When a corpse turns up at his favorite tavern, Crispin Guest - disgraced knight turned detective - begins an inquiry, but the dead man turns out to be a Templar knight, an order thought to be extinct for 75 years, charged with protecting a certain religious relic which is now missing. Before he can begin to investigate, Crispin is abducted by shadowy men who are said to be minions of the French anti-pope. Further complicating matters are two women: one from court with an enticing proposition, and another from Crispin's past, dredging up long-forgotten emotions he would rather have left behind. And as if all that weren't enough, a cunning young cutpurse by the name of Jack Tucker has insinuated himself into Crispin's already difficult life. The deeper Crispin probes into the murder, the more it looks like the handiwork of an old friend turned adversary. With enemies from all sides, Crispin has his hands full in more than murder in this intriguing prequel to the acclaimed series.
©2014 Jeri Westerson (P)2014 Jeri Westerson
The narration was stilted and robotic, (think speaking clock!) for the majority of this book, apart from when the boy Jack was speaking, which spoilt it for me. The pronunciation was Americanised although the story is set in England and was annoying too. The story was OK but a bit far fetched. On the positive side, the historical facts at the end were interesting. Would I listen to it again? No!
"Enjoyable beginning for the Crispin Guest series"
Yes - I enjoy the characters, the plot, and the writing.
Crispin Guest - he's a man who has been betrayed by people he thought were his friends. Guest, who was once a knight, has his title, money, and lands taken from him. Now he has to make a living as a "tracker" - someone who finds things or people for a price. Since the story is set under Richard II in England in the late 14th century, social classes are very distinct.
I love this man's voice. My cats love his voice, too. He does a great job with all the different voices from different classes, and his women's voices are good, too.
I laughed often at the interaction between Crispin and Jack Tucker, the eleven year old boy who sort of becomes Crispin's assistant - Jack is kept busy running to the tavern for wine, cleaning up Crispin's messy room, etc.
This is the prequel to six books in the Crispin Guest series. Audible has these six books, and the author has recently announced that there are more to come.
"Templars and the Grail"
This book made me feel I was really in London in the time of Richard II. The mystery is tangled and intriguing, and the descriptions of the environment and people are just wonderful. The character of Crispin is particularly compelling. He was convicted of treason, publicly stripped of his title and property, and turned out on the streets to starve. Alone, impoverished, and thoroughly disgraced, he still clings to his pride and sense of honor.
The narrator did a wonderful job with characters from many different levels of society. Bravo!
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
"A Truly Excellent Novel"
I may be late to the party when it comes to Jeri Westerson and her Crispin Guest novels, but I’m glad I came. I picked this book up on a whim, not really knowing what to expect from it. “Cup Of Blood” is set in England in the time period of Richard II, Crispin is a down on his luck man who lost his knighthood, his land and his privileged lifestyle. Crispin’s path soon crosses with a homeless pick-pocket named Jack Tucker, who has been living by his wits on the streets since age eight. The two find themselves working together to solve a mystery involving the holy grail and a murdered Templar knight. “Cup Of Blood” is the prequel to Ms. Westerson’s Crispin Guest series so it works out perfectly for me when it comes to the reading order for the series.
Tim Campbell does a wonderful job narrating this book. I really enjoyed listening to him, partly because of his skill as a narrator and partly because he is blessed with some great pipes. Based on the strength of “Cup Of Blood,” I can easily see myself picking up the whole series. Finally, this audio book was provided by the author at no cost in exchange for an honest review, courtesy of Audio Book Boom.
Loved the full cast, the accents, the ambient sounds. This was done immersively well! The stories are captivating and exciting, and the performances catch all of the subtle nuances that come from conversations so that it didn't feel like a book reading. I definitely recommend this. -
“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”
"Master Guest rocks"
Wow, this book was a joy to listen to! It's full of twists and turns, great characters and secrets upon sectrets. Being a noir story, there's also a sexy dame in distress that appears in the "detective's office". It was a lot of fun to re-visit the trope in a medieval setting :D
I admit I half-chose the book because the guy on the cover is handsome, but lemme tell you, Jeri Westerson is a great writer! Especially with characters (I loved both Jack and Crispin, and even the french villain) and the plot, which unfolds beautifully.
And of course, Tim Campbell's voice sounds like dark 90% chocolate, which is appropriate, since this is a noir mystery :D I enjoyed his narration very much.
My heartfelt thanks to the author, narrator, or publisher for providing me this audiobook via Audiobook Boom at no cost in exchange for my unbiased review.
"In search of the Holy Grail"
Food for thought
Crispin was very chivalrous and an honorable man.
Great diction and cadence.
Sad for Crispin when the love of his life betrays him.
"I was voluntarily provided this review copy at no charge by the author, publisher and or narrator.”
"Captivating listen and story"
I listened to the sample narration and read the publisher summary and decided to ask for this book in exchange for an unbiased review. So happy I did! This was a very well-written and imagined story that the narrator captured quite expertly. I immediately searched for more by both the author and narrator and I will gladly follow Lord Guest the world over!
"Go Medieval on you!"
I own the Kindle version of Cup of Blood and did the Whispersynch experience. I read at a fast pace, this isn't usually a satisfying method for me. But, in this case, it was enjoyable! The book and audio version compliment each other.
There are nine or so books in the Crispen Guest Medieval series. So there are those. And what I though as I listened and read this is the "Thieves' World" anthologies / novels by Lynn Abbey, Robert Asprin, Janet Morris and other writers. This is a time tested favorite series of mine. So this can be considered a big complement.
The work is abundant in scenes that were interesting to me. The taverns, the street scenes, ...
The mystery itself. Though simple, it was appropriate to the historic time that this series takes place in.
I have read several Kindle versions in this series. The Audible version of Cup of Blood was a great listen along.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com
"An exciting mystery set in medieval England"
The story is set in the time of knights and ladies but the hero, Crispin, is a former knight who is forced to make a living as a commoner. He becomes a "tracker" or a private detective. Crispin is forced to face his past when he investigates a poisoning and the suspect turns out to be his former best friend Stephen, the man responsible for Crispin's downfall. Throw in his former fiancée, Knight Templars, and a beautiful lady with a bad reputation and you have a story that delivers on the action.
One of the most memorable parts of the story was that we finally find out the background of Jack Turner, the young boy who is Crispin's servant (and sidekick). Jack is a continuing character who appears in the other books in the series and my favorite character (sorry Crispin! ).
"discover this series"
I certainly would listen to Cup of Blood again, and again. Tim Campbell does a masterful job of acting when reading this book. His voice is deep and dramatic as befits the main character. His pace is perfect, easy to understand and each character has their own voice. He makes the book come alive.
Cripsin, the title chacter of all the books in the series is my favourite. I have to admit, that I would have a bit of a crush on him if I were in his time. He has honour, is darkly complex, very masculine, and extremely bright. Move over Archie Goodwin.
Of course, I always like the end of the book, with the sense of satisfaction it brings, but I honestly can't pick out one scene I liked any more than another.
Yes! I was so immersed in the story and the acting was so good, I took offense to anything which took me away from it.
This is a great series and wonderful way to start it, if you havent discovered the Crispin books yet. I see my credits going to the series until have them all. On second thought, I may have to buy extra credits. I can't wait that long.
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