Baldwin Furnshill and Simon Puttock are my second most-favorite English detective team of all time. I always look forward to every new 'Knights Templar' novel I find on the shelf. Unfortunately, I have to say I was disappointed in THE DEVIL'S ACOLYTE, the 13th such tale Michael Jecks has penned.
In large part, my disappointment lies in the fact that 'the team' doesn't get together till half-way through the book; Puttock handling the investigating chores till then. And then Puttock thinks Baldwin is out for his job and they're at odds. As a result, initally the book lacks the spark, the warmth of other F/P adventures and almost seems a by-the-numbers effort.
The plot is Jecks' usual multi-threaded confection which, this time, involves theft at an Abbey, a maid abused and a grisly murder followed by several more. Various characters have checkered histories and life isn't exactly merry in the town of Tavistock.
In time, Furnshill and Puttock patch things up and unravel who-did-what so all's well that ends well. But I think Jecks goofed by separating F/P for so long. The attraction of the West Country mysteries has always been the relationship between two honorable and likable friends fighting against the bad guys. Recommended with reservations.