Fear in the Forest is number seven in the Crowner John Series. Sir John de Wolfe, dubbed
Black John by soldiers who fought with him in previous campaigns, is the county coroner. His
character is forthright, perceptive and reliable.
Itís June 1195 and a rider with an arrow shaft in his back gains attention when itís discovered
heís the second senior royal forest officer to be murdered. Crowner John prepares an inquest. He
investigates and interviews with the help of his bodyguard Gwyn and clerk Thomas. And through it
all no one is safe. John's investigation of the officers' deaths also leads to a conspiracy that may
involve his brother-in-law, Sheriff Sir Richard de Revelle (oh, that man...). It takes a
range of coroner's methods and cross-examination skills for John to solve this case. On the personal
side, Johnís mistressí latest news has his wife Matilda heading to the priory to become a nun. Is an
annulment (freedom) in his future? Mistress Nester finds herself confiding in Thomas more and more...
This installment delivers both adventure and mystery.
As always, in listening to a Crowner John mystery I am quickly immersed in the period and storyline.
Knight is well-known for his authentic characters and historical depiction. Fear in the Forest
is just as absorbing as previous titles in this series. Paul Matthews narrates this episode, as well.
His narration is spot on with Nesterís kindness, Matildaís haughtiness, and Johnís intensity. Turning
this audio on means entering Crowner Johnís era and leaving your own until the last word is heard.
Iím still waiting for BBC or Americaís PBS/OETA to discover this series. I am confident it would be
just as dramatic and fascinating as the Brother Cadfael series..,