Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The King of Thieves
Knights Templar Mystery - Book XXVI

by Michael Jecks

      Just when Baldwin and Simon think that they can hole up in Devon and ride out the worst of Edward IIís reign, they are called upon again.† This time, as part of the diplomatic mission traveling to Paris with Bishop Stapledon and the young Earl of Chester.† His mother, Queen Isabella, is still in Paris with her brother, King Charles IV, and is refusing to return to her husband.† Will her son be able to tempt her back home, where Despencer is harrying just about everybody?† Meanwhile two murders have been committed which might have a connection but so far nobody can tell exactly what, or how they might relate to the mysterious King of Thieves.† Baldwin and Simon must take time out from their diplomatic duties to discover whodunit.

Twenty-six books and still going strong!† I find it hard to believe that once I found these tales a tad on the cozy side, for now they are one of the most hardboiled histmyst series and getting more so with each title.† Jecks has the knack of telling it like it surely must have been and these are dark times even for the Middle Ages.† He paints a compelling picture of a time of brutal punishments, grinding poverty and frightening injustice, while still keeping a loveable pair of sleuths we can identify with.† In this book as in several of the later titles the detective side of things often takes a back seat while matters of state (and actual historical fact) are happening.† This means our two sleuths are not center stage the whole time, resulting in a fuller book that has more in it than just a mystery to solve.† To its detriment, this is probably the longest book Jecks has written yet, and at times a bit repetitive when old ground is covered once too often.† But for all that, this is still an impressive read, and one that is likely to appeal to more readers than just histmyst fans.† Of course, anybody coming late to the series is advised to read the other twenty-five first but that is no hardship...

The Book

13 November 2008
0755344162 / 9780755344161
Historical Crime / 1325 Paris, France
More at US || UK
NOTE: Some violence and torture

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2009
© 2009