I actually do like Maureen Ash's series of books involving the Templar knight, Bascot de Marins, and his young sidekick, Gianni. She does a very good job of describing - the environment, the clothing, the food, the way of life - it all is vividly described and presents a very clear picture of life for both the peasant and ruling classes at that time. To me, that is a sign of meticulous research, and I admire that. I don't like reading historical novels full of gross errors and inaccurate representations - to me, it detracts from the storyline. That being said, the novel details the murders of two men in the village of Lincoln that seem to be linked with an old coin stamped with a former ruler, King Stephen. There is clearly a treasure trove hidden somewhere, with someone being willing to kill to keep it. Various suspects appear throughout the story, and the author adds clues throughout which lead our protagonists upon varying paths. In truth, while I like the description and the development of characters, I find that the actual mystery was less interesting, and I am not convinced that a reader could have solved it based upon what clues were given. I do think that it is very difficult to construct a good mystery tale, however, and much of what I enjoy about historical mysteries is more the ambiance than the actual conundrum itself. Conversations at time seemed stilted and rather awkward, whereas her prose flows when she is embarking upon narrative. However, I do think that the books are improving - I think each one gets better, and her characters are interesting enough that I do care about what happens to them. This book tends to focus less upon Bascot and more upon Gianni and his continued development into a young man. Other established characters like Nicolaa barely make an appearance, whereas attention is placed upon numerous secondary characters while making some social commentary upon the times. I do recommend this series, but I would probably also say that they should be read in order.