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Showing 1-10 of 16 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 20 reviews
on September 8, 2012
The Crowner John mysteries are a delight and a welcome addition to the list of medieval mystery series (from Tremayne's Sister Fidelma, Vail's Stephen Attewood, Weston's Crispin, Gregory's Surgeon Matthew, through Frazer's Sister Frevisse, to mention just a few). Crowner John is a rugged, somewhat impious former knight whose loyalty to King Richard has resulted in his being appointed crowner, an early form of coroner, for Devon. Through reading the novels, the reader gets to be a sidekick with John and travel through Devonshire and the city of Exeter along with him and his two incredible assistants. The novels set in Exeter are particularly interesting since the conflicts between the merchant class, the church, and the state are either an important element or provide a vivid backdrop to the crimes. In a Plague of Heretics John has returned to Exeter after a spell serving as royal coroner at Westminister. My only concern about this last novel is a misgiving that it may actually be the last in the series! The problem of his unhappy marriage is resolved and his extramarital love life also seems to be taking a new turn. John is also financially secure but readers who know English history are all too aware that according to the timeframe Knight has set for his hero, King Richard does not have many more years left to rule. When John comes to the throne, that would present serious problems to our fictional hero. Perhaps author Knight wishes to end the series on a high note and spend more time developing his new series. But, please, please, we're not ready to say good bye to Crowner John yet!
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on April 16, 2016
Note: This series MUST be read in order, as the personal lives of the characters are on long arcs that are part of the dramatic tension of the series. That does not mean it's a romance or soap-opera, but yes, long-term character development does take place. I've read every one of this series, while each one has a mystery, there are several arcs and it can be a long wait for a given arc's resolution. Don't give up, read this one! Had no idea yellow fever mosquitoes could survive the chilly climate long enough to cause a serious outbreak. Always interesting details in these books!
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on December 27, 2014
If you just love stories set in medieval England, you can increase the rating to four stars. The plot is fairly thin and there really isn't that much of the book dedicated to investigating it. Crowner John isn't much of a detective and his interviewing skills leave a lot to be desired. There were so many questions un-asked - it seems that the only question Crowner John could come up with is, "Did you do it?". I did learn a lot about Medieval England in the course of reading this book and that might convince me to read another in this series. But, if your main interest is following a sleuth in uncovering the evidence of a crime, I don't recommend this.
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on December 1, 2016
Have just finished the Plague of Heretics and have read all previous Crowner John books. Have really enjoyed all of them. Very sadly, this looks to be the last. Hope I am wrong and Bernard Knight will write more soon.
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on February 16, 2015
The coroner's determined belief in law and order made a great story as usual. We also see the difficult living conditions in this century not to mention dealing with plague.
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on January 5, 2017
Good story. Could I have been fifty pages shorter. Just like the others who enjoy the series, the story updates are too frequent and too long.
Would like to learn more about Nesta, Thomas ,Gwenn, and others.
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on October 4, 2015
What a great finish for a series.. snif snif.. Wishing it was not done but glad I skipped over 5 books which I can now read.
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I love all of Bernard Knights books, He makes you feel like you were in England in the 1300s
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on February 5, 2014
It is one of the best in the series. Crowner John and his friends are very believable. It was a page turner for sure.
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on December 27, 2012
Recommend this series to anyone who enjoys ancient mysteries and a good story line.
Very descriptive and keeps you guessing.
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