April Editor’s Pick – Rebellion’s Message

It was a tough decision this month, but publisher Kate chose REBELLION’S MESSAGE by Michael Jecks, with RAT RUN by Caro Ramsay a very close second:

9781780290850“We are delighted to welcome to Severn House the long-established and much-loved crime writer Michael Jecks with REBELLION’S MESSAGE, the first in a brand-new Tudor mystery series. The author of more than thirty novels in the Knights Templar medieval mystery series, this is an intriguing new departure for Jecks, who sets this new novel during the brief but bloodstained reign of Queen Mary, elder sister of Elizabeth I.

This is a less familiar backdrop to historical crime fiction than the more well-documented Elizabethan age, but for me it worked very well as Jecks succeeds in bringing mid-sixteenth century London vividly to life in all its teeming muck, noisiness and squalor, and I was fascinated to be introduced to a period of history of which I’d had relatively little prior knowledge. Real historical characters mingle seamlessly with fictitious, and I particularly liked Jecks’ depiction of the embattled Queen Mary herself, revealing a rather different perspective on this much-maligned royal figure than her usual ‘Bloody Mary’ reputation would dictate.

In the roguish cutpurse and adventurer Jack Blackjack, Jecks has created an endearingly amoral yet forthright, rough-and-ready, redblooded detective hero, who succeeds in engaging the reader’s sympathy as he finds himself constantly being crossed and double-crossed, never quite knowing whom to trust, tormented by his doomed love for the duplicitous Moll and frequently whacked over the head!

The fast-moving plot throws up plenty of credible suspects and cunningly planted clues – and I confess that I was taken wholly by surprise when the identity of the killer was finally revealed. In short, a fabulous first in a highly promising new series and I hope we will be seeing much more of Jack Blackjack in the years to come.”

Request REBELLION’S MESSAGE on NetGalley now

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