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4.3 out of 5 stars21
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 13 September 2007
Michael Jecks is a superior story weaver who researches the history of the period exceedingly well. I was only introduced to his work last summer and had to catch up on on he had written. Note that I do a great deal of academic reading so it to a darn good story teller and historian to take me away from other works of a different genre. Both Jecks and Bernard Knight have given me many hours of pleasure both with their historical knowledge and ability to do terrific "who done it" where one is both entertained and doesn't necessarily know the answers to the plot after page three. Both of these authors are under rated and many readers are deprived of the joy of reading their works IMHO.
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ichael 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. Michael's books are full of intrigue and mystery and they are particularly well researched. Mr. Jecks lives in the area he writes about and I am sure this must assist him a great deal with his background research.

It is 1321 and the prioress of St. Mary's, Lady Elizabeth Topham is fighting to retain her position as prioress in the face of almost overwhelming opposition. She has been accused by Sister Margherita, the treasurer at St. Mary's of giving much needed funds to the new vicar.

Many of the nuns are convinced that Margherita would make a better prioress, especially now that it is known that a young nun named Moll was murdered in her sick bed.

Sir Baldwin and Simon are summoned to investigate and it quickly becomes evident that the vows of obedience, chastity and poverty are being broken with alarming frequency. Then a second nun is murdered and the two men face one of their most puzzling assignments.
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on 5 May 2014
On the bad side there are a lot of characters and with no voice mannerisms it is difficult to distinguish them, and if you are reading this in short bursts it can be hard to follow the significance of comments and the changing relationships.
On the plus side there is a cast of characters at the beginning which helps understanding, and you get rich detail about the life of a combined convent/monastery which is fascinating in itself. I suspect they weren't all full of such 'sin' though, as it feels at times like there is no one immune or uninvolved.
Well plotted, with plenty of red herrings before the mystery is solved, and I still enjoy the much wider story arc of the hero settling down to married life.
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on 20 September 2013
Happy to recommend to anyone who enjoys historical who dunnits. Well written and have now acquired all the kindle books.
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on 31 August 2014
I found the plot well thought out and was given an insight into researching a novel, well done looking forward to more
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on 8 April 2013
I always wanted some of these books and I enjoy reading them as one of my books or my kindle.
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on 19 April 2015
Enjoyed as always but four stars instead of five because I found it difficult to keep interested, too used to the Knight Templar taking the main part but it only took a few chapters and I became engrossed as usual. After reading most of these books I realised how we get used to the main hero and miss them when they kept out of the story.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 February 2009
First Sentence: She was lucky not to have died.

Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keep of the King's Peace, and Bailiff Simon Puttock have been summoned by Bishop Bertrand, the representative of Bishop of Stapledon, to go to St. Mary's Priory. One nun has been injured, another has died. Bishop Baldwin received a letter from Sister Margherita, the treasurer, accusing the prioress, Lady Elizabeth of willing let the priory fall into disrepair and vows to be broken.

I so enjoy this series. Baldwin and Simon are great characters. They are fully developed with home lives and a strong bond of friendship. Part of the story focuses on Baldwin's new wife, Jeanne, and her coming into her role as lady of the manor. Other than the protagonists, none of the characters are particularly appealing. Rather than an example of piety and virtue, St. Mary's Priory is an example of the seven deadly sins. For me, it is the light humor and relationships make the books particularly enjoyable.

Mr. Jecks' research is more than apparent. I love that he included a Glossery, an outline of the schedule and services for those in the priory, a cast of characters, and author's notes on the history of the time within the book. He also has a wonderful website with photographs of the area.

The story is so well done. There are plenty of suspects but no clear motive. I certainly didn't solve the puzzle until the killer was revealed. This may not have been the strongest book in the series of 27 books, but I'm determined to read one book each month until I am caught up.
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on 18 November 2014
I have the entire series plus other writings of Jecks. They are all keepers! Someone asked about sequence of titles. This may help -- http://www.michaeljecks.co.uk/titles.html
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on 2 October 2014
the print is not as good as the new editions to which I have both, though I did not realise it at the time. so I shall be selling it on.
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