The Queen's Man: A Medieval Mystery (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

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9780345417183: The Queen's Man: A Medieval Mystery (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

Epiphany, 1193. Eleanor of Aquitaine sits upon England's throne. Her beloved son Richard Lionheart is missing, presumed dead--and the court whispers that her younger son John is plotting to seize the crown.

Meanwhile, on the snowy highroad from Winchester, a destitute young man falls heir to a blood-stained letter, pressed into his hand by a dying man. The missive becomes Justin de Quincy's passport into the queen's confidence--and into the heart of danger, as he pursues a cunning murderer and jousts with secret traitors in Eleanor's court of intrigue and mystery. . . .

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Do you know the story of Sharon Kay Penman's first mystery novel, The Sunne in Splendour? She spent every spare moment for years--first as a law student, then as a lawyer--working on the book about Richard III. And when the only copy of the manuscript was stolen from her car, she sat down and wrote it again. Five excellent historical mysteries later, Penman has started a new series set even farther back in time. It's 1193, and King Richard has disappeared on his way back to England after fighting in the Crusades. Justin de Quincy, the well-educated but illegitimate son of a bishop, is tapped to search for the missing ruler, and he turns out to be just the chap to blow away the cobwebs that often hang over historical mystery. Other Penman picks: Falls the Shadow; Here Be Dragons; Reckoning.

From the Publisher:

Excerpts from reviews of Sharon Kay Penman's The Queen's Man: A
Medieval Mystery

"Her writing is faultless, deftly interweaving the threads of the various
storylines into a glowing, living tapestry. This is storytelling at its

--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Penman manages to illuminate the alien shadowland of the Middle Ages and
populate it with vital characters whose politics and passions are as vivid
as our own. She writes about the medieval world with vigor, compassion,
and clarity."

--San Francisco Chronicle

"Once you enter Penman's world, you're hooked."

--Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Readers...will be caught up in this masterfully told tale. Penman's
authentic period details, larger-than-life characters, and fast-paced plot
add up to great reading for both mystery fans and history buffs."


"A graceful style, plus a plot rich in local color, puts this among the
most attractive by far of the recent spate of mysteries set in medieval

--Kirkus Reviews

"Penman here applies to mystery her talent for historical fiction....Well
researched, credibly plotted, realistically detailed, and undeniably

--Library Journal

"The sounds of swordplay and bodices being ripped are loud and
frequent....Readers will cheer Justin's return in future adventures."

--Publishers Weekly

"Murders pop up throughout The Queen's Man, and betrayal seems to
be a running theme. Author Penman paints detailed pictures of life on both
sides of the street (rich and poor) in 12th century England."

--San Antonio Express Times

"There is much tension in the court....There are conspiracies and spies
all over....[Her] other novels are gloriously multi-linear, having several
plot lines and an abundance of characters; The Queen's Man is
skillfully linear, having one plot line and only characters associated
with that line. She is equally successful with either form....Her prose
is rich, her dialogue is masterful, never trite....Penman is simply one of
the classiest acts in today's literary world."

--Courier-Times (Roxboro, NC)

"Penman carries on her story telling with an...inventive plot
[with]...numerous, plausible characters whose fate we will want to follow
in future books....She has made her characters truly evil, her prison
scenes horrific and her whores conveniently heartless....The subtle
weaving of current topics...provides an interesting underlying comment on
the times."

--Austin American Statesman

"It is through the characters created from her imagination that Penman
manages to create a believable twelfth century environment."

--Chicago Tribune

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