Jeri Westerson is the author of the Crispin Guest medieval “noir” mysteries.
From her Q & A with Nancy Adams at Saints and Trees:
SAT: Crispin Guest is such a wonderful character! Where did he come from?Learn more about the author and her work at Jeri Westerson's website and her "Getting Medieval" blog.
JW: I think he probably came from a lot of places, but he mostly formed when I decided what kind of medieval mystery I wanted to write. Once I had come up with the idea of a hardboiled kind of detective on the order of Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe or Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade, he began to form more quickly. Following the tropes of the hardboiled detective, he had to be a loner, down on his luck, hard drinking, hard fighting, tough talking—and a sucker for a dame in trouble. I wanted a knight, because so many medieval mysteries were inhabited (pun intended) by clerical sleuths and I wanted someone completely different, someone who was used to fighting, to being his own man. And I wanted action and a bit of adventure. But I also wanted a sexier sort of detective, so a dark and brooding man, a little Mr. Darcy blended with a bit of Errol Flynn. But I have to say that a great deal of his character stems from his innate sense of honor and justice carved out by his present circumstances, because to make him that loner down on his luck, I had to take away everything that he used to define himself: his knighthood, his title, his lands, his wealth, his very place in such a codified society. And once I did that, he...[read on]
Westerson's first six books featuring Crispin Guest are Veil of Lies, Serpent in the Thorns, The Demon's Parchment, Troubled Bones, Blood Lance, and Shadow of the Alchemist.
The Page 69 Test: Veil of Lies.
The Page 69 Test: Serpent in the Thorns.
The Page 69 Test: The Demon's Parchment.
My Book, The Movie: The Demon's Parchment.
The Page 69 Test: Troubled Bones.
The Page 69 Test: Blood Lance.
The Page 69 Test: Shadow of the Alchemist.
The Page 69 Test: Cup of Blood.