Veil of Lies (#1)

Next: Serpent in the Thorns

Crispin Guest has fallen far from his privileged position as a knight in medieval high society. Accused of treason, abandoned by former friends and allies, he has survived on the gritty streets of London by reinventing himself as “The Tracker”, a private investigator for hire who can locate lost objects or uncover the clandestine lives of people.

When the secretive, wealthy merchant Nicholas Walcote hires Guest to investigate his alluring young wife Philippa for adultery, he discovers a seedy underworld of covert dealings and violent men of mystery. Philippa is indeed hiding something and she’s not the only one. Guest soon learns that Walcote is rumored to be in possession of a mystical holy relic so powerful that some would even kill for it.

Guest must contend with his nemesis, Sheriff Simon Wynchcombe in the search for answers to the questions surrounding the mysterious Walcotes. With each new day comes another layer of intrigue and Guest quickly becomes entangled in a strange world of superstition, seduction, and murder.

With vivid detail, an unforgettable hero, and a complex, thrilling story, Veil of Lieswas a finalist for the Macavity and Shamus awards, and the other novels in the Crispin Guest medieval noir series have been contenders for the Macavity, Agatha, Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery, and Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice awards.


“Westerson’s mystery debut is a brilliant tale of survival in a hostile environment, where anything can lead to death. Fans of medieval mysteries will put this on their reserve list. Highly recommended.”

Library Journal, Starred Review

“Will appeal to mystery and history fans alike.”


“An entertaining read that makes the prospect of sequels welcome.”

Publishers Weekly

“A promising debut featuring reluctant sleuth Crispin Guest […] This authentically detailed medieval mystery has an intriguingly dark edge that will appeal to fans of both historical fiction and noir.”


“This book, which has a bit of romance tucked up its raveled sleeve is pure fun.”

Boston Globe

“Brimming with medieval atmosphere, blessed with an elaborate plot and interesting characters, VEIL OF LIES shows great promise. And Westerson displays the skill of a writer who has mastered her subject and has used that knowledge to create erudite entertainment.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch

“To say VEIL OF LIES is a remarkable novel doesn’t do the book justice. just when the plot seems set on a fixed course, the author deftly arranges another neat surprise and keeps the pages turning. The story is fresh, and engaging characters abound.”

Historical Novels Review

“Westerson combines an encyclopedic knowledge of the Middle Ages with an obvious love for the hard boiled genre and adds a classic mystery-telling ability to create what is one of my favorite reads of the year. I look forward to more from this wonderful new talent.”

Crimespree Magazine

“Westerson effectively translates the “noirish” tone of the classic 1930s private-eye novels to medieval England, creating a realistically gritty and intriguingly dark variation of other medieval mysteries by Ellis Peters and Margaret Frazier.”


“A resolution amid revelations, with a depth worth plumbing.”

McClatchy Newspapers

“Guest is a likeable albeit flawed detective who is well worth his own niche in the history mystery genre.”

I Love a Mystery

“VEIL OF LIES marks a spectacular debut! Westerson’s “medieval noir” page-turner sports vigorous plotting, robust characters, and superb scholarship. An utterly beguiling alchemy of Canterbury and Connelly. The Crispin Guest series scores a bulls-eye on the first shot. The stuff of legend!”

Julia Spencer-Fleming, Edgar finalist and author of I Shall Not Want

“Every fan of P.C. Doherty should be delighted with this new series.”

Margaret Frazer, author of the Dame Frevisse and Joliffe medieval mystery series

“Jeri Westerson’s VEIL OF LIES is a great read, through and through. Her finely wrought portrait of gritty Medieval London is imbued with great wit and poignancy, establishing Crispin Guest as a knight to remember.”

Cornelia Read, author of A Field of Darkness

“Now that the Da Vinci Code has come and gone, VEIL OF LIES ought to prove the abiding interest in fiction that touches on Catholic and medieval themes […] I’ve never read such a well-constructed and well-written mystery, and I’ve read many hundreds of them… I can’t think of a single living author of mystery fiction that I’d buy in hardcover any more. I know I’ll reread these books many times, so they have to be sturdy. Has someone already claimed the slot as #1 fan? Oh, okay, I’ll settle for being #750.”

Laura James, Crime Historian of Clews

Awards & Accolades


Macavity Award Finalist: “Best Historical Mystery”


Shamus Award Finalist