When a corpse turns up at his favorite tavern, Crispin Guest - disgraced knight turned detective - begins an inquiry, but the dead man turns out to be a Templar knight....
With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper-class society....
Northumberland, 1809: A beautiful young heiress disappears from her locked bedchamber at Linn Hagh. The local constables are baffled and the townsfolk cry "witchcraft"....
An atmospheric debut novel set on the gritty streets of Victorian London, Some Danger Involved introduces detective Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn....
When young bookseller Nicholas Elyot discovers the body of student William Farringdon floating in the river Cherwell, it looks like a drowning....
December 1889. Fresh from debunking a 'ghostly' hound in Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes has returned to London, only to find himself the target of a deadly vendetta....
When a girl is gruesomely murdered, thief taker Charlie Tuesday reluctantly agrees to take on the case. But the horrific remains tell him this is no isolated death....
London, 1887. As the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria's golden jubilee, Veronica Speedwell is marking a milestone of her own....
The daughter of a baronet and minor heiress, Rosalind Thorne was nearly ruined after her father abandoned the family....
When magistrate Patrick Colquhoun orders a habitual thief and ne'er-do-well transported to Botany Bay, he doesn't realize a 14-year-old boy has been left behind to follow in his father's footsteps....
Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they've just moved....
It's 1811, and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III's England. Then a beautiful young woman is found savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church....
In the first in a stunning mystery series set in eighteenth-century England, Tessa Harris introduces Dr. Thomas Silkstone, anatomist and pioneering forensic detective....
Evan Evans is a young police constable who has traded in the violence of city life for idyllic Llanfair, a Welsh village tucked far away from trouble....
Selchester Castle in 1953 sits quiet and near-empty, its corridors echoing with glories of the past. Or so it seems to intelligence officer Hugo Hawksworth....
In medieval England, four children have been murdered. The Italian doctor chosen to investigate is a woman, Adelia, who must conceal her identity in order to avoid accusations of witchcraft....
Mrs. Laetitia Rodd, aged 52, is the widow of an archdeacon who makes her living as a highly discreet private investigator. Her brother, Frederick Tyson, is a criminal barrister....
Crispin Guest is a disgraced knight, stripped of his rank and his honor - but left with his life - for plotting against Richard II. Having lost his bethrothed, his friends, his patrons and his position in society. With no trade to support him and no family willing to acknowledge him, Crispin has turned to the one thing he still has - his wits - to scrape a living together on the mean streets of London.
In 1383, Guest is called to the compound of a merchant - a reclusive mercer who suspects that his wife is being unfaithful and wants Guest to look into the matter. Not wishing to sully himself in such disgraceful, dishonorable business but in dire need of money, Guest agrees and discovers that the wife is indeed up to something, presumably nothing good. But when he comes to inform his client, he is found dead - murdered in a sealed room, locked from the inside.
Now Guest has come to the unwanted attention of the Lord Sheriff of London and most recent client was murdered while he was working for him. And everything seems to turn on a religious relic - a veil reported to have wiped the brow of Christ - that is now missing.
I loved this book. It's like Sam Spade meets the Middle Ages. This first of the Crispin Guest series is set in London in 1384. Crispin is a disgraced knight who had had his lands, title, and money confiscated seven years earlier for participating in an attempt to crown John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, as King instead of the Duke's young and inexperienced nephew, Richard.
Lancaster is unaware of the attempted coup. The conspiracy fails, Richard is crowned King Richard II, and all of the conspirators except Crispin (thanks to the intercession of the Duke of Lancaster) are executed.
Crispin now lives in the Shambles in London - which is as poor a neighborhood as it sounds - along with a twelve year old purse cutter, Jack Tucker, whom he rescued from the streets of London. There are lots of twists and turns, and class consciousness-- by Crispin toward the dregs of society that he's now forced to live with and depend upon, and by Crispin's former friends who look down on Crispin because he's now a member of the lower class.
Parliament finally removed Richard as King and crowned Henry Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt, as King Henry IV, but not until 1399. Richard died in 1400 - possiblly murdered.
I liked this book so much I downloaded it to my Kindle so I can see how some of the words I didn't know are spelled.
The author skillfully weaves actual historical people and events with her story. As a history major, I loved it! Michael Page does a fine job narrating.
I've now listened to all five books in the series that are currently available on audible. The sixth book comes out 13 October 2013. I'll be waiting.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I will begin with the one good quality I saw in this purchase—the plot is reasonable. Nevertheless, I had to force myself to continue listening to discover the outcome. There are two things I found so infuriating about the book that I was tempted many time to give up listening. Together the writing and the performance made me wonder at times whether I had bought a Monty Python spoof of a medieval crime story.
The author's biography suggests that she grew up with an interest in medieval history. Unfortunately, that interest did not seem to extend to knowing how people spoke at the time and the words they used. And, it is not just the anachronistic words but the strange use of common words. For example, a "trill" ran through the protagonist at one point; so I assume that a person or bird was trilling very loudly indeed nearby.
The romantic thread to the story reads as if it was written by a student of teenage romance comics. A benefit if you like a character's emotional life to be, at most, one dimensional. If you are looking for a male lead with some complexity of emotional response I don't feel that you will find it in this book.
It seems to me that in contemporary cops shows we hear a detective/cop/vigilante say so often to a suspect "we can do this the hard way or we can do this the easy way" that it has become a cliché. So, it was comforting to hear the hero—a disgraced knight now commoner—saying this to one of the villains.At least I now understood I was hearing a professional crime fighter at work.
Mentioning that the hero was a disgraced knight, very bitter about his lot, leads to discussing the performance. The knight is interpreted by the performer as shouting everything through clenched teeth which, I imagine, lets us know that he is both tough and bitter. Occasionally, the constrained shouting takes on an added edge of hysteria and that, at least, adds some variation. Another character, the Sheriff, who seems to be a large and dominant person much taken to cuffing and bashing the hero, is performed with a strange lisp which is neither evil nor interesting. He sounds like a parody of a not quite upper class Englishman. The performer does the other characters quite well. That is, if you accept that all medieval Italians (the bad guys) sound like the faux Italian waiter at the local Pizza joint.
I will not be spending my Audible tokens on any more of Ms Waterson's books.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Veil of Lies the most enjoyable?
I enjoyed the midlevel setting nearly as much as the characters Jeri and Michael bring to life. Crispin is a likable guy, not perfect buy any means, but he is very likable. I know it's not going to happen anytime soon but I still found myself pulling hard for him to regain his former glory. Maybe someday? Of course Crispin (and Jack) take center stage, but the secondary and tertiary characters as just as enjoyable (or dislikable) in their roles. The sheriff in particular was fun follow through the story.
What did you like best about this story?
I found the plot-threads kept the story fresh. Crispin is called in to investigate a murder. Then he is asked to look into... something else as well. As the story unfolds you appreciate the complexity of the plot and all the while Crispin's fall from nobility hangs in the background. I really liked the way the story fits together.
Have you listened to any of Michael Page’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I have seven other books that Mr. Page narrates in my library. This one is at least as good as Michael's other performances. Some other reviewers don't seem to care for his work, but I find his narration adds to the story.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
This book went far to quickly and I'm looking forward to purchasing the next in the series.
Any additional comments?
I tend to rate books/performances lower than most people, so if you're a fan of mysteries and/or historical fiction give Crispin a chance. I think you'll enjoy the listen.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Jeri Westerson and/or Michael Page?
Not unless the writer got a lot better as the series progressed.
Would you recommend Veil of Lies to your friends? Why or why not?
No. I fast forwarded a lot. Too much punching, Stupid sex talk and scene.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
Could you see Veil of Lies being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?
Any additional comments?
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
The author never met a cliche she didn’t love or use. The story was fine, but the writing was infuriating. Enough with the endless, trite adjectives and adverbs. Couldn’t finish it.
Although Jeri Westerson (in her afterwards) describes her book as Sam Spade meets 14th century, I was never as big of a Sam Spade fan as I was of Nero Wolfe. The book (and hopefully the series) is a great addition to the tough-guy adventure/mystery series like the two previously named. Westerson weaves historical incidents and personalities with the obsession with religious relics and a small pile of corpses. Fascinating and complex characters enhance the pot.
Michael Page's narration brings the world of the poor of London to life with the blood violence and treachery you would expect.
The story was good, I will just have to read the rest of the series the old fashioned way.
I love historical fiction and having finished the Shardlake series was looking for something else. To be fair, I am only fifteen minutes in and I (foolishly) didn't listen to a sample but any danger of being interested in the plot has been deafened by the narration. The reader has a fine voice, but the style is overdone. He is not reading. He is declaiming. Literally sounds like he is reading a script to an audition panel. The accents are ok but there's no inflection and (might sound silly) he doesn't pause for long enough between phrases or for portions of conversation between Crispin and whoever his current interlocutor is. It's knackering being bellowed at - I'm deleting it. Don't buy before sampling - lesson learned.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Absolutely loved this brilliant story of 'Review of Lies'.
Bought it on the off chance & so pleased. An intriguing story
I have listened to twice in a row because so much happens.
A wonderful narrator who is perfect at acting out all the characters, so much so you can tell that he enjoys his work. He is a natural & I wish 'many more' audible narrators had his talents. He is so easy to the ear
& his enthusiasm rubs off.
I will look for more of this writers work & definitely more work by this
beautiful narrator. Will shortly be listening to this again.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Lovers of Medieval mysteries would enjoy it.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
The sex scene was really uncessesary and did not add anything to the story, nor was in needed in terms of character development. One gets the impression it was thrown in just to keep certain types of reader interested.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
I did enjoy the mystery and the elements of political intrigue, as well as the involvement of various historical figures. Crispin's sharp tongue, quick wit and sarcasm often get him into trouble, but can be endearting.
Any additional comments?
An interesting Medieval mystery, that does well for being written by an American (its not very noticable), although I stilll prefer Cadfael and the Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?
Anyone who can put up with this hideously amateurish version of an English accent by this, presumably, American 'actor'. If the producer wants to use an English accent - use an English narrator!
Would you ever listen to anything by Jeri Westerson again?
If she used a different narrator.
How could the performance have been better?
No, although Michael Page's terrible imitation of the English accent does have a slight Muppet-ish quality and when you get over the money you wasted on your purchase you can have a bit of a smirk at the actor's lack of linguistic authenticity.
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Couldn't persevere with it. The narration made my ears bleed.
Any additional comments?
Listen to the sample before purchase.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful