Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"The Silence of Stones"

Jeri Westerson is the author of the Crispin Guest Medieval Noir series.

She applied the Page 69 Test to The Silence of Stones, the eighth book in the series, and reported the following:
Page 69 of The Silence of Stones:
He rubbed his hands for another moment and turned. His strides were long down the nave, but footsteps followed him, and then someone ran to head him off at the door. A burly bear of a man furrowed his brow at him, body blocking his exit.

‘We weren’t done talking, Master Guest,’ said Findlaich from behind him.

‘Yes we were. You don’t have the Stone so there is nothing else to say.’

‘But you are a finder of lost things, are you not? They call you the Tracker.’

Crispin halted but did not turn around. He laughed instead, a harsh bark of a sound. ‘Don’t tell me you intended to hire me, too?’ He did turn then, eyes narrowing. ‘You whoreson. Don’t you know why I am already looking for it? The king has my apprentice as hostage. If I don’t find it and return it to the king, he will kill the boy! What the hell do I care about you?’

‘Such haste and impertinence,’ said Findlaich, shaking his head. ‘I care not for what schemes the king’s got brewing. I only know my own task. And that was to secure the Stone. But I no have it. And I shall be in peril if I do not do as my patron says. Yet, I might have an idea who does have that troublesome Stone.’

‘And why should I trust you?’

‘Well now…’ He rubbed his shaggy chin again. ‘There are things that I know that perhaps you do not…’ Sagging, he shrugged. ‘I wish no harm to your lad, Master Guest, but as you well know, men like us are at the mercy of our betters.’

Betters? Who would lead such an expedition for the Stone, he wondered. Who could? A Scottish lord, no doubt. But who? This Mormaer? The Mormaer, he corrected. The tribal nuances of northerners was a puzzle to him.

And anyway, how would the knowing of it help his situation? Well, all the pieces were necessary. Only a complete tapestry yielded an understandable picture.

He faced Findlaich, whom, he realized, had been civil to him. ‘You will forgive me if I leave you now? For I have another appointment which might provide answers that we all seek. Pardon me if I do not invite you along.’

‘To the Boar’s Tusk?’
That pretty much sets up the book, doesn't it? We have Crispin Guest, our protagonist who is tasked with searching for the stolen Stone of Destiny, taken from the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey. Crispin's immediate concern is his apprentice Jack Tucker who was taken hostage by the king to insure Crispin's expediency. And we have his Scottish rivals. So all is in place very neatly on page 69!
Learn more about the author and her work at Jeri Westerson's website and her "Getting Medieval" blog.

The Page 69 Test: Veil of Lies.

The Page 69 Test: Serpent in the Thorns.

The Page 69 Test: The Demon's Parchment.

My Book, The Movie: The Demon's Parchment.

The Page 69 Test: Troubled Bones.

The Page 69 Test: Blood Lance.

The Page 69 Test: Shadow of the Alchemist.

The Page 69 Test: Cup of Blood.

--Marshal Zeringue