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A Friar's Bloodfeud (Knights Templar Mysteries (Headline)) [Hardcover]

Michael Jecks
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: £18.99
Price: £17.88 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 Dec 2005 Knights Templar Mysteries (Headline) (Book 20)
Bailiff Simon Puttock's servant, Hugh, has been granted leave to look after his wife Constance and help raise her child. One day she is attacked and raped by a gang of men at her home. She sees her son being murdered and then her man Hugh is struck down, before she is killed and the house set on fire. When Simon and Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King's Peace, arrive on the scene, the cottage has burned to the ground and the body of the child lies outside. Inside there is a woman's torso, badly burned, but no remains of Hugh. The fire raged so fiercely, all believe Hugh died inside. However, things are not so simple, and not only does Simon vow revenge, there are dark forces lurking which will cause no end of mischief and bloodshed.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (5 Dec 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755322991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755322992
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 15.9 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 621,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Who is this guy Jecks?

Michael was a moderate student and early on, being a callow youth, decided on a career as an actuary. This decision was based solely on the fact that he heard it was the highest paid profession. Well, he had a father who was one, and a brother, too, but the money certainly helped.
Not realizing that a standard definition of an actuary is "someone who finds accountancy too exciting", he achieved the relevant grades at A level and wandered off to City University, London. There, he excelled - as bar chairman - but not at actuarial studies. Firmly convinced that his course was incomprehensible (Life & Other Contingencies? Advanced Statistics? Programming in Pascal?) and other parts were designed by knaves, cretins and the criminally insane (Economics), he left the course after failing every exam for two years.

With the glittering example of a second, unqualified, brother who earned very good money, had a bonus scheme, free car, free petrol, expense account and free holiday each year, Michael decided to follow this brother into computer sales.
Joining one company selling "office automation" from the back of Gray's Inn Road (typewriters), he soon progressed to a company selling personal computers. Especially the ACT Sirius. He left and set up a division of PC sales for City of London Computer Services, only to lose his job when a second partner, who didn't believe PCs would take off, returned from a long holiday.
Following that, Michael went to a new start-up to help form Electronic Office Services. When that firm collapsed (with one director disappearing, apparently to the Bahamas with all the company's money), Michael was left without a job.
He saw an advert for an interview with a company called Wordplex, and went to see the company at an open day in a London hotel. After a lengthy interview process, which involved five formal meetings, he was accepted.
Later he heard he had been taken on because he was "the only twenty-one year old I've ever seen turn up to a job interview smoking a pipe, you berk" - (Dick Houghton, Regional Director, Wordplex, 1981).
For the next four years, Michael sold Wordplex systems as one of a hundred salesmen in the UK. He was consistently one of the top salespeople in the country, and as a result was headhunted to join Wang Laboratories in 1985.
Wang was a challenging company. All salespeople who did not achieve their monthly targets at least once in every three months were summarily dismissed. Michael survived until 1990, when Wang collapsed, and Michael took a job with Rank Xerox. This interesting job involved selling equipment that was roughly eight years out of date. There he lasted six months before being asked to join NBI, a Colorado-based firm created by ingesters of certain illegal substances, who (out of respect for the success of IBM, ICL, NCR and ACT) named their business: Nothing But Initials.
The company closed their international operations three months after Michael joined them.
At a loose end once more, Michael looked to a job with a more secure future. Thus it was that he entered the leasing business. At the time no leasing salesman could earn less than £100,000 per annum. Michael joined a new firm called Celsius Computer Services, and in the first three months sold £1.25 million of business. Then Atlantic Leasing crashed and the entire market fell with it. Michael was unemployed without redundancy - again.
Moving to safer shores with software sales, Michael joined IBM's largest software supplier, Bluebird. They went bust a year later (owing him a lot).

Out of Computing, Into Writing
It was a while later, after 13 jobs in 13 years, that Michael finally took the hint. He found himself at the beginning of 1994 once more without a job, and so he sat down to decide on a new course. He had no qualifications, but he knew he loved reading. With that conviction, he began to write, becoming a full-time homeworker while his wife went to work and supported their (exorbitant) mortgage.
Those were interesting times.
In three months, Michael worked seven days a week, fourteen hours a day. In that time he wrote a modern day thriller, a management book on how to get work when made redundant (he had experience of that) and a historical crime novel that was to become The Last Templar.
The thriller was snapped up by Bantam over the phone - and rejected two days later in writing because it was all about the IRA, and they had just agreed their first ceasefire. The second book was rejected by his agent because her husband had recently left her for an IBM Systems Engineer. She wanted nothing to do with books about computers or computer people, and if Michael's book could help them find contentment and employment, she was content to see it burned.

Since 1995 and the launch of The Last Templar, Michael has been a persistent and prolific author. City of Fiends was the 31st story in the series that follows the lives of Sir Baldwin de Furnshill, a renegade Templar, and his friend Bailiff Simon Puttock through the miserable period of famine, war and disease that was the first half of the fourteenth century.
The series is the first to tell the tale of that time.
It charts the incompetent reign of King Edward II, the appalling avarice and criminality of his chief advisers, Sir Hugh le Despenser and (sadly) Bishop Walter II of Exeter; then the war against France and the desertion of Edward by his wife Isabella, and her return with a small army to remove him from the throne.
However it is not merely a crime series. The whole of the Kingdom was changing: after fifty years the language of authority stopped being French and became English; the feudal system was broken; farming was becoming efficient and organised; new towns were springing up - and the king was losing control of law-making and even war-making. It was probably the period in which England changed the most, apart from perhaps the fifty years post World War II.

Over the years, the series has sold well in the UK and America, with translations into Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Italian, and many other countries.
In America it has been taken on by many schools as a means of imparting accurate social history. It has revived interest in Edward II's reign, and has made Michael friends all across the globe.
With the publication of Templar's Acre in 2013, which was a prequel to the series, Michael felt it was time to take a break. As a result, he wrote ACT OF VENGEANCE, a modern day spy thriller, which received the comment from Lee Child who said it was "An instant classic British spy novel - mature, thoughtful, and intelligent ... but also raw enough for our modern times.  Highly recommended."

Michael has made many friends with authors in the medieval period. He founded Medieval Murderers as a performance group, and soon had the idea that the group should write a collaborative novel. This collection of linked novellas was published as Tainted Relic by Simon & Schuster. DEADLIEST SIN is the tenth anniversary edition, published in 2014
As well as the Templar Series and Medieval Murderers, Michael has compiled ebook collections of his short stories. FOR THE LOVE OF OLD BONES and NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM have all the short stories previously published in collections from Maxim Jakubowski, Mike Ashley and the Crime Writers' Association.
Michael is now writing a thrilling trilogy based on the lives of a vintaine (platoon) of archers during the early years of the Hundred Years War. FIELDS OF GLORY, the first, was published in 2014.

Michael has long had an interest in helping new writers, and for two years he organised the Debut Dagger for the Crime Writers' Association, helping five authors win their first publishing contracts as a result.
In 2004 he was elected as Chairman of the CWA, and afterwards he accepted a post as judge on the CWA/Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award, on which he served for three years. More recently he has been working with the International Thriller Writers and in 2011 he helped create the Historical Writer's Association, and remains on the organising committee.
In 2007 Michael was proud to be asked to collaborate with Conway Stewart to produce the Michael Jecks fountain pen. Other honours include being invited as the International Guest of Honour at the Bloody Words gala 2014, to being the Grand Master of the first parade of the 2014 Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Michael is a regular speaker about the Knights Templar, the end of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, about writing and publishing, and about finding work. He is also keen to help those who are now going through the latest recession. He endured enough hardship, and lost all his savings, during the last recession, and understands what it means to risk losing everything.

An enthusiastic photographer and watercolourist, Michael can often be seen walking across Dartmoor where he lives, gaining inspiration into the lives of our ancestors for his stories. When relaxing he can usually be found clad in white in a pub near you before dancing mad stick Morris.

For more on Michael Jecks, check out writerlywitterings.com, look him up at writerlywitterings on YouTube, check his pictures on Flickr.com/photos/Michael_Jecks, like his page on FaceBook, or check for him on Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and all other social media!

Product Description

Review

"Nicely detailed and tightly argued, with involving and memorable characters. The whole series belongs in any collection wherehistoricals are popular."

Book Description

The nineteeenth novel in this 'Tremendously successful medieval mystery series' (Sunday Independent) featuring the ever-popular Baldwin Furnshill and Bailiff Simon Puttock.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just As Good as All The Other Stories 11 Mar 2007
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio Cassette
For those readers who are familiar with Michael Jecks books, this one is just as good as all the rest. For those who have not read Michael Jecks, but like historical novels, particularly about medieval England, you are in for all real treat.

The two main characters in the books are Sir Baldwin de Furnshill and Bailiff Simon Puttock. Sir Baldwin is an ex Crusader knight, who has managed to escape the wrath of the French King who ordered the destruction of the Order and all of its members.

Sir Baldwin is now the head of the family manor after the death of his brother and is also Keeper of the King's Peace in Devon.

Word reaches Simon that a gang of men have broken into the house of his servant Hugh and attacked the family. When Simon reaches the cottage he find it burnt to the ground and the bodies already buried. It would seem that Hugh must have perished in a dreadful accident, but Simon and Sir Baldwin begin to suspect that there is much more to it than that
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Trajan
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Despite myriad characters and rapid, often cumbersome scene changes, Jecks's 17th medieval historical (after 2005's The Butcher of St. Peters's) paints a vivid and bloody panorama of Edward II's ""war-scarred kingdom."" In 1324, rival landowners battle for property and power, and Keeper of the King's Peace Sir Baldwin de Furnshill is reluctantly drawn into the conflict when the family of his neighbour, Hugh, a humble moorland shepherd, is found butchered and burned by unknown assailants.

This tragedy follows the rape and torture of Lady Lucy of Meeth and her servant, leading Baldwin to suspect the involvement of ruthless Hugh Despenser (an ally of the king) and his fearsome steward, Sir Geoffrey Servington. Opposing this land-grab by Edward's surrogates is a third Hugh, Lord Hugh de Courtenay, also with powerful allies in knights Sir Odo de Bordeaux and Sir John Sully. Nervously observing all this carnage is shadowy renegade Friar Humphrey, who's ostensibly caring for an elderly priest, but is caught in a dilemma of his own making. Despite multiple subplots, Baldwin's perseverance leads to a just resolution.

As always with Jeck's novels the research is consummate and his characterisations well rounded and thoroughly believable, combined with a fast paced narrative. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revenge is a dish best served cold? 10 Feb 2013
By Lesley
Format:Paperback
Hugh has always been in the background of the stories and it was nice to see him come to the forefront, even if it was in such tragic circumstances. Another cracking story from Michael Jecks and a plot that kept me guessing until the near end...even then I wasn't wholly sure. Anyone over 16 will enjoy these books and this historical accuracy can only add to your own personal knowledge. I can't sing Michaels praises enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read 1 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Cannot recomment Michael Jecks Templar series too highly. They are readable and re-readable and are a must for anyone who loves Devon and, in particular, Dartmoor. .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Part of a continuiing story of two courageous men in a very uncertain time. Part of a series in which you become very familiar with the characters and feel the need to follow their adventures. Well written and intriguing to read if you enjoy historical novels.
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