cover image The Oath: A Knight's Templar Mystery

The Oath: A Knight's Templar Mystery

Michael Jecks, Simon & Shuster U.K. (IPG, dist.), $24.95 (528p) ISBN 978-1-84737-900-9

The inexplicable slaughter of Bristol merchant and moneylender Arthur Capon and his family propels British author Jecks's chilling 29th Knights Templar mystery (after April 2010's The Bishop Must Die). In October 1326, Edward II faces perhaps the greatest challenge of his disastrous 20-year reign. His queen, Isabella, and his eldest son, the duke of Aquitaine, are in France with the queen's lover, Sir Roger Mortimer, who threatens war unless Edward gets rid of his regent and alleged lover, Sir Hugh le Despenser. When more murders follow the Capon killings, Mortimer calls on bailiff Simon Puttock to investigate. Simon and Sir Baldwin de Furnshill, keeper of the king's peace, get on a trail that takes them to Wales, where they get involved in the dramatic events leading to Despenser's execution in late November. Once again, Jecks seamlessly blends fact and fiction. (Dec.)