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Squire Throwleigh's Heir Hardcover – 3 Jun 1999

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; 1st Edition edition (3 Jun. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747221472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747221470
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,494,086 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

SQUIRE THROWLEIGH'S HEIR:

'An inventive plot, memorable characters, steadily absorbing period background' Kirkus Reviews

'SQUIRE THROWLEIGH'S HEIR...[is] one of the most wickedly plotted medieval mystery novels' The Times

'This worthy series...Jecks does his usual skillful job' Publishers Weekly

'Like all Jecks's tales, this one is a nicely detailed and tightly argued, with involving action and memorable characters. The whole series belongs in any collection where historicals are popular' Library Journal

'Jecks has a real knack of bringing to life the medieval era of the West Country...SQUIRE THROWLEIGH'S HEIR has enough twists and turns to satisfy everybody... An excellent adddtion to the series' Shots

'A very well told story with a violent yet convincing plot. Jecks succeeds in writing both a book which smells of the Middle Ages and yet is a detective story. No mean feat.' Crime Time

'An engaging and well-written book, SQUIRE THROWLEIGH'S HEIR is packed full of fascinating, well-research historical detail, vivid, full-bodied characters and possesses a teasing, labrinthine plot that keeps the reader guessing until the very end' Crime Time

'A thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read' Tangled Web UK

'A highly diverting time is assured for the reader. More superlative stuff from Jecks' islington/north London weekly Herald



Tremendously successful medieval mystery series (Sunday Independent)

Previous:

'A tortuous and exciting plot... The construction of the story and the sense of period are excellent' Shots

'A gem of historical storytelling...authentic recreation of the modes and manners, superstitions and primitive fears that made up the colourful but brutal tableau of the Middle Ages' Northern Echo

'Girt about with a goodly helping of period authenticity...ends up with a thrilling cop and robber chase on horseback' Oxford Times

'A goodly tale in the vein of Cadfael, and equally enjoyable' Coventry Evening Telegraph

'Like Ellis Peters' Cadfael, Puttock is a carefully drawn character who combines the whodunnit format with a loving attention to detail, with lively, intriguing descriptions. It...will help you turn back the pages of history and enjoy the depth and texture of a long-vanished England' Croydon Advertiser

'A medieval mystery to rank with the best' Northern Echo

'Brisk medieval whodunnit' Literary Review

'Tremendously successful medieval mystery series' Sunday Independent

'Jecks' knowledge of medieval history is impressive and is used here to good effect' Crime Time

'As well as a riveting detective tale you get the bonus of Medieval life in all its glamour and grime.' Northern Echo



Brisk medieval whodunnit (Literary Review)

'One of the most wickedly plotted medieval mystery novels' The Times (The Times)

Jecks has a real knack of bringing to life the medieval era of the West Country...SQUIRE THROWLEIGH'S HEIR has enough twists and turns to satisfy everybody... An excellent adddtion to the series (Shots)

Book Description

Latest in popular west country medieval crime series featuting Sir Baldwin Furnshill and Bailiff Simon Puttock

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: If he'd known that this was the day he was going to die, Squire Roger of Throwleigh would have behaved more coolly, but lacking this prescience, he lost his temper instead.

The wedding of Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King's Peace, is fast approaching. His good friends, Bailiff Simon Puttock and his wife, have come to help him celebrate. Before the wedding, they receive news that one of their expected guests, Roger, Squire of Throwleigh, has died leaving behind a wife and five-year-old son and heir. Soon after the Squire's funeral, they receive news the child is also dead. Baldwin comes to believe the child's death wasn't an accident, but murder.

This book was really a traditional country house mystery set in the Middle Ages. The quality of Jecks writing and research are clear in the details of the story.

The story is very well plotted with twists right up to the last paragraph. There were plenty of suspects, each with a good motive. Jecks does a wonderful job of balancing the harshness of the period with the friendship of Baldwin and Simon.

Baldwin's questions about his marriage, having been a Templar Knight, provide some interesting questions and insights into the character. This series improves with every book and I'm delighted to know I've many books ahead of me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback
Michael Jecks gave up a career in the computer industry when he began writing the internationally successful Templar series. Well all I can say is the Computer Industries loss is the reader's gain. He has now written about a score of the Knights Templar mystery books featuring Sir Baldwin de Furnshill and Bailiff Simon Puttock and there are more to follow.

During the trouble reign of Edward II Squire Roger Throwleigh fears that any day might be his last, as the pain in and around his heart increases. He is worried about the fate of his young son and heir, Herbert, but he takes consolation in knowing that his wife Katherine will protect the boy.

Unfortunately just days after Roger falls dead from his horse in the middle of an argument with a tenant he is about to evict, a cart driver runs over Herbert, in what seems to be a cruel accident.

Sir Baldwin is already at the Throwleigh property as he had gone there to attend the funeral. Against the mother's wishes he quickly examines the boy and sure enough, the skull shows signs of being crushed by a heavy object, but Sir Baldwin is not convinced and decides to investigate further.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By COOLCHICK on 22 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As ever with Sir Baldwin and Simon, another excellent mystery. This one throws up many red herrings as you journey through. The death of the squire, a brother in need of money, a priest, servants who have agenda,s out on the moors, put together with the death of the new squire, who is only 5 years old, Sir Baldwin and Simon are plunged into a mystery that is as frustrating as any that have gone before. We also have them accompanied by their wives, who seem totally capable of throwing a new perspective to whatever clue they find puzzling.
Sir Baldwin and Simon Puttock are brilliant, what one misses the other doesn,t, and they do not miss much.
This is another excellent example of historical reading. The series is unmissable, as far as I am concerned, and once again I have the next two already lined up to read.
I was still no closer to guessing the murderer, as the story grew to a close. I have to say, the outcome was not one I would have got in a million years, when you read it, you will see what I mean.
Another book I was loathe to put down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dodster TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Susanna Gregory for a long time. Whilst waiting for her latest book I decided to read Michael Jecks. I have to say I am not regretting my decision. His writing improves from book to book. This is the seventh novel and is an excellent piece of very involved writing. The story cleverly draws you towards one character as the murder and as the evidence becomes clearer, the suspicion falls elsewhere. The true culprit, as you would expect, is not revealed until the end, and then there is a wonderful final twist. Superb writing. Highly recommended.
Squire Throwleigh's Heir (A Medieval West Country Mystery)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dodster TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
I have been a fan of Susanna Gregory for a long time. Whilst waiting for her latest book I decided to read Michael Jecks. I have to say I am not regretting my decision. His writing improves from book to book. This is the seventh novel and is an excellent piece of very involved writing. The story cleverly draws you towards one character as the murder and as the evidence becomes clearer, the suspicion falls elsewhere. The true culprit, as you would expect, is not revealed until the end, and then there is a wonderful final twist. Superb writing. Highly recommended.
Squire Throwleigh's Heir (Knights Templar)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lesley on 10 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
First the father then the son....... murder most foul, particularly of a 5 year old child. Baldwin has his work cut out in the face of opposition from the wife/mother. Brilliant read which kept me entertained throughtout. Highly recommended as is the rest of the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on 20 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good read. Michael Jecks is a very good entertaining story teller and I always enjoy reading his books. I know I'm going to be relaxed where I purchase one of his stories.
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