Cup of Blood
Crispin Guest, the main character of this novel set in medieval England, is a disgraced knight who has been banished from court for treason against King Richard II. Highly intelligent, he now survives as a ‘Tracker,’ having made a reputation by finding lost objects/persons for a fee. When a corpse is discovered in Crispin’s favorite tavern, he is not only hired by the sheriff to find the murderer, but is also commissioned by a number of other people – at greater compensation if he succeeds and the cost of his life if he fails.
The plot can be convoluted, involving not only Crispin’s former betrothed but also her brother, a sensual courtesan, a young cutpurse, a priest, shadowy members of the believed-to-be-extinct Order of Knights Templar, and henchmen of the anti-Pope in Avignon. The author creates a provocative tale out of all this, one with an involved plot and an unexpected climax.