Book Discussion Guide: The Deadliest Sin

Please be aware that the discussion questions may contain spoilers for the book. It is recommended to only approach these questions AFTER you have read the book.


THE DEADLIEST SIN (1399) Series End

The nuns of St. Frideswide are dying in the manner of the Seven Deadly Sins, and Crispin is called in to investigate. But with the throne of England in an uproar, he soon finds himself fighting for his very existence as he must choose whether to do battle for King Richard or with his enemies, in this last tale of London’s Tracker.

A convent is plagued by a series of deaths that seem to mirror the Seven Deadly Sins, and relics in a reliquary representing each sin. Crispin Guest, the Tracker of London, is called in to investigate and runs afoul of whoever is perpetrating these horrific murders. He and his apprentice Jack Tucker—with a little help from Crispin’s bastard son–must use all their skills to stop more murders from befalling the nuns of St. Frideswide. But tangled with these murders is the battle for the throne of England itself. King Richard has angered his nobles and treason is in the air once more. With Lancaster dead and his son Henry Bolingbroke exiled from England but amassing an army, Crispin finds himself alone at a crossroads again. Should he defend King Richard as he has sworn to do, or throw in his lot with conspirators—casting him again in the role of traitor? This is the exciting conclusion to the Crispin Guest story. 

Cast of Characters
Crispin Guest, Tracker of London*
Jack Tucker, his apprentice*
Isabel Tucker, his wife*
Little Crispin, Helen, Gilbert, Genevieve, Johanna, Isabel, their children*
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster
Katherine Swynford, his wife
Gilbert Langton, tavernkeeper of the Boar’s Tusk*
Eleanor Langton, his wife*
Edward Grafton, a knight*
Elena Forthey, his mistress*
Prioress Drueta Rowebern, prioress of St Frideswide Priory*
Dame Emelyn, her chaplain*
Dame Cecille, a fellow nun*
Dame Sibilla, a fellow nun*
Dame Audrey Hildeway, a fellow nun*
Edgar Crouch, the priory’s servant*
Father Roger Holbrok, the nuns’ priest*
Sheriffs John Wade and John Warner
Richard II, King of England
Jean Creton, French chronicler
Henry ‘Hotspur’ Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland
Thomas Erpington, squire to Henry
John Norbury, squire to Henry
Hugh Warton, Lancaster chamberlain
Thomas Beaufort, half-brother to Henry Lancaster
Bill Wodecock, one of the king’s stewards at the Palace at Westminster*
William de Colchester, Abbot of Westminster Abbey
Brother Roland, a monk*

*Names with an asterisk are fictional


1. Crispin is trying to live his life in London when there are upsets everywhere. In the end, is he doing the right thing?

2. Sometimes characters return to the plot whom we have met in previous books. Who is missing that you might have wanted to see again?

3. Is Crispin foolish in letting Christopher and Philippa help him?

4. The relics aren’t very important in this last book in the series so full of relics. Have you thought about why?

5. What, in the end, was the deadliest sin?

6. How did you feel about the ending of the series? Was it what you expected?

7. Why do authors end long-running series?

8. Crispin began the series as rather sour, grim, and, frankly, drunk. With all the books behind him, how do you feel about his slow progression?