Michael Jecks has written 32 books to date in the Knights Templar series aka Medieval West Country Mysteries – the Knights Templar tag has appeared on the the more recent books. Why has he got his own page? Well, the same reason that Paul Doherty has – I love this series of books and I’d really like you to try them. And try the Jack Blackjack series as well…
Introducing Simon Puttock, newly appointed to the post of bailiff. When investigating a death in a burned out house, Sir Baldwin Furnshill, a local lord of the manor, suggests that the man was murdered. When a passing abbot is also burned to death, Simon must find the killer and bring them to justice.
Agatha Kyteler, healer or witch? When she is murdered, the inhabitants of the village of Wefford comes suspicion. But as winter closes in around the village, Simon and Baldwin find themselves set against not just a murderer but the elements themselves.
One way to escape your ties to the lord of the manor was to set yourself up as a tin miner. Peter Bruther does exactly that but, as tensions reach breaking point between the miners and the local landowner, Peter’s body is found hanging from a tree. Simon and Baldwin, in the area to act as peace-keepers, find themselves chasing a killer and preventing more bloodshed.
A band of mercenaries have come to Crediton but the leader claims that he has been robbed of his silver. But how could so much silver have been taken by the person accused. Soon a body is found. Is it related to the theft? And are there more deaths to come? (HINT: The book isn’t called the Crediton Killing, is it?)
1319 and Tavistock Fair is in full swing. Not even a decapitated corpse (with the head completely missing) can stop the fair, but the events started by the return of a long-exiled son of the town might do. He will be executed for his crimes if he is discovered – but has his return prompted someone else to murder?
Ralph of Houndselow has taken over as Master of the leper hospital in Crediton but finds things much more difficult than he imagined. A local merchant has been murdered. While there is a clear suspect, someone in town is starting rumours that a leper was the killer. And it doesn’t take much to stir up townsfolk against the afflicted souls under his care…
Roger, Squire of Throwleigh, lies dead and his five year old son Herbert inherits his title. Soon, new visitors are flocking to the Throwleigh estate and Herbert is found dead, apparently run over by a cart. Who would – or could – kill a five year old boy? Despite the surprisingly large number of people with a motive, this time, it seems that the truth may be just too elusive.
Naughty Nuns! (Sorry, Michael). Sister Moll at Belstone Abbey has a habit of discovering her fellow nuns’ secrets and confronting them about them. This tends not to make her too popular with her cohorts and soon she is found dead. With the Abbey already divided in a power struggle between the Abbess and the Treasurer, and Baldwin confined to a sick bed, it’s up to Simon to find the truth.
Philip Dyne has confessed to a murder and after seeking sanctuary, has to walk to the coast along the King’s highway and leave England forever. If he strays from the road, then he can be legally killed. Soon both Philip and a rich knight lie dead – the assumption is that they killed each other. But if that is the case, where did the money go?
Christmas 1321 and Ralph Glover, glovemaker to the Bishop of Exeter, has been murdered on the eve of a celebration at the cathedral. Ralph’s apprentice has been arrested on suspicion of the crime, but when another death occurs in the cathedral itself, it seems that of the many secrets hidden within the buildings walls, one of them is serious enough to kill for.
In the Spring of 1322, a tournament is coming to Oakhampton. But Benjamin Dudenay, a moneylender is murdered, and on the eve of the tournament itself, Wymond Carpenter, charged with building the stands and an associate of Dudenay is found with identical injuries. As the tensions in the tournament mount, it seems that someone is intent on not limiting the violence to the arena.
Seven years earlier, a young girl was brutally murdered in the village of Sticklepath and her brother cursed the village. Now it seems that the curse is in full effect – the village is plagued by a sanguisugae – a vampire. As a young girl’s death brings Simon and Baldwin to the village, they uncover more and more deaths that have been kept secret. But it seems the killer is still hungry…
Simon is enlisted by the Abbot of Tavistock to get to the bottom of thefts from the Abbey. He soon discovers a undercurrent of hatred amongst the community, stemming from a terrible crime from the past on the Scottish borders – a crime that some people were a part of. But when a savage murder takes place, he finds himself doubting that he can find the killer.
Mark has been cursed with life as parish priest of Gidleigh, but his one source of light is Mary, the miller’s daughter. But when he strikes her in anger, and he finds himself accused of her murder, a chain reaction of tragedy starts. As secrets are laid bare and emotions run high, the blood begins to flow. This is not going to end well…
Following the events of the preceding book, Simon and Baldwin head to Santiago De Compostela in Galicia, Spain, as penance. But the city has its own secrets, reaching back to the betrayal of the Templars themselves. Far from home, Simon and Baldwin find themselves caught up in the hunt for a brutal murderer.
A shipwreck on the way back from Santiago separates Baldwin and Simon. With each fearing the other one dead, and on separate islands, they find themselves investigating the same murder from different directions. And Baldwin makes a terrible mistake.
Returning from their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Simon and Baldwin pass through the village of Cardinham in Cornwall, only to find a local woman has apparently hanged herself. Their suspicions of murder are soon confirmed as more deaths follow…
- The Chapel of Bones (December 2004)
- The Butcher of St Peter’s (May 2005)
- A Friar’s Bloodfeud (June 2006)
- The Death Ship of Dartmouth (November 2006)
- The Malice of Unnatural Death (December 2006)
- Dispensation of Death (June 2007)
- The Templar, The Queen and Her Lover (December 2007)
- The Prophecy of Death (June 2008)
- The King of Thieves (November 2008)
- No Law in the Land (June 2009)
- The Bishop Must Die (November 2009)
- The Oath (2010)
- King’s Gold (2011)
- City Of Fiends (2012)
- Templar’s Acre (2013)
- For The Love Of Old Bones (Short Stories)
The Jack Blackjack Mysteries
And here’s a taster of what to find on his Youtube channel – there are links to each of the book-specific videos in the reviews but he talks about so much more than that…