From the 1066 Battle of Hastings Richard secretly takes something. A millennium later, a mystery engages Chester Bentley on an adventurous treasure hunt…
The Chester Bentley Mysteries #1
Richard, a French farmer who has lost everything, is forced to fight for the man who was responsible for the murder of his parents: William, Duke of Normandy. This is the man who will become William the Conqueror having crossed the English Channel with his army in a bid to wrest the throne from Anglo-Saxon King Harold. Richard refuses to resort to gratuitous cruelty and when providence degrees he has an opportunity to save William, he finds himself in close proximity to The Conqueror from that time onward. This is 1066 and the place is Hastings. In the present, however, 12-year-old Chester Bentley is not looking forward to entering boarding school at Buckland House. Would you believe it if I told you the connection between the events in 1066 and today is an ancient treasure?
The French army makes camp around Hastings and William orders the men to slaughter all the inhabitants of nearby villages. His goal is to attract King Harold’s attention and force the English army to fight on the Hastings’ battlefield. Only Richard refuses to take part in these atrocities and thereby risks receiving a beating or even losing his life. However, when Richard saves William’s life, all seems forgiven and he is duly rewarded. If William had known that Richard took the very thing he needed to make his claim to the English throne indisputable … what outcome then? More than a thousand years later gardener Joe is desperate to find the treasure, hidden in or around the Manor house and promises his son Titch riches once they find it. Joe hopes Isabella, the Lady of the Manor, will help but then a tragic accident happens .. or was it an accident? From then on, the Manor seems haunted.
The presence of a ghost is Buckland House’s secret mystery and Chester Bentley has only one year to find out! Together with his newfound friend the very cool Montague, respected by teachers and pupils alike, he stumbles upon a mysterious map. Chester Bentley would not be who he is if he was not extremely curious and determined to find out all he can about Buckland House’s secret passageways, the ghost stories and most of all, the hidden treasure if there is one in fact! The clock is ticking as he has to make progress in locating the treasure, even if it means putting himself in dangerous situations. On top of that, some pupils are downright interfering and there is one, Ralph, who is determined to get Chester Bentley. Chester, however, trusts his luck to ‘serendipity’: every time he utters the word, something cool and adventurous is about to happen. Follow Chester Bentley and his friends on a daring and dangerous treasure hunt!
The first part of this suspenseful young adult thriller is filled with beautiful descriptive sentences and vividly painted pictures of the Battle of Hastings leaving no mistake about the horrors. At the same time, it makes us realise that even in violent circumstances people are able to stay true to themselves – like Richard. I admired his character, how he struggled with the injustice and still kept his honour. Chester Bentley is introduced to the reader as the boy who does not want to go to boarding school but is given no choice. The novel is divided into three parts and despite the dangers surrounding Chester and his friends in the third part, the tone of the book is lighter and simply entertaining. I loved Chester Bentley! He is such an adorable character and once he feels he is on the right track, not even his fears can stop him! The combination of historical facts with boarding school mysteries (who hasn’t devoured those?!) and exciting adventures make this book, suitable for teenagers, young adults and all adults, a brilliant thriller!
Chester Bentley has his very own website where you can learn more about the Chester Bentley Mysteries!
About the Authors
Mark Colenutt and Jacqueline Wood are friends who, after years of talking about books, decided to join forces and write ‘The Last Treasure of Ancient England’. Mark’s inspiration for the book came from his own boarding school days in the 1980s at Buckland House School in Devon. The old manor house captured his imagination as did his History teacher who explained its historical connections. Mark became a teacher himself and later obtained an MA in History. He often entertains his pupils with tales of boarding school life and as his mind has wandered back to Buckland House over the years, the idea for the book has grown. Jacqueline has loved stories since her father invented his own for her at bedtime (and she usually changed the endings). She made her way through the children’s section of the local library (like Roald Dahl’s Matilda) and presented her first book to her headmaster at the age of eight. She graduated from Durham University with a degree in English and then trained to be a teacher. When Mark told Jacqueline about his story idea she was captivated and didn’t take any persuading when he suggested they write it together.
|Publisher||CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (14 Oct. 2016)|