Book Discussion Guide: The Deepest Grave


London, 1392

Strange mischief is afoot at St Modwen’s Church. Are corpses stalking the graveyard at night, disturbing graves, and dragging coffins? When a fearful Father Bulthius begs Crispin Guest for his help, he agrees to investigate with his apprentice, Jack Tucker, intrigued by the horrific tales.

Meanwhile, an urgent summons arrives from Crispin’s former love, Philippa Walcote. Her seven-year-old son, Christopher, has been accused of murder and of attempting to steal a family relic—the missing relic of St Modwen. Who is behind the gruesome occurrences in the graveyard? Is Christopher guilty of murder? Crispin faces a desperate race against time to solve the strange goings-on at St Modwen’s and prove a child’s innocence.

Cast of Characters

Crispin Guest, the Tracker*
Jack Tucker, his apprentice*
Isabel Tucker, his wife*
Father Bulthius, priest at St Modwen’s All Hallows Barking*
Tom and Hal, gardeners/gravediggers*
Clarence Walcote, a mercer*
Philippa Walcote, his wife*
Christopher Walcote, their son*
Henry Vaunere, Sheriff of London
John Shadworth, Sheriff of London
Abbot William de Cholchester, of Westminster Abbey
Brother John Sandon, monk of Westminster Abbey
John Charney, coroner
John Horne, a mercer*
Madam Horne, his wife*
Robert Hull, steward in the Horne household*
Clarice and Nesta, maid servants in the Horne household*

*denotes fictional people


1. What do you think is the medieval view of zombies and vampires?

2. Crispin never suspected the surprise Philippa had for him. How do you think he should have reacted?

3. How much has Crispin changed from the first book to this one? Do you think that evolution was realistic?

4. Discuss the latest sheriffs.

5. Abbot William de Colchester didn’t always appreciate Crispin. Discuss his evolution.

6. Is Crispin doing the right thing about Christopher?

7. This time the relic is less than subtle. What does it mean?

8. How do you feel as a reader revisiting events from Crispin’s past (from prior books)?

9. What aspect of the book makes you feel that this is another place and time?

10. Did Jack and Isabel do the right thing at the end of the book?