Death of a Squire

Written by Maureen Ash
Review by Trudi E. Jacobson

This is the second installment in the Templar Bascot de Marins mystery series, set in Lincoln, England, in the year 1200. Bascot has been living at the castle, providing his services to the castellan, while he tries to decide whether to return to his life in the Templars or to leave their service. When a young squire is found hanged in the forest, Bascot is immediately pressed into service an investigator, as he had recently solved a number of other murders. King John is on his way to Lincoln to receive homage from the Scottish king, so it is critical that this matter be cleared up immediately. Was it the work of outlaws living in the forest? After all, the remains of a poached deer were found not far away. But this answer might be just too easy. The deceased squire, a thoroughly unlikable individual, may have stumbled onto a plot to bring Arthur, King John’s nephew, to the throne in his place, and attempt to blackmail those involved.

Like the first book, Death of a Squire is hard to put down. The historical detail is ever-present, but isn’t forced or didactic. Bascot is an admirable character, and I shall look forward to his continuing tale, particularly given the cliffhanger ending of this one.