Cover image for Squire Throwleigh's heir
Squire Throwleigh's heir
Jecks, Michael.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Headline, [1999]

Physical Description:
xi, 337 pages ; 18 cm
Format :


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FICTION Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks

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The fates are not being kind to the Hatherleighs. First the head of the family, Sir Roger, is killed in a riding accident; then his young son John is found dead, his poor body horrifically beaten. Although the small West Country community is eager to believe his death was an unfortunate accident, it soon becomes clear that the truth is far more disturbing. This, the seventh mystery featuring Sir Baldwin Furnshill and Simon Puttock, is another absorbing medieval "whodunit."

Author Notes

Michael Jecks was born in Surrey, United Kingdom in 1960. He worked as a computer salesman for thirteen years before becoming a full-time author of medieval murder mysteries. His first book, The Last Templar, was published in 1994. Most of his books are either based on Dartmoor legends or on actual events recorded in Coroner's Rolls or the Crown Pleas of the Devon Eyre. He writes the Knights Templar series as well as The Medieval Murderers with Bernard Knight, Ian Morsen, Susannah Gregory, and Phillip Gooden. In 2007, his twenty-first novel, The Death Ship of Dartmouth was short-listed for the Theakston's Old Peculier prize for the best crime novel of the year.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The brutality of medieval life underpins Jecks's seventh mystery in this worthy series featuring Sir Baldwin of Furnshill, keeper of the king's peace and noted investigator of violent crimes. During the troubled reign of the decadent Edward II, Squire Roger of Throwleigh realizes that any day might be his last as the pain around his heart worsens. Worried about the fate of his young son and heir, Herbert, he takes some consolation in knowing that his capable wife, Katharine, will protect the lad. Alas, just days after Roger falls dead from his horse while arguing with a luckless tenant he's about to evict, a cart driver runs over Herbert in a seeming accident. Sir Baldwin, who has attended Roger's funeral, smells foul play. Against Katharine's protests, he examines Herbert's body--and sure enough, the boy's skull shows signs of having been crushed by a heavy object. The many suspects include Edmund, the tenant facing eviction; Thomas of Exeter, Roger's merchant brother, who's the next heir; Sir James van Relenghes, an arrogant Flemish mercenary with designs on the bereft Katharine; and the effeminate Brother Stephen of York, Herbert's tutor, who has a taste for thrashing small boys. Various servants, each with his or her own devious ends, thicken the plot. Jecks does his usual skillful job of building suspense and teasing the reader with first one then another possible murderer until, playing against stereotype and conventional expectations, he reveals the unlikely culprits. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The medieval era is a popular setting for mysteries these days, as evidenced by these three new titles. Clare introduces a new heroine, the exemplary Abbess of Hawkenlye, who must join forces with an emissary from Richard Plantagenet to solve the murder of first one and then two young nuns. The ending is a little limp, but the writing is fine, and the abbess is an engaging character, one of the few religious in such mysteries (along with Sister Fidelma) actually to be presented in a positive light. Wolf brings back the hero of No Dark Place, Hugh de Leon, who in his first mystery discovered that he was heir to the Earl of Wiltshire. Hugh is determined to marry his feisty beloved despite opposition from the earl and is subsequently caught up in investigating the murder of the father of the bride the earl intends for him. The cool, savvy Hugh is almost too good to be true, and the psychic communication between him and his true love doesn't seem to fit with the otherwise realistically detailed surrounds, but the plot moves along quite nicely and should entertain most fans. Over the last few years. the publisher has been releasing Jecks's series featuring Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King's Peace in 14th-century England, in an attractive little mass-market format. Like all Jecks's tales, this one--concerning the suspicious death of the new master of Throwleigh, a five-year-old boy--is nicely detailed and tightly argued, with involving action and memorable characters. The whole series belongs in any collection where historicals are popular.--Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.