‘The Merchant’s Partner’ is the 2nd book in the Templar Knights series by Michael Jecks, about the life of Sir Baldwin Furnshill, a Templar Knight who escaped the purge and is now living in England.
Sir Baldwin’s good friend Bailiff Simon Puttock is visiting when the body of an old woman is discovered. Agatha Kyteler was a wise woman and skilled with herbs and healing. But, people viewed her with suspicion (when not making use of her skills). She was an ‘incomer’ and many also thought that she was a witch.
While Baldwin and Simon are looking for her murderer, another murder – identical to the first – is carried out.
Through questioning people and looking for clues, Baldwin and Simon quickly have a suspect. But even though the suspect confesses to the murders, they aren’t convinced of his guilt. Could he be confessing to protect someone else?
Through bitter winter storms, the two sleuths follow every lead until they eventually find the answer.
Simon remains very much in love with his wife Margaret and they are now expecting their second child. Sir Baldwin, after living the life of a monk for most of his life would now like to find a wife of his own and start his own family. In this book it looks as though he may have found the perfect woman.
The setting of the story was brilliant, with an excellent portrayal of how people lived in the 14th century – the work they had to do to survive, the way that they viewed the law and the way that the law usually treated them. There was an excellent scene with wolves on the moor. While reading, it was easy to feel the harshness of life with 2 years of failed harvests and now a very bitter winter.
This is an excellent series. I’m enjoying the unfolding stories of Baldwin and Simon as well as the individual mysteries. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series – ‘A Moorland Hanging’.
Book Published 1995