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Keeper of the King's Peace Sir Baldwin de Furnshill and his friend Bailiff Simon Puttock had been tasked with guarding Edward II, but they have failed in their task and now ride fast to Exeter to inform the sheriff of the old king's escape.
In Exeter, the sheriff has problems of his own. Overnight the body of a young maid has been discovered, lying bloodied and abandoned in a dirty alleyway. The city's gates had been shut against the lawlessness outside, so the perpetrator must still lie within the sanctuary of the town.
When Baldwin de Furnshill arrives, along with Sir Richard de Welles, a companion of old, he is tasked with uncovering the truth behind this gruesome murder. But, in a city where every man hides a secret, his task will be far from easy...
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-10-15
- Reviewer: Staff
Set in 1327 England, Jecks’s 31st Knights Templar mystery (after 2011’s King’s Gold) is a textbook example of how to blend action and detection in a historical. Supporters of Edward II, who was forced to abdicate and then imprisoned at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire, are trying to free him. Meanwhile, as the historical record suggests, Bishop Berkeley, whose brother is the monarch’s jailer, dies under suspicious circumstances. Fear about an uncertain future means that “all over the kingdom people went about in a state of constant worry.” Against this tumultuous backdrop, the savage murder of a maid in Exeter comes to the attention of coroner Sir Richard de Welles and Sir Baldwin de Furnshill, Keeper of the King’s Peace. The complex truth behind the slaughter of the clergyman and the servant will satisfy readers as Jecks logically reconciles all the different plot elements by the end. (Dec.)