It is 1324, and a disastrous autumn looms large, for as the leaves begin to fall there are those who wish to bring down the Kingdom as well.
In Dartmouth, a man is found lying dead in the road. But the inhabitants of this little haven dismiss his death as a drunken accident, their attention turned to more worrying matters - piracy. A ship, the St John, has been discovered, half ravaged and the crew missing, in an attack that bears all the hallmarks of the supposedly disbanded Lyme Pirates. Could this be the beginning of a vicious onslaught, or is something even more sinister happening?
Sir Baldwin de Furnshill has been told by Bishop Stapledon of spies being sent to the great traitor Roger Mortimer. If this is true, and messages are reaching Mortimer, civil war in England is inevitable. And so the Kingdom's most powerful and ruthless men demand that Baldwin and Bailiff Simon Puttock uncover the truth, and quickly.
This is to be the most important investigation of their lives: fail and they will be executed; succeed and there will be others ready to silence them for ever...
The Death Ship of Dartmouth was shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.
Read Michael Jecks's newsletter in which he describes this 21st mystery in the Knights Templar series as "my coming-of-age book" - and see what else he has to say about The Death Ship of Dartmouth.
"The writing is fiercely unsentimental, the plotting complex and the characterisation pleasingly contrary. What impresses the most is the fine details of historical accuracy. There are no easy answers here and it isn't meant to be so. He makes the reader feel that if there was actually a time machine to travel back in time they'd immediately get into it to savour the period for themselves"
"Both complex and simple, a really clever plot that will always have you looking the wrong way."
- Order the paperback edition of The Death Ship of Dartmouth from Amazon (or from any bookshop, quoting the ISBN: 978-0-7553-2302-9).
- Download the Kindle edition.
- The audiobook, read by Michael Tudor Barnes, is available to download as an Audilble audiobook.