It’s 1327 and England is in turmoil. King Edward II has been removed from the throne and his son installed in his place. The old man’s rule had proved a disaster for the realm and many hope that his removal may mean the return of peace to England’s cities.
Keeper of the King’s Peace Sir Baldwin de Furnshill and his friend Bailiff Simon Puttock had been tasked with guarding Edward II, but they have failed in their task and now ride fast to Exeter to inform the sheriff of the old king’s escape.
In Exeter, the sheriff has problems of his own. Overnight the body of a young maid has been discovered, lying bloodied and abandoned in a dirty alleyway. The city’s gates had been shut against the lawlessness outside, so the perpetrator must still lie within the sanctuary of the town.
When Baldwin de Furnshill arrives, along with Sir Richard de Welles, a companion of old, he is tasked with uncovering the truth behind this gruesome murder. But, in a city where every man hides a secret, his task will be far from easy…
Michael Jecks’s City of Fiends is one of the latest in his longstanding Knights Templar series. A classic whodunit murder mystery with the added intrigue of a fourteenth century England setting, the story revolves around Jecks’s crime-solving duo: former Knight Templar and Keeper of the King’s Peace, Sir Baldwin, and his bailiff and friend, Puttock.
In the thirty-plus books in the series, Baldwin and Puttock have aged, but neither have lost their knack and dedication in solving mysteries. The characters are well-rounded and realistic, the plot fast-paced and full of twists. Set in Exeter and revolving around four families, Jecks paints a vivid picture of daily life in medieval England: the brutality, the imbalance and abuse of power, the political turmoil and instability. The attention to detail gives the story a strong sense of time and place, and history is woven seamlessly into the fiction.
City of Fiends is a gripping mystery that once again shows why Jecks is a top name in the genre.