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The Last Templar: The First Knights Templar Mystery    by Michael Jecks Amazon.com order for
Last Templar
by Michael Jecks
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2004 (1995)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Michael Jecks has combined two of my reading loves mystery and history in The Last Templar. And done it well. Very well, in fact.

Simon Puttock has just been appointed bailiff of Lydford Castle in the year 1316, when a man is found dead in a home destroyed by fire. Not the way to start a new career. Shortly after that, a traveling abbott is found burned at the stake well, in fact tied to a tree. But burned, nonetheless, as a heretic might be put to his death. When travelers are also attacked, Simon feels enough is enough and pursues the attackers.

The Last Templar is rich in history, and not just in the facts of the times, such as wars, and famines, and droughts, and an inquisition scourging France. This work is involved with the humanity of its characters. How they worked; what they ate; what they wore; what their houses were built of. Chimneys were just coming into their own at that time and Jecks writes of that innovation and the wonder of it.

Sir Baldwin Furnshill (a protagonist in a second historical series by Jecks) arrives on the scene in this book - Furnshill and Puttock become immediate friends, which portends well for the future of Jecks' writing.

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