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Crowner's Crusade (Crowner John Series) by…
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Crowner's Crusade (Crowner John Series) (edition 2013)

by Bernard Knight

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Member:Janientrelac
Title:Crowner's Crusade (Crowner John Series)
Authors:Bernard Knight
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Crowner's Crusade by Bernard Knight

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This prequel in the popular Crowner John historical crime fiction series comes in two parts: the first deals with Richard the Lionheart and his small band of councillors and Knights Templar's return from the Third Crusade and the ill-fated journey across the Mediterranean, which ends with Richard's capture in Vienna; the second part describes how John de Wolfe arrives in his native Devon and tries to settle down after decades of campaigning, discovers a murder victim, and generally has a hand in trying to eradicate the spreading lawlessness in Exeter and its surroundings. Eventually the archbishop of Canterbury recognises his service and appoints him king's coroner.

Being unfamiliar with the Crowner John series (but with two volumes on my shelf), this prequel was a good place to start. Bernard Knight appears to have done his research well, and he certainly paints a colourful enough (and presumably accurate enough) picture of life and campaign at the end of the twelfth century, but throughout the book I felt there was something lacking, and the novel didn't engage me as much as I'd hoped. His prose often showed repetitions of adjectives and facts, and there were plenty of clumsy terms of phrase, expressions and dialogue, as well as the odd inaccuracy in terms of plot; a natural writer he is not. The mystery itself was quite intriguing at first, but then seemed to peter out as John de Wolfe dealt with various crimes nearly single-handedly, the original murder fading into the background. I won't give up on the other books just yet, but I do hope the others will be an improvement on this prequel. ( )
  passion4reading | Feb 1, 2014 |
This is a prequel. It's really 2 short stories, one about Richard the Lion Hearts journey from the Holy Land ending with his capture, which is medium good but has nothing to do with the mystery, and the first mystery solved by John. if you want just the mystery start at page 79. ( )
  Janientrelac | Jan 27, 2013 |
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Haiku summary
On his return from
Crusade, John de Wolfe is made
A king's coroner.
(passion4reading)
The prequel in the
Crowner John historical
Mysteries series.
(passion4reading)

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1192. Returning from the Holy Land at the end of the Third Crusade with Richard the Lionheart, King of England, Sir John de Wolfe, a Devon knight, finds England simmering with rebellion. When a body is found on the shore of the River Exe, de Wolfe is charged with finding out who and why the man was killed, beginning his new career as a king's coroner.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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