‘Rebellion’s Message is the 1st novel in the new Blood Mary series by Michael Jecks featuring a London cutpurse named Jack Blackjack.
This novel is set during the short reign of Queen May I, specifically in January and February of 1554. Mary is planning to marry a Spaniard and many, already upset with her Catholicism, won’t tolerate a Spaniard ruling England. A rebel army led by Wyatt is marching on London to overthrow Mary and place Lady Jane Grey on the throne.
Jack lives with a number of other thieves along with their fence Bill and Bill’s mistress Moll.
Then Jack steals a purse that leads only to trouble. He escapes to the yard of a tavern then wakes a short time later with the owner of the purse dead beside him. He is accused of murder but manages to recover from his hit over the head and escapes the scene.
The purse contains a lot of money but also a note written in code. The only way that Jack can escape the law is to find the real murderer and he thinks that decoding the message will help.
But suddenly just about everyone is after Jack to retrieve the secret note and Jack is struggling to save his own life. He has even been evicted by Bill and Moll and ends up in the army fighting against the rebels because he has nowhere else to go.
Eventually the very unlikely murderer and the contents of the secret message are revealed
This period of history is exciting and was well portrayed by Jecks. The plot of the novel was also good and smelly London really came to life. But, somehow this novel just didn’t grab me in the way that most of Michael Jecks’ novels have. Maybe there were too many characters and it was a bit too complicated for a short novel.
I know that Jecks has an amazing talent for bringing history to life through his lovable characters and I’m sure that future novels in this series will be excellent. So I look forward to my next meeting with the unlikely hero Jack Blackjack. Next novel in series – ‘A Murder Too Soon‘.
Book Published 2016