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Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Bishop Must Die by Michael Jecks

Genre: Historical Mystery

Setting: England, 1326

This novel is the 29th book in Jecks' Knights Templar mystery series.

England is in turmoil.  The people are tired of the excesses of the King and his special friend Sir Hugh Despenser.  For years they and their supporters have stolen wealth and land unlawfully.  Even the Queen has had her lands and children taken from her.

Now, the Queen is in France organizing an invasion of England.  The King and Despenser are trying to build a defense to repel the invasion. They are finding it difficult to build an army when so many people hate them.

Bishop Walter Stapledon of Exeter has been a supporter of the King and Despenser.  He has made many enemies.  Even the Queen has expressed her hatred of him.  Now the Bishop is receiving death threats.  He as found slips of parchment warning of his impending doom in his private offices. 

Sir Baldwin de Furnshill and his friend Simon Puttock are torn between their oaths of fealty to the King and their dislike of his friend Despenser.  They must obey the wishes of the King to build the defense of England.  And they also need to protect the Bishop from those who desire his death.

Can they protect the bishop and retain their honor in a lawless country on the verge of war?

This installment of the series was an interesting read.  It was a little difficult to keep track of all the different characters.  Jecks does a great job of weaving his characters through the actual events of history.  And he resolves a few plot elements which have continued through several books.  If your are interested in this series I suggest starting with one of the earlier novels in the series.  When you get to this one, be prepared for a great read.

The Bishop Must Die

The Templar's Penance - another great read in this series.

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