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on 13 September 2017
another great, and hard to put down book,
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on 26 May 2017
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on 19 June 2017
Very good book
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on 24 April 2017
Excellent book
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 14 January 2010
I've followed the Michael Jecks series about Bailiff Puttock and Sir Baldwin since the first book in the series many years ago. In my view the characters are richly drawn and weave in and out of the events of the early 14th century with Michael Jecks showing great knowledge of the times. Yes there are occasional inconsistencies, criticism is often leveled about his use of modern vernacular English but that is necessary in order to keep the stories well paced; and that they certainly are. Yes there are the odd historical inaccuracies but that can be inevitable when you're attempting to place fictional characters into positions of consequence in actual historical events - I'd point you toward Robert Graves' two (fictional) books on the life of the Emporer Claudius as example. So there is required to be a balance of historical accuracy and artistic license and in my view Jecks and several other authors of the genre manage it quite well. If you want total historical accuracy then read academic texts on the period. If you want a cracking series of books to read then buy these.

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.
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on 4 December 2009
Suffice it to say that Jecks has once again outdone himself in this latest in his series. I could not wait until an April, 2010 release in the U.S., so obtained it from Amazon U.K. (prompt service). It was worth the price from the U.K.!!! I read it while traveling, and found it difficult to put down. I very much look forward to the next title in the series. I should note that a few years back, when I was first introduced to this author, I was compelled to find every one in the series beginning with number one. I did not regret that move. I find that Michael Jecks, and his friend, Bernard Knight, are the masters of medieval murder mystery.
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on 28 July 2010
I bought the book at my local library for only a few pounds. But, in the end, I found it to be throughly entertained by the book and its contents. I was a little lax on the mystery side, unlike Michael Jecks's earlier books, but I still loved it, and loved it even more when Michael made the young Edward III a present character. Since,I'am the ultimate Edward fan, I love that, and believed it was so cool. So yes, Sir Baldwin and Simon were great, the setting was great, and the theme was great. Very good book.
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on 20 February 2016
This is number 28 in the series involving Baldwin, Keeper of the King's Peace and Simon Puttock, one time bailiff, and describes their attempts to protect the Bishop of Exeter, whom they have known for many years. The Bishop has many good qualities but towards the end of his power he had taken far too much property to which he wasn't strictly entitled. However, he justified his actions because he wasn't doing this for personal gain but in order to finance the re-building of Exeter Cathedral. The Bishop had many enemies, any of whom could be plotting to kill him.
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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on 10 February 2013
Yet again Simon and Sir Baldwin are pulling themselves/others out of the mire, seeking the truth and trying to live a peaceful life in turbulent times. If you haven't read any of the earlier books then I'd recommend reading them before you tackle this one. You need the background to help fill gaps, although this story will stand upon it's own legs if needed. Another masterpiece from one of my favourite authors.
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on 13 October 2013
I have been reading the series and I must admit that I was curious about how they would deal with killing the Bishop yet managing to keep Simon and Baldwin alive. Have really enjoyed the series so far and havent felt let down at all. I am curious though as to why the books after this one dont mention this book in the listing of templar stories which have preceeded this one.
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