Generally speaking, I like the Crispin Guest novels. Crispin is a disgraced English knight, whose life, although spared, is now something less than the rich and pampered one he once lived. To keep bread on his table Crispin is now, as he sees it, reduced to solving crimes, often involving some religious relic. Crispin is honorable, bold, sexy, and sometimes a bit of a navel gazer, which makes him thrilling and tiresome in equal measure.
While I typically enjoy a Crispin Guest novel, Blood Lance did not grab me. The primary problem I had with the book was that the story was just all over the place! There is a triple murder, a search for the Holy Lance (the lance that was used to pierce the side of Jesus Christ as he hung on the cross), some kind of intrigue involving knights, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Lenny a common thief. Then there was a beautiful woman and her elderly father who were somehow connected to the murdered people, as well as to a bunch of other minor characters that it is hard to keep track of. As if all of that is not enough to be getting on with, there is the ordeal with Sir Thomas, a knight, and friend to Crispin, who has deserted his lord in battle and is now faced with charges of cowardice, political discontent among the king, his cronies, and the general population, battle going on in Spain, and a dying Abbot Nicholas of Westminster Abbey. I mean, seriously, I love the research and work that Westerson puts into her Crispin Guest novels, but she really didn't have to cram all of this into one book! This is a lot for any one book, and frankly, the mystery gets so lost in this stew that when the denouement happens it's barely noticeable, and not even all that satisfying. By the point the murderer is revealed, the reader is too tired to care. Or at least I was.