Embroiled in a war of relics between a country monastery and Westminster Abbey, the formerly disgraced knight Crispin Guest uses his skills as London’s Tracker (his name for a medieval detective) to shield a former nemesis from a charge of murder while entangling himself with a mysterious and beautiful woman caught between Church politics and the dangerous intrigues of King Richard’s court.
This is only the beginning of the lies. It is the blood relic that seems to propel the deceptions and betrayals. What is this relic that seems dried and rusty in its crystal vial one minute and then oozes liquid the next? The trail leads out of London southwest to Hailes Abbey where two monks have been murdered, and their Holy Blood relic has been stolen, a relic that is said to run liquid for the sinless and remain stubbornly dry for the sinner. Crispin sends the relic back to Hailes where it belongs but it keeps returning to his hands no matter what he does. After some soul-searching Crispin comes to the conclusion that a former sheriff is tied to the murders. Is someone at Westminster Abbey conspiring with assassins? And can the Blood of Christ point to the killer?
Cast of Characters
Crispin Guest, the Tracker*
Jack Tucker, his apprentice*
Katherine Woodleigh, a client*
Sybil Whitechurch, a missing woman*
Abbot William de Colchester, abbot of Westminster Abbey
Brother John Sandon, a monk, the abbot’s assistant
Brother Eric, a monk*
Brother Rodney Beaton, a monk*
Abbot William de Warden, abbot of St. Mary Graces, Smithfield
Brother Michael, a monk*
Roger Lymon, a butcher*
Abbot Robert of Hailes Abbey
Brother Edwin, a monk of Hailes*
Brother Fulk, a monk of Hailes*
Brother Thomas of Hailes*
Lenny, a thief*
John Rykener, a prostitute
Nigellus Cobmartin, a lawyer*
Master Hakeforde, innkeeper of the Unicorn Inn*
Will, his servant*
Eleanor, proprietress of the Boar’s Tusk tavern*
John Walcote, Sheriff of London
John Loveney, Sheriff of London
Hamo Eckington, sheriff’s clerk*
Rafe, Newgate page*
Master William, a carpenter*
Simon Wynchecombe, armorer and former Sheriff of London
Alice Wynchecombe, his wife
*denotes fictional people
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. Crispin has a long memory. How do you suppose he feels upon hearing Simon Wynchecombe might be involved?
2. On leaving town, was Crispin justified in sending John to Katherine?
3. Why would Abbot Robert of Hailes not tell Crispin the whole story?
4. What was up with Katherine Woodleigh’s estate?
5. Do you believe Simon?
6. Do you fully believe Kat?
7. John Rykener and Nigellus Cobmartin. Discuss.
8. Discuss the two blood relics.
9. Should Crispin have asked her to stay?