“After a brief hiatus, I returned to Bernard Knight’s Crowner John series with Fear in the Forest. Professor Knight is a very good storyteller who not only educates the reader but entertains as well. Professor Knight is one of Great Britain’s leading forensic pathology experts. His books can be found at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop and other independent bookstores.
As in the previous Crowner John books, John de Wolf, Coroner for Devonshire in 1195, is beset by many problems. Murders in the Royal Forest tax his patience (again) with his brother-in-law the Sheriff of Devonshire and with the King’s officials responsible for keeping law and order in the Royal Forests. John’s personal life has several peaks and valleys. Nesta, John’s Celtic pub-owning mistress, tells John she is pregnant, which makes him ecstatic but depresses Nesta. His long-suffering wife, Mathilda, leaves him to enter a priory but is that a good thing? John is wounded in a man-on-man sword fight with outlaws. Traveling to Winchester, Coroner John calls for help from his old friend Archbishop Hubert Walter of Canterbury and Justiciar of England while King Richard is out of the country.
I have traveled to some of the locales in Devon about which Professor Knight writes. Some of them still contain the buildings he talks about such as Exeter Cathedral and its Close, Rougemont Castle and High Street in Exeter.
My advice is simple: GO. BUY. READ.”—Jim Harris, retired book sales rep