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Crowner's Crusade (Crowner John Series) by…

Crowner's Crusade (Crowner John Series) (original 2012; edition 2013)

by Bernard Knight

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243459,532 (3.44)1
Title:Crowner's Crusade (Crowner John Series)
Authors:Bernard Knight
Info:Severn House Publishers (2013), Hardcover, 224 pages

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Crowner's Crusade by Bernard Knight (2012)



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No synopsis, that's in the publisher's purview. I will just tell you that I enjoy excellent story telling within a sound (primary sources) historical matrix so I very much enjoyed this prequel. Dr. Knight has created a gift for long time fans of the "Crowner John Mystery Series (14 titles) who may have had questions about their favorite characters from the series. Knight provides many answers for readers of the series along with a fun read. However, for those poor souls who may not be familiar with the series, this title works well as a 'stand alone' title. I think old fans will be dusting off old titles in the series to refresh themselves with the enjoyment of reading them again. Others, who have not read the series, may very well be looking into those titles once tempted by "Crowner's Crusade." I should note that I have read other titles by Bernard Knight and have always been pleased! ( )
  Bookaholic2 | Mar 6, 2015 |
This prequel in the popular Crowner John historical crime fiction series comes in two parts: the first deals with the return of Richard the Lionheart and his small band of councillors and Knights Templars 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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First words
As the evening light faded, the King of England slipped away from the Holy Land like a thief in the night.
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Book description
October 9, 1192 – September 1194.

How a humble Devon knight became a king’s coroner: the thrilling prequel to the perennially popular Crowner John medieval mystery series.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. Discovering a body washed up on the shores of the River Exe, its throat cut, Sir John deduces that he was a king’s courier. Tasked by Hubert Walter, the Chief Justiciar, to find out why the man died and who killed him, Sir John de Wolfe finds himself drawn unwillingly into affairs of state. His new career as a king’s coroner is about to begin . . .[retrieved 8/4/2015 from Amazon.com]
Haiku summary
On his return from
crusade, John de Wolfe is made
a king's coroner.
The prequel in the
Crowner John historical
mysteries series.

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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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