cover image The Templar Magician

The Templar Magician

P.C. Doherty. Minotaur, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-67502-8

The real-life murder of Count Raymond of Tripoli in 1152 kicks off Doherty’s excellent second Templar historical (after 2010’s The Templar). Templar Grand Master Bertrand Tremelai promptly orders the arrest of French Templar knight Edmund de Payens, who witnessed the assassination, for both not protecting the count and not apprehending his killers. De Payens later hears that the power behind the hit was the prince of the Islamic heretics known as the Naziris, but the knight’s instincts tell him the explanation may be more complex. Meanwhile, de Payens’s influential patron, William Trussell, raises concerns about the Templars’ future. Trussell believes there’s a link between looser standards for admission to the order and rumors of its involvement in human sacrifice. De Payens’s perilous quest for the truth behind what happened in Tripoli takes him to England, where he uncovers a shocking but logical solution to the crime. (Nov.)