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King’s Gold by Michael Jecks

King’s Gold” is the latest of many in Michael Jecks’ “A Knights Templar Mystery” series.  It is set in London and the Cotswolds area of England in in 1326 and 1327. It is based around the historical events that took place when Edward II was forced to abdicate to his more competent son, Edward III.  Both men had loyal cadres of knights, but eventually, the ones loyal to the old king, later known as Edward of Caernarfon, eventually were defeated and many lost their lives.

The mystery begins with the murders of two innocent young people during a riot that occurred in London following the capture of Edward II.  A young Italian banker, Matteo Bardi, is also injured. One of Edward II’s loyal knights, Hugh Despenser, brings a chest with his treasury for safe storage at the church in the village of Willersey and then is promptly captured and tortured to death.

Edward II is taken to the castle at Kenilworth as a captive of a lord loyal to the new king, but Edward is allowed to have a few loyal knights to stay in the compound in order to protect the former king from any assassination plot. He is later taken to the castle at Berkeley.

The priest from Willersey, Father Luke, decides that he must take the treasure from the former king’s dead knight to Edward as the rightful heir of this wealth.  He travels with a carter from the village who is bringing supplies to Kenilworth.  They accumulate some knights along the way who seem to be interested in finding a way to break Edward II out of Kenilworth.

The author, who lives in the Dartmoor area of England, is an expert on medieval England, especially Cornwall and Wales and he weaves a lot of realistic social history into his fictional tale.

I thoroughly enjoy this period of history, and Jakes has spun a tale of intrigue and deception that will keep the reader guessing until the very end. “King’s Gold” is very much recommended for historical mystery lovers who enjoy the medieval period.

Liz Nichols


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