VEIL OF LIES
Minotaur Books (paperback), October 2009, $14.99
2009 shortlist for the Macavity and for the Shamus for Best First PI Award.
Crispin Guest has fallen far from his privileged position as a knight in medieval high society. Accused of treason, abandoned by former friends and allies, he has survived on the gritty streets of London by reinventing himself as “The Tracker”, a private investigator for hire who can locate lost objects or uncover the clandestine lives of people.
When the secretive, wealthy merchant Nicholas Walcote hires Guest to investigate his alluring young wife Philippa for adultery, he discovers a seedy underworld of covert dealings and violent men of mystery. Philippa is indeed hiding something and she’s not the only one. Guest soon learns that Walcote is rumored to be in possession of a mystical holy relic so powerful that some would even kill for it.
Guest must contend with his nemesis, Sheriff Simon Wynchcombe in the search for answers to the questions surrounding the mysterious Walcotes. With each new day comes another layer of intrigue and Guest quickly becomes entangled in a strange world of superstition, seduction, and murder.
With vivid detail, an unforgettable hero, and a complex, thrilling story, Veil of Lies was a finalist for the Macavity and Shamus awards, and the other novels in the Crispin Guest medieval noir series have been contenders for the Macavity, Agatha, Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery , and Romantic Times Revewiers Choice awards.
Italian edition 2014 (“Thief of Scrolls”)
“Westerson displays the skill of a writer who has mastered her subject and has used that knowledge to create erudite entertainment.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A medieval Sam Spade, a tough guy who operates according to his own moral compass and observes with detached humor…this book is pure fun.” —The Boston Globe
“Westerson’s character Crispin Guest is the 1300’s equivalent of Mike Hammer and that is not praise I use lightly.” —Crimespree Magazine
“Westerson takes the reader on a fine ride of a read, with her lone knight of the mean streets…The reader is likley to want more of this Crispin Guest. Much More.” —Mystery News (four quills)
A “promising debut…an entertaining read that makes the prospect of sequels welcome.”
“…This authentically detailed medieval mystery has an intriguingly dark edge that will appeal to fans of both historical fiction and noir.” —Booklist
* “…Brimming with historical detail and descriptions of life in 1383 London, Westerson’s mystery debut is a brilliant tale of survival in a hostile environment…” —Library Journal (Starred Review)
“Westerson’s ‘medieval noir’ page-turner sports vigorous plotting, robust characters, and superb scholarship. An utterly beguiling alchemy of Canterbury and Connelly.”
—Julia Spencer-Fleming, Edgar finalist and author of I Shall Not Want
“A masterful mix of mystery and history…a fascinating introduction to a personable private investigator struggling to solve brutal killings while torn between his code as a knight and the harsh realities of the meaner streets of London.” — Renaissance Magazine
“Jeri Westerson’s Veil of Lies is a great read, through and through. Her finely wrought portrait of gritty Medieval London is imbued with great wit and poignancy, establishing Crispin Guest as a knight to remember.” —Cornelia Read, author of A Field of Darkness