Cover image for The traitor of St Giles
The traitor of St Giles
Jecks, Michael.
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Publication Information:
London : Headline Book Pub., 2000.

Physical Description:
335 pages ; 23 cm
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On their way to a great feast hosted by the de Courtenays, Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King's Peace, and Bailiff Simon Puttock pass by a clearing in the woods where they find the murdered corpse of Sir Gilbert, a Knight Templar and old comrade of Baldwin's. The situation is confounded when a decapitated body is found, and Baldwin and Simon's suspicions that the two deaths are linked seem to be well-founded when Baldwin himself is viciously attacked. Baldwin and Simon find themselves caught up in one of the most baffling investigations they have ever come upon, in which the participators will stop at nothing to achieve their sinister aims...

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

In this medieval romp, the ninth in the series (Belladonna at Belstone, etc.), Sir Baldwin de Furnshill, keeper of the king's peace in Crediton, and his old friend, Bailiff Simon Puttock, join the throngs gathering at Lord Hugh de Courtenay's castle in Tiverton to celebrate the midsummer feast of St. Giles. Trouble is afoot. Hugh Despenser, King Edward II's corrupt favorite, is attracting nobles to his ignoble cause and threatening civil war. Someone murders Sir Gilbert de Carlisle, Despenser's ambassador to Lord Hugh, while he's carrying a chest of gold to the king. The head and body of outlaw Philip Dyne are found nearby. Harlewin le Poter, coroner of Tiverton, announces that Dyne killed Sir Gilbert; two upright citizens then beheaded Dyne as he was trying to escape. Meanwhile, St. Giles Fair is in full swing. Its festivities provide a delightful picture of everyday life in the Middle Ages. Everything, from dress to living accommodations to common speech (especially the curses), rings true. This is a crowded tapestry of a book, peopled with well-developed villains of every stripe. One of the most difficult aspects of solving the case is the sheer number of suspects. It seems that everyone had some excuse to be in the forest glade where Dyne and Sir Gilbert were killed. Set upon by footpads and cutthroats, Sir Baldwin and Simon realize that the truth behind the murders is far more sinister and complex than the coroner imagines. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In the 11th title in the "Medieval West County" series, Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King's Peace, is just getting used to married life when he must investigate the seemingly related deaths of Sir Gilbert, a fellow templar, and of Philip Dyne, accused of raping and murdering young Joan Carter. Not quite as seamless as other tales in the series, this is still well researched and well presented. Following Squire Throwleigh's Heir (LJ 5/1/00), this series moves into hardcover. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.