Fourth in the Crowner John medieval mystery series set in late 1100's Devon, UK. When a Templar Knight--or rather, an ex-Templar who has now left the order--who fought with John in Outremer seeks his assistance while he waits for a cohort to arrive, the coroner reluctantly agrees. When he finds out that Gilbert is now considered a heretic who has an 'awful secret' about the Church that the Templars are suppressing, and is being pursued not only by three higher-ups in the Templar Order, but by a papal nuncio who is part of the Inquisition, John curses the moment he pledged his help, but stands by his word. When the ex-Templar turns up dead, obviously murdered, John must then investigate even though his suspicions lie with the Church, whom he has no authority to question. A secondary plot deals with piracy off the coast of Devon and brings the Crowner to Ilfracombe and Barnstaple, which are familiar to me as my DH's sister lives in that area. I did guess the bad guy way ahead of time in this one and didn't think the story was quite as good as some of the others in this series--or maybe I've just been 'DaVinci Coded' to death--but I still enjoyed it as I like the setting and the characters in this series.
How our perspectives change as our lives progress; things mocked become things valued and things valued become mocked. Crowner John is approached by a long ago acquaintance from his days as a crusader for help, in doing the right thing de Wolfe discovers that black and white are not always in such contrast. Once more the conflict between his brother-in-law Sheriff de Reville is present, but does John's pride and arrogance in duping de Reville ulitmately lead to John's demise in this adventure? A lot of action in this story with pirates, murder, battles, Knights Templar, the inquisition lead to, as always, a good mystery solved with a surprising twist.