cover image The Bishop Must Die

The Bishop Must Die

Michael Jecks. Headline, $24.95 (403pp) ISBN 978-0-7553-4420-8

The 28th entry in Jecks’s Knights Templar series (after 2009’s No Law in the Land ) takes its time bringing series lead Baldwin de Furnshill into the main plot, but readers won’t mind the wait. In 1326, Walter Stapledon, the bishop of Exeter, begins to receive threatening letters that place him in fear for his life. Almost half the book goes by before the bishop asks his old friend de Furnshill, keeper of the king’s peace and investigator of suspicious death, for help in identifying the author of the threats. The letters somehow managed to find their way into the bishop’s inner sanctum from a number of possible culprits. Political turmoil—in particular, the prospect of a French invasion—also keeps the medieval detective busy. The sprawling cast of characters can be a bit overwhelming, but Jecks once again captures the spirit of the period with another exciting visit to 14th-century England. (June)