Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Elixir of Death
Crowner John Mystery, #10

by Bernard Knight
narrated by Paul Matthews


It's 1195 and Crowner John is called to the sea. John, Gwen, and Thomas search for answers concerning a shipwreck and solve the murderous death of the sea captain. The knife used to kill him isn't a common one. Other bodies are later found mutilated and grossly disrespected in death. The murdered Captain's wife, Hilda, is one of John's former lovers. For once, Nester doubts her position as his mistress. And John finds temptation in his path. Hilda, on the other hand, is determined to find the killer and will sacrifice all to do so.

And, of course, as in each installment, John's brother-in-law Richard is up to no good. Desiring the unattainable leads him as well as others into danger, which leaves some hoping John will arrive in the nick of time. Following Richard is Matilda who still blames John for her brother's lack of social standing. Her way of dealing with it is running him out of house and home. Oddly, Nester's not so willing to take him in... Matilda has an adventure of her own which has one almost feeling sorry for her... almost...

The characters are taken away from Exeter, making this mystery all the more adventurous.  John's sidekick, Gwen, is loyal and dependent as always and Thomas experiences personal changes. As the mystery progresses the danger intensifies and prisoners are taken, leaving listeners wondering who will make it back to Exeter... It's an historical mystery full of adventure, grisly death, and changes.  Let's hope John finds his elixir of life in The Elixir of Death.

Crowner John and his band are addictive. Once you turn the audio on it's difficult to switch it off. Knight's descriptions of 12th century Devon are so realistic and his characters so believable, you don't even notice how effortlessly you slip into the era and follow the characters until it's over. Crowner John is another popular historical series to be enjoyed.

The Book

Clipper Audio, Recorded Books
June 2007
Audio book / 11 CDs / 13 HRs
978 1 40740 185 0
Historical Mystery / 12th century
More at US || UK
Audio edition
NOTE: Amazon links are to paperback editions. The audio edition (also available as a CD) is through the publisher

The Reviewer

Brenda Weeaks
Reviewed 2009
© 2009