Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Oath
The Knights Templar Mysteries – Book XXVIII
Michael Jecks

Simon and Schuster UK
5 March 2011/ ISBN 1847379009
Historical Mystery /1326 Bristol and environs, England
Amazon US || UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Britain is at war with itself, riven between those who still support King Edward II and those who follow his wife, Isabella, and want a change of ruler. Amongst all the brutality, a heinous crime does not go unnoticed, the slaughter of an entire family in Bristol. This begets more murders, and Simon Puttock is called upon to investigate by none other than the queen’s lover, the powerful Sir Roger Mortimer. Meanwhile, Sir Baldwin de Furnshill has his own troubles…

This is one of the longest-running histmyst series and it is easy to see why. Its roots lie in the early days of the genre’s popularity, and the first books were comparatively gentle, almost cozy. Now the genre is no longer fashionable and the taste is for full-blooded warts-and-all history. Mr Jecks has tailored his books to suit, hence his continuing popularity when other series have fallen away. If you are hoping for a straight murder mystery, you won’t find it here; although there are murders, they are not what the book is all about. Any traces of coziness have long since departed this series and, instead, the author paints a compelling picture of what it must have been like in those days. This was not a good time to live whether you were an insignificant commoner like Simon and his family, a peasant drafted as a soldier, or a noble person who had backed the wrong side. As factual history holds the center stage, the detective part takes a back seat. This is all too true, as this certainly won’t be what you remember about the book. But as textbook history explodes to life in this book with such energy, all but the most die-hard mystery readers are sure to find much to praise.

Reviewer's Note:
Reviewed 2011
© 2011