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The Outlaws of Ennor (Knights Templar) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


"Memorable characters, steadily absorbing period background...a commendable achievement."

About the Author

Michael Jecks gave up a career in the computer industry to concentrate on writing and the study of medieval history, especially that of Devon and Cornwall. He lives with his family in northern Dartmoor.


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Product Details

  • Series: Knights Templar (Book 16)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Book Publishing; New Ed edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755301730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755301737
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

NOTES: Everything About Michael Jecks

Who is this guy Jecks?

Michael was a moderate student and early on, being a callow youth, decided on a career as an actuary. This decision was based solely on the fact that he heard it was the highest paid profession. Well, he had a father who was one, and a brother, too, but the money certainly helped.
Not realizing that a standard definition of an actuary is "someone who finds accountancy too exciting", he achieved the relevant grades at A level and wandered off to City University, London. There, he excelled - as bar chairman - but not at actuarial studies. Firmly convinced that his course was incomprehensible (Life & Other Contingencies? Advanced Statistics? Programming in Pascal?) and other parts were designed by knaves, cretins and the criminally insane (Economics), he left the course after failing every exam for two years.

With the glittering example of a second, unqualified, brother who earned very good money, had a bonus scheme, free car, free petrol, expense account and free holiday each year, Michael decided to follow this brother into computer sales.
Joining one company selling "office automation" from the back of Gray's Inn Road (typewriters), he soon progressed to a company selling personal computers. Especially the ACT Sirius. He left and set up a division of PC sales for City of London Computer Services, only to lose his job when a second partner, who didn't believe PCs would take off, returned from a long holiday.
Following that, Michael went to a new start-up to help form Electronic Office Services. When that firm collapsed (with one director disappearing, apparently to the Bahamas with all the company's money), Michael was left without a job.
He saw an advert for an interview with a company called Wordplex, and went to see the company at an open day in a London hotel. After a lengthy interview process, which involved five formal meetings, he was accepted.
Later he heard he had been taken on because he was "the only twenty-one year old I've ever seen turn up to a job interview smoking a pipe, you berk" - (Dick Houghton, Regional Director, Wordplex, 1981).
For the next four years, Michael sold Wordplex systems as one of a hundred salesmen in the UK. He was consistently one of the top salespeople in the country, and as a result was headhunted to join Wang Laboratories in 1985.
Wang was a challenging company. All salespeople who did not achieve their monthly targets at least once in every three months were summarily dismissed. Michael survived until 1990, when Wang collapsed, and Michael took a job with Rank Xerox. This interesting job involved selling equipment that was roughly eight years out of date. There he lasted six months before being asked to join NBI, a Colorado-based firm created by ingesters of certain illegal substances, who (out of respect for the success of IBM, ICL, NCR and ACT) named their business: Nothing But Initials.
The company closed their international operations three months after Michael joined them.
At a loose end once more, Michael looked to a job with a more secure future. Thus it was that he entered the leasing business. At the time no leasing salesman could earn less than £100,000 per annum. Michael joined a new firm called Celsius Computer Services, and in the first three months sold £1.25 million of business. Then Atlantic Leasing crashed and the entire market fell with it. Michael was unemployed without redundancy - again.
Moving to safer shores with software sales, Michael joined IBM's largest software supplier, Bluebird. They went bust a year later (owing him a lot).

Out of Computing, Into Writing
It was a while later, after 13 jobs in 13 years, that Michael finally took the hint. He found himself at the beginning of 1994 once more without a job, and so he sat down to decide on a new course. He had no qualifications, but he knew he loved reading. With that conviction, he began to write, becoming a full-time homeworker while his wife went to work and supported their (exorbitant) mortgage.
Those were interesting times.
In three months, Michael worked seven days a week, fourteen hours a day. In that time he wrote a modern day thriller, a management book on how to get work when made redundant (he had experience of that) and a historical crime novel that was to become The Last Templar.
The thriller was snapped up by Bantam over the phone - and rejected two days later in writing because it was all about the IRA, and they had just agreed their first ceasefire. The second book was rejected by his agent because her husband had recently left her for an IBM Systems Engineer. She wanted nothing to do with books about computers or computer people, and if Michael's book could help them find contentment and employment, she was content to see it burned.

Since 1995 and the launch of The Last Templar, Michael has been a persistent and prolific author. City of Fiends was the 31st story in the series that follows the lives of Sir Baldwin de Furnshill, a renegade Templar, and his friend Bailiff Simon Puttock through the miserable period of famine, war and disease that was the first half of the fourteenth century.
The series is the first to tell the tale of that time.
It charts the incompetent reign of King Edward II, the appalling avarice and criminality of his chief advisers, Sir Hugh le Despenser and (sadly) Bishop Walter II of Exeter; then the war against France and the desertion of Edward by his wife Isabella, and her return with a small army to remove him from the throne.
However it is not merely a crime series. The whole of the Kingdom was changing: after fifty years the language of authority stopped being French and became English; the feudal system was broken; farming was becoming efficient and organised; new towns were springing up - and the king was losing control of law-making and even war-making. It was probably the period in which England changed the most, apart from perhaps the fifty years post World War II.

Over the years, the series has sold well in the UK and America, with translations into Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Italian, and many other countries.
In America it has been taken on by many schools as a means of imparting accurate social history. It has revived interest in Edward II's reign, and has made Michael friends all across the globe.
With the publication of Templar's Acre in 2013, which was a prequel to the series, Michael felt it was time to take a break. As a result, he wrote ACT OF VENGEANCE, a modern day spy thriller, which received the comment from Lee Child who said it was "An instant classic British spy novel - mature, thoughtful, and intelligent ... but also raw enough for our modern times.  Highly recommended."

Michael has made many friends with authors in the medieval period. He founded Medieval Murderers as a performance group, and soon had the idea that the group should write a collaborative novel. This collection of linked novellas was published as Tainted Relic by Simon & Schuster. DEADLIEST SIN is the tenth anniversary edition, published in 2014
As well as the Templar Series and Medieval Murderers, Michael has compiled ebook collections of his short stories. FOR THE LOVE OF OLD BONES and NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM have all the short stories previously published in collections from Maxim Jakubowski, Mike Ashley and the Crime Writers' Association.
Michael is now writing a thrilling trilogy based on the lives of a vintaine (platoon) of archers during the early years of the Hundred Years War. FIELDS OF GLORY, the first, was published in 2014.

Michael has long had an interest in helping new writers, and for two years he organised the Debut Dagger for the Crime Writers' Association, helping five authors win their first publishing contracts as a result.
In 2004 he was elected as Chairman of the CWA, and afterwards he accepted a post as judge on the CWA/Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award, on which he served for three years. More recently he has been working with the International Thriller Writers and in 2011 he helped create the Historical Writer's Association, and remains on the organising committee.
In 2007 Michael was proud to be asked to collaborate with Conway Stewart to produce the Michael Jecks fountain pen. Other honours include being invited as the International Guest of Honour at the Bloody Words gala 2014, to being the Grand Master of the first parade of the 2014 Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Michael is a regular speaker about the Knights Templar, the end of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, about writing and publishing, and about finding work. He is also keen to help those who are now going through the latest recession. He endured enough hardship, and lost all his savings, during the last recession, and understands what it means to risk losing everything.

An enthusiastic photographer and watercolourist, Michael can often be seen walking across Dartmoor where he lives, gaining inspiration into the lives of our ancestors for his stories. When relaxing he can usually be found clad in white in a pub near you before dancing mad stick Morris.

Of course, if you want to contact him or link on social media, you can find him at, he's on YouTube as writerlywitterer, on LinkedIn, he is at, at, on Instagram, Pinterest and everywhere else too! He appreciates hearing from readers, so do please contact him.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Anna I. Smith on November 12, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a huge fan of this series, but not of this book. It seemed to take a departure from others in the series in several ways. It spent much time on philosophical issues like marriage, friendship, taking lives, etc. If i wanted that, I wouldn't be reading mysteries. Even his foreword is long and tedious! And one of his steadfast characters reveals a major character flaw, which I found very disheartening, and quite odd after 15+ novels. A long and unsatisfying book.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Austen Fan on October 11, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Michael Jenks is a talented writer. His myteries are generally full of atmosphere, well paced and populated with believable characters. This is one of the exceptions.

If "Master and Commander" and a Regency bodice ripper had a retarded (...)child, this would be it.

The first quarter of the book is devoted to a ship wreck and the repetitive whining of the "unserviced" and insatiable wife, the angst suffered by her floppy hubby, repeats of every euphemism known for male genitalia and constant references to what the wife needs "between her aching loins." The wife sues for divorce as the marriage has never been consumated. The events are based on a true case from the 1300's.

Given the title, you might wonder what this has to do with the story. Not much. Yet this rather thin back story takes up a substantial part of the book. You'll also learn more than you ever wanted to know about customs taxes in medieval England. I suppose the objective was to build atmosphere. It doesn't work and it's quite annoying.

There are better mysteries out there, many by the same author. Don't waste your time on this one!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bookaholic on November 9, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have previously reviewed this author. He is superior and my only regret is that once I found his works that I read everything he has written within two months. I only wish he could write faster. British film and TV would be well advised to base a series on this mystery series rather than some of the current work they produce (stated by an American).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale on August 22, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Michael Jecks gave up a career in the computer industry when he began writing the internationally successful Templar series. Well all I can say is the Computer Industries loss is the reader's gain. He has now written about a score of the Knights Templar mystery books featuring Sir Baldwin de Furnshill and Bailiff Simon Puttock and there are more to follow. Michael's books are full of intrigue and mystery and they are particularly well researched. Mr. Jecks lives in the area he writes about and I am sure this must assist him a great deal with his background research.

If my memory serves me correctly this is the first time that Sir Baldwin and Simon have been taken out of their Devon surroundings. I am not sure whether it is coincidence but I did not enjoy this book quite as much as the others.

Baldwin and Simon are returning from a Pilgrimage to Spain when their ship is attacked by pirates. After trying to fight their way out of the trouble Simon is distraught when he sees Sir Baldwin swept overboard.

Simon is washed ashore on the island of Ennor and but cannot get over the fact that his friend must surely be dead, but he has to put aside his grief when he is asked to investigate the murder of the Island's tax man. Meanwhile unbeknown to Simon Sir Baldwin has been saved, washed up on the neighbouring island of St. Nicholas. He is nursed back to health by the beautiful Tedia and forgets that he has a wife waiting for him at home.

Baldwin also begins to investigate the murder of the tax man and soon begins to realise that there is no love lost between the two local communities. Will their parallel investigations bring Baldwin and Simon together again?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Neddy707 on February 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
"What unlucky travelers Baldwin and Simon have been! On their return trip from pilgrimage the ship they're sailing on is set upon by pirates in the midst of a terrible storm. While repelling the pirates, the sailors are unable to attend the ship and lose their mast. All seems lost as the ship is wrecked upon the Scilly Isles. Of course our heroes must survive and so they do, but without knowledge of the other's survival as they're washed upon different islands. With the grief of their false loss, both are confronted with strong emotions that force moral confrontations that surprise and perhaps disappoint us in our here-to-fore stalwart friends."
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ok, I am still new to the series, I have not long read The Templar's Penance, and I was delighted to be seemingly now reading a great, great series. But this - The Outlaws of Ennor - is terrible. It could have easily have been called the Woes of Ye Olde Prickle Problems, for reasons which you'll know if you've read it, or (possible spoilers following), if not, are about to find out.

The mediaeval's very own Aubrey / Maturin - one Sir Baldwin and Simon the Bailiff, are blown off course on the way home from a pilgrimage in Spain; in fact they are shipwrecked and both are saved but separated, one on one island, and the other on one of the other islands of what are now the Scillies. The trouble is, they are two separate communities; although the feudal pyramid of authority meets somewhere, at island level they do not, one group is administered by one sub-authority (whether church or state) and the other part of the small group of islands by another. Not only that, both distrust the other and there are historical tensions.

Tales like this simply have to have contrivances and coincidences which in any deep analysis would seem to be founded on quicksand, but no matter, they are needed in most branches of fiction, and here it comes in the form of two murders, one after the other, around the same time as the two friends are safe on land again. Their own stations in life and the links, however distant, see them both (whether invited, pressured or even suggested by the friends) investigating a murder each, without each other's knowledge. Now, all that side of the story is fine, I enjoyed it tremendously.
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