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Thursday, May 5, 2011

The King of Thieves by Michael Jecks

Genre: Historical Mystery

The year is 1325.  King Edward rules England with his "special friend": the avaricious Hugh Despenser.  His wife, Queen Isabella,  is in Paris on a diplomatic mission.  She refuses to return to England until the King rids himself of Despenser.  The King sends his son, Prince Edward, to complete the mission and eventually return the Queen to England.

Our main character, Sir Baldwin de Furnshill, and his companion, Simon Puttock, are to accompany and protect the Prince.  As the story evolves, there is political intrigue and treason. We learn about the seamy underside of Paris.  And of course there are murders.

Sir Baldwin has a secret in his past.  He was once a member of the Knights Templar.  Only by sheer luck did he avoid arrest and torture.  On that fateful day whey the King of France accused the Knights of heresy, Baldwin was away from the Temple.  When he finally made his way back to his home in England, Baldwin became a Keeper of the King's Peace.  In his position, he investigates unusual deaths, and seeks justice for those who deserve it.

This novel is the 26th of Jeck's Knights Templar mystery series.  The books procede in chronological order.  They are consistant with the actual history of England in the 14th century.  Jeck's books are terrific historical fiction novels.  The plots are tangled and deceptive.  The reader must wait until the final chapter to find out "who dun it".

If you are interested in English history, or just enjoy a well told murder mystery, you'll enjoy The King of Thieves.

The King of Thieves

The first book in the series: The Last Templar

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