serpent)

was wsrod cierni

Serpent in the Thorns, Polish version 2012

“Appealing…Crispin’s derring-do is distinctly entertaining.”
—Kirkus Review

“Readers who can’t get enough of medieval historicals will snap this one up.”
—Library Journal

“This makes an excellent choice for mystery and historical-fiction lovers.”

“My favorite kind of historical novel–one that makes me feel I am there–sights, sounds, smells and all. Jeri Westerson has managed to create a complex character in Crispin, who nevertheless remains true to his time.”
—Rhys Bowen, Author of the award-winning Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness mysteries

“This second outing for Guest is every bit as solidly plotted and historically deft as the first.”
—The Globe and Mail

“There are gripping scenes of escape, vivid descriptions of everyday life, and a mystery that keeps you guessing until the end.”
—School Library Journal