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Mistress of Mourning: A Novel Paperback – July 3, 2012
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“The grief of a sister and mother who also happens to be queen of England combines with the fire and spirit of a lovely wax-worker in Karen Harper’s riveting tale of just what might have happened to the princes in the tower and to the first Tudor crown prince.” --Karleen Koen, New York Times bestselling author of Through a Glass Darkly and Before Versailles
"Beloved author Karen Harper brings Elizabeth of York to vivid life… Through the eyes of charming and adventurous wax chandler, Varina Westcott, the tumultuous era of the new-born Tudor dynasty is depicted as it surely was—a time rife with danger, passion and murder. The exciting story and its appealing heroine kept me reading late into the night with sheer enjoyment.” --Sandra Worth, author of Pale Rose of England and The King’s Daughter
“Much like her endearing chandler heroine, Varina, Karen Harper warmly illuminates a little-explored craft and two persistent royal mysteries, skillfully melding the hearts and lives of the high and low born…delivers adventure, romance, and surprise…" — Sandra Byrd, author of To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
About the Author
More About the Author
The Harpers love to travel, and Karen often uses her favorite places as settings for her novels. She's recently written books set in Tudor England and Amish country Ohio. Her latest bestselling trilogy set in Appalachia is THE COLD CREEK NOVELS. These are SHATTERED SECRETS, FORBIDDEN GROUND and BROKEN BONDS. These bring her published books over 60 in a 30-year writing career.
Karen belongs to several writer's organizations, including International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and The Historical Novel Society. She appreciates hearing from readers on her website at www.KarenHarperAuthor.com--and she answers!
Top Customer Reviews
The middle of the novel though, the 'bulk' of it, was very entertaining. The author has created a mystery surrounding a discontented Yorkist during the reign of Henry Tudor (VII). Sir Francis Lovell seeks to destory the 'upstart' King, whilst also wishing to bring to light what he knows of the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower from years before. The sister of the princes, Queen Elizabeth, still mourns for them and seeks to know the truth behind their disappearance. She enlists the services of Varina Westcott, a candlemaker, to carve waxen effigies of her brothers, but Varina soon becomes tied up in the plot of the villian Lovell.
One thing I did find a little strange in this novel is that Queen Elizabeth continuously refers to her husband's enemies as 'Yorkists'; something I find rather ironic when she herself was the daughter of the Yorkist King Edward IV. If her brothers would have survived then they, in turn, would have been the rightful King of England, and not her husband. Considering the amount of guilt she feels about their disappearance, and the extremity in which she mourns them, it would seem that she is not thinking in terms of keeping her husband on his throne. It makes me wonder how the Elizabeth of this novel would have viewed the so-called 'pretenders' to Tudor's throne, Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck, but unfortunately neither of these were mentioned in this novel.Read more ›
at, very early on, the adventures of the candlemaker,Varina and her accomplice, Nick were fun to read. The conversations of the royal couple, "Good Queen Elizabeth" and King HenryVII were quite interesting. I liked the way
the author blended the mystery of the York Princes in the tower and the unexpected and early death of Prince Authur.
It was also interesting to learn a bit of the arts of candle making and the ties it had to the wax effigies of the royals of the time period.
This was an interesting novel and I look forward to future readings of Karen Harper's novels.
Her client is none other than Queen Elizabeth of York, the wife of Henry VII. Still grieving the untimely deaths of her brothers -- the infamous princes in the Tower -- as well as her two infant children, Elizabeth finds in Varina a kindred spirit. But Varina's seemingly simple commission -- to design wax effigies of Elizabeth's dead kin -- transforms into a more challenging job when Varina is asked to investigate the sudden and mysterious death of Prince Arthur (as in big brother of Henry VIII). There's a predictable romance that I rather liked with a male love interest who was, I'll admit, kind of dreamy.
The novel is split between her first person account and that of Queen Elizabeth, and while I'm not always wild about dual narratives, in this case, it worked. The common loss these two women shared added some depth to this otherwise enjoyably fluffy historical. What sold me on the story, and why I so enjoyed this book, is that Varina worked for me as a heroine -- even when she came dangerously close to that aggravating willful-feisty caricature. She waited out tense situations rather than doing something stupid, for example, and I found her admirable and likeable. (And, yes, I totally want her to be my bestie.Read more ›
And Queen Elizabeth of York, the daughter of Edward IV, the sister of the princes in the tower and Queen of King Henry VII (as well as the mother of the future King Henry VIII)
Elizabeth of York's face was also what the the face of the Queen in playing card decks up to this very day are modeled on.
The Queen hires Varena to carve effigies of her two late brothers and after the death of her elder son and heir Prince Arthur to help resolve what seems to be a murder by poisoning . From then she is swept into maelstrom of mystery, murder, suspense and fear, while being engaged in a romance with the dashing Nicholas.
The characters are strong and engaging and I enjoyed most the novel. Good setting and creatively and engagingly written.Only the end and the role played by Francis Lovell seems a bit off the wall, and detracts from the overall good and entertaining historical mystery
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An engrossing read, this book contains a bit of everything. There’s a romance, mystery, historical tidbits, and suspense. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Sarah L. Gruwell
First book I have ever read of this time of English history. Subject matter was a bit morbid for my taste.Published 11 months ago by Carol McFarlane
The mystery was pretty interesting and I liked the viewpoint of Elizabeth of York alternating with the fictional main character. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Celegirl27
Warning, this book is the same book as the Queens Confidant by Karen Harper. While it was good, it was worth buying 2 books just because they have different titles and covers.Published on July 2, 2013 by Kindle Customer
I enjoy Harper's style in all of her novels. She sets the scenes in an almost magical manner--it is as if she has been there and knows the people personally, and I feel like I do,... Read morePublished on March 20, 2013 by O.S.Carter
Mistress of mourning was good, but at the Times I felt that it was too slow at times. I would still recommend this bookPublished on January 26, 2013 by shawn Holloway
I really loved this book. Great heroine, which I really appreciate. She was smart and endearing. Loved the guy in this book, I won't name him because I hate it when people let me... Read morePublished on December 21, 2012 by Kathryn H. Grimm
This is a truly awesome story. If you like Phillipa Gregory you will love Karen Harper. I could not put this one down. Just the right amount of history and suspense.Published on December 9, 2012 by Love Amazon