The Bishop Must Die (Knights Templar Mysteries 28): A thrilling medieval mystery (Knights Templar Mysteries (Headline)) Hardcover – 12 Nov 2009
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"The most wickedly plotted medieval mystery novels." "Times""
Michael Jecks is one of the most popular and high profile medieval mystery authorsSee all Product description
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The Bishop Must Die has started the process of the fall from power of Edward II and the hated DeSpenser it will be interesting now to see where the series goes, who survives, who falls. I can see that Jecks has cleverly designed the story lines in such a way that he can send his characters either way and there will be a number of twists and turns to come. Where the story goes after Edward II dies (Murdered? or anonymous exile as some histories contend?). It may turn to the eventual overthrow and death of Mortimer in 1330.
If you haven't read the backstory then please read the books before dismissing them. The whole series is excellent. As Edmund Blackadder would say: "They have more twists and turns than a twisty turny thing". It's also important to see the development of the characters over the years and their motivations. If you bought this one as a quick read then I can understand the dissapointment, as a stand alone read you'll miss a great many of the subplot lines and nuances that have built up over the previous 27 books that may cause some degree of dissatisfaction.
I read a lot of the authors who write historical detective / crime / mystery novels who are now into the 10+ title stage of character development (Ellis Peters - Cadfael; Susanna Gregory - Matt Bartholemew / Chalonner; Lindsey Davis - Falco; Steven Saylor - Gordianus; David Wishart - Corvinus; Peter Tremayne - Fidelma; John Maddox Roberts - Mettellus; Doherty/Harding/Clynes - Corbett/Athelstan/Shallot to name but a few) I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of their books that could be read in isolation and Jecks series is no exception.
Before anyone confines this book to the airport trash can, remember it's the 28th book of a series navigating a period of complex political and cultural upheaval. Remember also that it's a fictional interpretation of history and try to suspend pedantry.
I found some of the twists and turns a little difficult to follow, and some of the chapters were rather short, so by the time that I had remembered who the characters were, we moved on to another group.
To an extent I use books like this to expand my poor knowledge of history. For instance, I had heard of Eleanor of Aquitaine, but hadn't fully appreciated that she brought the Duchy of Aquitaine with her when she married Henry II and that land remained English for over 100 years.
Only four more books to go before I reach the last in the series (unless Mr Jecks writes another one) then I can read them all again!
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