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Crowner Royal (A Crowner John Mystery) Hardcover – April 6, 2009

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in 1196, the intriguing 14th entry in Knight's Crowner John series (The Manor of Death, etc.) takes Sir John de Wolfe to Westminster, where Richard the Lionheart has appointed him Coroner of the Verge. One hot summer day, from the window of the coroner's office, one of de Wolfe's officers chances to observe a stabbing by the river below. The assailant flees, while the body of a palace clerk is extracted from the Thames. As de Wolfe investigates, he must assert his authority over the haughty and incompetent London sheriff's department. The victim, the coroner learns, appears to have heard something not meant for his ears while servicing the palace's guest chambers. The murder fuels the king's suspicions that traitors are plotting to overthrow his rule. Straightforward, descriptive prose, spiced with a few period terms, brings 12th-century England to life. (Oct.)
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Review

"Intriguing."  —Publishers Weekly


"Fans of Crowner John won't be disappointed."  —Kirkus Reviews



"Another stellar historical whodunit from the practiced pen of a master."  —Booklist Online



"Packed with the sights, sounds and smells of medieval England, the Crowner John series is a national treasure."  —Birmingham Post


"Rayne's wealth of intriguing characters and situations has you continually putting two and two together and making five, but when the truth emerges, you wonder why you didn't see it coming. Clues to all the bizarre twists and turns are there, but so well constructed that each time you are taken by surprise."  —Western Daily Press



"Brings medieval Exeter to life with gritty realism, smells and all, but with an underlying sympathy and humor.”  —Historical Novels Review



"Detection and suspense are combined with historical authenticity."  —Daily Mail
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Product Details

  • Series: A Crowner John Mystery
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; 1 edition (April 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184737297X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847372970
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,520,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rich on September 2, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked this series. I made the mistake of buying one to see if I cared for the author's style without checking to see where it was in the series. That was dumb. This is a series (as are most to be honest) that should be read from the first book straight through to the last. I am impressed with the character development, even the good guys aren't perfect and the bad guys are real stinkers. It is slightly repetitious to re-read some of the basic setting info in every volume. The author apologized for that around book 7 or so; but in case you just pick one at random you do need some of the core setting to enjoy it, so I can't really knock him for that. Historically it seems to be pretty accurate and in the prolog he explains what diverges from history. I appreciate that as well. All in all I have had a fun read with the 12 books ZI've finished so far.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Small on July 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I don't like to leave a negative review because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but Mr. Knight has made a fortune from this series and I'm sure can put one reader's disappointed remarks in perspective.

Sir. You have thirteen books in this series (at least thirteen). You have made sufficient money from them that if your publisher refuses to pay an editor, you yourself can and REALLY SHOULD hire at least a proofreader from your own pocket.

Commas appear where they ought not and don't appear where they should. Someone should tear the key cap off the exclamation point on your keyboard. That same someone should blue-pencil you when you fall in love with a particular word. Example: one lovely lady is "languorous" three times in four pages. All other attractive women are referred to, over and over, as "delectable." The crowner himself is forever "snapping" or "growling," more so than any dog I've ever known. And aside from the annoying syntactical monotony, can't you find any other words to limn his character? Don't you think he snaps and growls a bit much, particularly when nothing in the scene calls for it?

Also, though the historical lore you have put in is most welcome, you've got to work on the transitions. Work on making these tidbits a little less conspicuous, both in their placement (not during a crisis, please! it's ridiculous to wander off on an architectural note during a squabble among the main characters) and in their too-sharp edges. Blend them in!

Despite the frustration over the above points, you get an extra star for including the map, the explanatory foreword, and moving the glossary up front. Good for you! And very good for the reader, thank you. But DO hire someone to police your adjectives and punctuation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rick22 on December 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoy the Crowner John books. They seem to me to reflect good, old fashioned, storytelling. The perfect books to join up with a comfortable chair and a crackling fire for example. I found a couple of the reviews a tad pretentious, these books are what they are, and they do not pretend to be anything else. I'm also wondering whether the commas criticism came from an American; for as we know our use of commas differ greatly. The best way is to enjoy these books as they are intended to be enjoyed, as pure entertainment.
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By Clare O'Beara on July 24, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This title has nothing to do with coronations. Rather it tells of a Coroner who is to oversee serious criminal cases in 1196. King Richard is away at wars and living in France, and continually bleeds as much money in taxes from England as he can possibly raise to pay for his army. We wonder today just how prosperous England would have been if the money was spent there, improving roads and bridges, paying sheriffs to keep roads safe from outlaws, and more.

Crowner John from the West Country is appointed to the Court at Westminster and when the Court leaves London he will travel along. So we get to see London and the palace of Westminster, built on a brambly gravel bank, with small wherries ferrying customers across the Thames. We're continually told the place is a warren and everything stinks. However the people of the time would be used to all that and I was surprised that John and his helpers didn't go out for some entertainments other than the odd drink in a pub. A couple of murders occur, a chest in the safe royal vault is mysteriously opened and treasure stolen. The Coroner has to investigate, especially as the King is most aggrieved at having his funds depleted.

I did like the visions presented of London at that time, a walled city sprawling out, and other historical details as a contrast from John's normal haunts in Exeter. To someone who has read the earlier books some descriptions may prove tedious but that happens in a long-running series. The Crowner has been forced into a marriage while young but his sweetheart stayed fond of him and now his wife has taken herself spitefully into a convent, so he is neither here nor there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on July 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Always like anything from Bernard Knight. Well researched, well written. A great story with interesting characters. I wish all his books were available on kindle, I'd buy them all!
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