For the Love of Old Bones is a collection of five short stories by Michael Jecks. I’ve read the author’s Knights Templar series and have long thought Jecks to be a master of the historical crime novel. These vignettes are a wonderful display of his talent, and the perfect way to sample his writing style. Jecks’s settings are atmospheric and vividly detailed; he showcases the power of deduction and thorough questioning; and he gives the reader authentic characters who are fully human in their strengths and weaknesses. For the Love of Old Bones provides a great glimpse into the works of one of the best authors of English medieval detective stories.
Death and deceit stalk the bleak moorlands of medieval Devonshire in this captivating collection of short stories from the acclaimed author Michael Jecks.
THE CORONER’S TALE
In the remote Devonshire town of Crediton, a young girl is found dead in an alleyway, raped and murdered. As the local Bailiff and a visiting knight investigate the crime, it comes to light that the bailiff holds an incriminating secret – one that has the potential to place this agent of the government on the wrong side of the law.
FOR THE LOVE OF OLD BONES
A group of monks journeying from Launceston Abbey across the wild wastelands of Dartmoor are waylaid by brigands. During the brawl, their abbot is put to death at the blade of a knife, but the murderer neglected to steal his money filled purse. When the local bailiff discovers that the group are conducting a holy relic overseas to France, he begins to suspect that there are murkier motivations at play.
THE AMOROUS ARMOURER
A blacksmith is found dead in his lodgings, the door locked from the inside. As the town’s meticulously minded bailiff goes about his investigation, a veritable rogue’s gallery of culprits drift in and out of focus – but the guilty party is the least suspect of all.
A CLERICAL ERROR
One of the king’s forresters lies dead in a gully on the moor, his head smashed in with a rock, and the only witness to the murder being the forrester’s loyal mastiff, who stands vigil over his master’s body. As the list of suspects increases with every local rivalry which comes to light, the outcome of the case will surprise all involved.
DANCE OF DEATH
1348, the year of the Great Death. Refugees flood into the city of Exeter from the plague-ravaged countryside surrounding the city. A man and a young boy from the village of Rookford arrive separately, yet both share knowledge of a horrifying secret and come to the realisation that even in these times of turmoil, the past is inescapable.