#2 Bascot de Marins "Templar" mystery set in 1200 Lincoln. King John is coming to Lincoln so the whole town, and most certainly the castle, is astir with preparations. When the squire of Nicolaa de la Haye's brother-in-law is found hanged in the nearby forest, she is concerned that her brother-in-law is somehow involved and that a plot to overthrow the King might be involved--and she needs to know the score before the King's arrival.
Bascot de Marins, a Templar knight who is for now a temporary retainer of Nicolaa and her husband Gerard Camville, sheriff of Lincoln, helped her earlier in the year with another investigation, so she asks him once again to investigate and get to the bottom of the squire's death. Hubert de Tournay was not well-liked, being a nosy braggart who was always ferreting out secrets, and also tended to coerce young women to have assignations with him. Was his death the result of a political plot, or was there a more personal motive?
I enjoyed this second entry in the series more than the first, as we get to know the main character and his supporting cast better. I've read quite a few books set in this time period and this is the first one I recall where there was actually a supporter of King John among the major cast of characters--Nicolaa de la Haye was staunchly in favor of the King.
On a personal level, Bascot struggles with decisions in his own life--whether to rejoin the Templars now that his body and soul are somewhat healed after his years-long captivity in the Holy Land, or permanently become a night of Nicolaa's household? And what of Gianni, his mute servant whom he rescued from a life of poverty and starvation? Looking forward very much to the next in the series.