Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Templar, The Queen, and Her Lover

I used to love Michael Jecks's mysteries featuring Sir Baldwin de Furnshill.  I don't anymore.  I still enjoy the scenes between Baldwin and his friend Simon Puttock, but they no longer solve mysteries I care about.  Baldwin is not a political creature - please send him back to Devon, Mr. Jecks.  I'm sure you can create some local murders for him to solve.

Edward II released his wife from house arrest in 1325, and made her his envoy in negotiations with her brother, Phillip IV of France.  Isabella's entourage includes musicians (who've been blackmailed into making the trip), spies (both for and against the Queen), knights, ladies-in-waiting, and an unwilling Sir Baldwin.  Someone drowns one of the musicians in a gutter before the group set out, then someone stabs one of the knights with Baldwin's knife.  This happened about 100 pages into the book, and it's about where I lost track and lost interest.  I'm still not sure who committed either murder, or how they tied into Isabella's diplomatic mission or her affair with Roger Mortimer.  Jecks overcomplicated The Templar, The Queen, and Her Lover with too many bland characters, too many POV and setting changes, and too many disparate threads.  I have two or three more of his books on my shelf, and I will read them.  After that?   I don't know.  I feel like I've invested too much in this series to give up (literally - I've gotten most of the books from amazon.co.uk), but that's also why buying the next book in the series is, literally, a bit of an investment.

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