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Crowner John Books In Order

Publication Order of Crowner John Books

The Sanctuary Seeker (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Poisoned Chalice (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Crowner's Quest (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Awful Secret (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Tinner's Corpse (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Grim Reaper (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fear In The Forest (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Witch Hunter (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Figure of Hate (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Elixir of Death (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Noble Outlaw (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Manor of Death (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Crowner Royal (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Plague of Heretics (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Crowner's Crusade (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Crowner John Mystery are series of books written by Bernard Knight. This series gives an account of the fictional life of Sir John He was a former knight in the army of crusaders who got appointed as a Keeper of Pleas of the Kings Crown for Devon County. Crowners were appointed in the 12th century in every county to check the corruption of sheriffs. They were also responsible in raising money to make loan payments that covered the capture of king’s ransom in Austria during the 3rd Crusade. Sir John was kept in charge of investigating all sudden deaths, rapes, murders, wrecks, fires, catches of royal fish, wrecks as well as collecting custom form rich criminals. Sir John is given a very large area to investigate. He is given an area which is supposed to be administered by three Crowners. However, he is assisted by Thomas de Payne, a priest and a clerk and Gwyn, his old Cornish retainer. John is also married to sheriff Exeter`s sister, Matilda, a social-climbing wife. Sir Richard de Revelle who is supposed to be John’s good brother in law makes his life even harder. But John seeks solace to Nesta, a Welsh mistress and a landlady of the Bush inn. Apart from John many characters in the book series existed in history. The author has done a deep research on the characters and the surroundings in order to come up with 15 good novels. The main character, John is a rude, abrupt and steamy fellow. The main character is well suited to the time and era where people were not that liberal and women were being treated baldy. The story line and characters are very impressive.

The inspiration of Crowner John series forced a group of writers to feature him in short stories. Medieval murders are compilation of books written by Sussana, Gregory, Phillip Gooden, Ian Morson, Michael Jerks and Bernard Knight. Crowner John Mystery author has combined detection, suspense and historical authenticity to write a captivating book series. This series also brings Exeter to life with reality, humor and underlying sympathy. He provides a realistic flavor of a historical time with customs, laws and day-to-day life. This book series has been constructed with intriguing characters and situations that keep readers glued to the book. There are some twists and turns all meant to create situations that will surprise the reader.

Crowner John series was pioneered by The Sanctuary Seeker novel, published in 1998. In 1194 John is appointed by the king as the first coroner for Devon County. He sets out for a remote moorland village called Widecombe to carry out a murder investigation. He returns to Exeter where he learns that his own brother in law, Sherriff Richard was intending to thwart the murder investigation. However, his man Gwyn priest Thomas come to his aid. The dead man turns out to be a Crusader and member of ones Devon’s highly esteemed families. The dead man or Hugh was the heir to his father’s estate. Another body is later found and Hugh’s brother Gervaise. This book moves at the right pace and all characters make the setting more real. The author provides great insights to a 12th century England mystery. This pioneer book shows how the author is knowledgeable medieval history and forensics. This is a great story filled with realism. It is a perfect start to the series since it provides a great foundation to later plots with background of characters, time and place.

The Poisoned Chalice is the 2nd book in the series, published in 1998. This was a quick continuation of the pioneer book. The setting is done on December, 1194, where ladies live in fear. Christina Rifford the daughter of a rich merchant is raped. Also, Lady Adele de Courcy is found dead just six months after her wedding. Her dead body lies in one of the poorest areas in the city. The local silversmith, Godfrey Fitzosbern seems to be the common factor. Crowner John is very suspicious about him. The victim’s families are also making vengeful accusations. John has to protect Godfrey until he finds out the definite proof of his guilt. Once again, her wife Matilda and his brother in law seem to be getting on her way. John is helped by his mistress Nesta in bringing the pieces together. Just before he makes a conclusion, a final act of violence brings another twist to the story. Once again, the author has excelled in the plot. The whole story offers the right amount of tension with a remarkable sense of time and place.

The Witch Hunter and Manor of Death novels are also worth mentioning. These were the 8th and 12th in the series, published in 2004 and 2008 accordingly. They are the most popular and highly rated novels by the author. In The Witch Hunter, events take a sinister turn about a presumed natural death when a straw doll is found under the dead man’s saddle. Apparently, it has a thin spike that was used to pierce his heart. The wife’s victim begins a campaign against witchcraft and evil women. Meanwhile, a mob is on the loose which puts many local women in danger. John is forced find the killer when her own mistress falls under suspicion. This is a great text that brings historical murder mystery to life. In the Manor of Death, John is called upon to investigate the murder after a body is found in the harbor of Axmouth. The death looks to be a result of conflict but the seamen and townsfolk prove to be a closed book. They are willing to do anything to ensure that John never learns the truth which is very frustrating. John needs to be cunning and determined in order to solve this case. This is a text filled with sights of medieval England where treachery and betrayal were the order of the day.

The Sanctuary Seeker and the Poised Chalice have played a significant role in developing the character and setting the background. Crowner John is an interesting series filled with historical realism. The historical background and events are well captured by the author. Bernard Knight allows the reader to learn about the justice system in the earlier days. The family and jurisdiction conflict captured in the story is also very intriguing. These descriptive mystery stories are very enjoyable and well-paced.

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