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King's Gold (Knights Templar Mysteries Book 30) [Kindle Edition]

Michael Jecks
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

As the year 1326 draws to a close, London is in flames. King Edward II is a prisoner, and the forces of his vengeful queen, Isabella, and her lover Sir Roger Mortimer, are in the ascendant. The Bardi family, bankers who have funded the King, must look to their future with the Queen, steering a careful course between rival factions -- if, that is, they can keep themselves alive.
Others, too, find their loyalties torn. Guarding the deposed King on behalf of Mortimer, Sir Baldwin de Furnshill and bailiff Simon Puttock find themselves entangled in a tightening net of conspiracy, greed, betrayal and murder.

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"Jecks does a fine job of presenting the tension of mistrust and desire for security and survival in a world where loyalty has gone awry. "King's Gold "depicts real 14th-century life in all classes and dimensions." --The Historical Novels Review


"Jecks does a fine job of presenting the tension of mistrust and desire for security and survival in a world where loyalty has gone awry. "King's Gold "depicts real 14th-century life in all classes and dimensions." --The Historical Novels Review

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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, look him up at writerlywitterings on YouTube, check his pictures on, like his page on FaceBook, or check for him on Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and all other social media!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Overseas Shipping 16 July 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It has been at least five years since I was first introduced to this series by Michael Jecks. I soon found myself searching to find the early titles and have all to date. Why? The historical research is quite good, excellent if you will. Jecks' ability to then weave a great story into the history is better than most. It is truly remarkable that a writer could sustain a series set in in early 14th century England / France over so many titles. It is the lives of people in different "stations" and how they interact and live out those lives within a complex historical matrix. I should note that Jecks was originally published under Headline and is more recently published by Simon & Schuster, UK. More significantly I note that early titles keep reappearing in book stores so there is a call for this author and the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! 25 Jan. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this book for my wife, who really enjoys Michael Jecks' Knights Templar books - and this was no different, as she had her nose stuck into the pages and the plot for days on end!

Michael Jecks is a great author, who authentically and captivatingly captures the period about which he writes. What more can one say or ask of an author?!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars KIng's Gold 20 Jun. 2011
As with all Michael Jecks's works this was a good read. He may have to either fit some new stories into Baldwin't early years or create a new protagonist. At 54 BLadwin is getting a little long in the tooth for the Merry Olde England of that day. Myae Baql;dwin needs a nephew or some such to take under ins wing and groom....

Anyway great read as always - love his work and the research behind the works

D Land
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing worse than reading a book 27 Feb. 2015
By Ed
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Started getting into theses novels by Michael Jecks and they are quite intriquing, ionce you get to know how the writer works, originally, I thought they were labourious, but then found after I stuck with it, that they were very clever and masterful bit of writing. Using some facts of that period and especially certain methods used by all parties it became a very interesting reading. Now I look forward to the next novel to pick up and start to read, my only wish would have been to follow the flow of the characters from their early creation right through, but alas there is no listing putting them in age order of the characters. Nothing worse than reading a book, then move onto the next book only to find you have now gone back 20years or so, please can we have books that follow that order, it would make much more interesting reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kings Gold 5 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I always enjoyed Michael Jecks history books. I have read most of them. It has taken me longer to read this as I have the unfortunate task of looking after an invalid at this time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 22 April 2012
By sindono
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Another thoroughly enjoyable read from Michael Jecks. I can't wait for the next instalment in the tale of Sir Baldwin and Simon Puttock.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars really good read 16 Sept. 2011
By Bess
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book by Michael Jecks, one of his best I would say and I've read most of them. I enjoy the historical detail particularly around Gloucester and the part played by the Berkeley family in detaining King Edward II.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoy this series and have read every one of the Knights Templar books to date and eagerly await the next one. As with all the books in the series I was impressed by its historical accuracy and its vivid descriptions and attention to detail. The plot was largely predetermined by the events surrounding King Edward II in his final days after he was captured by supporters of his estranged wife Queen Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer. Although I am really interested in history I think accurate historical novels can be far more interesting to read than history text books and Michael Jecks seems to bring the past to life. There was also a sub plot with fictional characters so there were twists that cannot be found in text books. However, there were no anachronisms and it remained authenic. It was an excellent book to read and a worthy addition to the series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent. I could not put in down. Flows a long at a gallop!
Published 4 months ago by Robroy
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST YET
Best one yet
It has action. Politics and some wonderful characters. The hero's get closer to death than ever before, remain honourable and are loved
Great story
Published 4 months ago by Paul R. Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
as usual michael jecks at his usual best
Published 5 months ago by Roy Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure where it was going......
I am not normally a reader of novels, so keep that in mind. I found this an interesting 'day in the life' type of read, compulsive reading in that I was intrigued to know what the... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Mr. R. G. Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars King's Gold by Michael Jecks
I loved this book. It brought to life a period in history which is very rarely covered in fiction. It is part of a wonderful series.
Published 21 months ago by Alison
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly as expected
Exactly as expected - another book in the excellent Templar Knights Series from Michael Jecks. - if you haven't started reading this series you are missing out!
Published 23 months ago by John Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Two men and murders
Once again Michael Jecks has produced another enthralling novel of murder and mayhem in the 1400s. I always like these novels when the bluff Sir Richard Welles is also involved. Read more
Published on 1 July 2013 by John D
4.0 out of 5 stars KINGS GOLD
A very good read after finding the authors style of storytelling,very difficult to put down once you get into it.
Published on 9 May 2013 by Roger Wand
2.0 out of 5 stars for the love of old bones
this was very boring, there was nothing i read that excited me. although there are different was just not my type of read
Published on 23 April 2013 by fran nash
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