I am still here, really, although I had absolutely no time to post this since finishing it Friday morning. Shadow of the Alchemist is the latest Crispin Guest medieval noir, a series which I've been loving since the beginning.
It's 1387, and the famous alchemist Nicholas Flamel has hired Crispin Guest,
a disgraced knight now earning a living as the Tracker, to find his wife and
apprentice, who he believes have run away together. But things take a turn, and
Guest and his apprentice Jack Tucker find themselves playing a game of wits with
somebody after Flamel's secrets and revenge. Meanwhile, Henry, the son of Guest's old lord, has reappeared in his life. Is it coincidental, or is he involved?
The Medieval Noir series is brilliant and offers everything that readers
expect from a private detective series (or as some characters explain Guest's
profession "private sheriff"): a down and out hero scraping by to make a living
but holding to his own code of ethics, mysterious women who may be more than
they seem, and in 14th century London, a dangerous city where the powers that be
fight among themselves while the common people struggle to stay alive.
Yet this installment ends on a strangely optimistic note. One wonders where
Guest will be twelve years from this book. Will he regain his knighthood and
continue his investigations as a part of the court? Or will a falling out keep
him where he is? I only hope the series continues long enough for us to find
Overall Grade: A