A Jack Blackjack Tudor Mystery

A Murder Too Soon

Jack Blackjack is ordered to eliminate a spy in Princess Elizabeth's household in this engaging Tudor mystery.

June, 1554. Former cutpurse and now professional assassin Jack Blackjack has deep misgivings about his latest assignment. He has been despatched to the Palace of Woodstock, where Queen Mary's half-sister Princess Elizabeth is being kept under close guard. Jack's employer has reason to believe that a spy has been installed within the princess's household, and Jack has been ordered to kill her.

Jack has no choice but to agree. But he arrives at Woodstock to discover that a murder has already been committed.

As he sets out to prove his innocence by uncovering the real killer, Jack finds the palace to be a place steeped in misery and deceit; a hotbed of illicit love affairs, seething resentments, clashing egos and bitter jealousies. But who among Woodstock's residents is hiding a deadly secret - and will Jack survive long enough to find out?

The Puzzle Doctor made A Murder Too Soon his Book of the Month, and described it as: "A fun historical mystery, making good use of a fairly amoral lead character in an entertaining way. And I didn't spot the murderer, which was a bonus."

"Plot twists abound, but the novel's greatest strength is its jaunty tone, plunging the reader into raucous Elizabethan England, when the lady herself was still but 'a trim little thing'."

Publishers' Weekly

"An unlikely and amusing sleuth who manages to solve a tricky mystery against all odds."

Kirkus Reviews

"This is such an entertaining character and series. I enjoy the Templar series as well but Jack is just a great character.

"Give it a try and you will soon see why!"

Books, Books and More Books!

"A Murder Too Soon is pure entertainment. Jack is a lovable misfit who always finds himself in trouble but manages to sweet-talk or connive himself out. The various settings and the other characters, significant or not, are intricately illustrated, bringing them to vivid and humorous life. The climate of the time is captured concisely, depicting those who support Queen Mary, and her desire to restore Catholicism to England again, and those like Princess Elizabeth, who prefer the Church of England to continue."

"The novel is a fun and enjoyable romp, and I look forward to seeing what mishap next awaits the unlikely hero of Jack Blackjack."

Historical Novel Society

Michael Jecks' Jack Blackjack Tudor murder mystery series - all the books.

A Murder Too Soon - audio edition

A Murder Too Soon was published by Severn House on 3rd May 2017. It is available in hardback, paperback and large print editions.

The Soundings audio book, read by Peter Noble, is also available as an audio download.

Or download the Kindle edition