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The Queene's Christmas: An Elizabeth I Mystery (Elizabeth I Mysteries) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Length: 316 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Harper takes readers back to sixteenth-century England with her sixth mystery featuring Elizabeth I. It is the Christmas season of 1564, and Elizabeth wants her subjects to enjoy the holidays while she attempts to outwit her devious Catholic cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, who is plotting to steal the throne of England. Elizabeth has planned an elaborate holiday feast, but the preparations go awry when Master Hodge Thatcher, Dresser of the Queene's Privy Kitchen, is found hanging in his workroom adorned with the peacock feathers meant for decorating the roasted bird. Elizabeth must solve the crime before she becomes another victim. The wonderful historical detail mixed with intrigue and authentic Elizabethan recipes enliven this story, which is a real treat for those who enjoy historical mysteries. Book-club hosts will appreciate the discussion ideas included at the end of the book. Barbara Bibel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"This mystery... nicely blends intrigue, humor and period detail."
-Wall Street Journal

Praise for Karen Harper and the Elizabeth I Mystery Series

The Queene's Christmas
"Lively, abundant historical color makes Harper's latest regal caper another standout. A delectable bonus: Each chapter opens with a Yuletide recipe from the period." --Kirkus Reviews
"[A]n excellent historical series" --Library Journal
"16th-century holiday fun." --Publishers Weekly
"Harper immerses the reader in the monarch's 16th-century world with a realism that brings the characters to life." --Romantic Times Book Club
"Karen Harper brings England alive" --Rendezous

The Thorne Maze
"Tudor England's answer to V. I. Warshawski....[a] well-researched, intrigue-filled historical." --Publishers Weekly
"Brisk, energetic writing and terrific historical color." --Kirkus Reviews
"Another brilliantly plotted and authentically detailed entry in a series celebrated for its vigorous characterization of the Virgin Queen." --Booklist
"Another fine historical." --Library Journal
"Harper is to be commended for keeping true to what we know of Tudor history...and for making the factions of Elizabeth's court clearer than many history books have done." --Chicago Tribune
"The plot of Harper's novel is a mere diversion from its true pleasure: the re-creation of Elizabeth I's court, the manners of the day, the fetes, the sumptuous clothes, all of which Harper brings wonderfully alive." --Baltimore Sun

The Queene's Cure
"Karen Harper weaves a thrilling blend of historical detail and intriguing mystery. Her Queen Elizabeth I...possesses the fine detective's instinct of Sherlock Holmes. The result is an intense reading experience guaranteed to surprise and delight." --Lisa Gardner, author of The Other Daughter

The Twylig...

Product Details

  • File Size: 857 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312301758
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (April 1, 2007)
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2007
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003J4VEQ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #877,990 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Karen Harper is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of romantic suspense and historical novels. A native Ohioan, she and her husband divide their time between Ohio and Florida. Karen is a former high school English teacher and English-and-writing instructor for the Ohio State University. (Go Bucks!) Yes, the Harpers are avid Ohio State football fans, but they have a serious side too. They were on the 10-year committee which revamped the main library on campus. The Ohio State Library houses her author collection in Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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!

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As in the previous five Elizabeth I mysteries, Harper's latest relies on the details, customs, food and dress of the court to provide at least as much pleasure as the plot, which illuminates the factions and threats endangering Elizabeth's singular rule.
The novel opens in 1564 with the Queen's decision to celebrate an old-style Twelve Day Christmas to please her aged, declining nurse. The Puritans rage, the populace rejoices, and Christmas Eve begins badly, with the murder of the Dresser of the Queen's Privy Kitchen (there are three kitchens - one for the Queen and invited guests, a second for courtiers, and a third for the hordes of minions who do all the work). The man responsible for the elaborate design of the finished dishes, poor Hodge had been hung and garnished with the plumage of the peacock he was preparing.
With the jokester preparing another nasty surprise for each of the 12 days, the Queen gathers her usual Privy Council, but soon finds reason to suspect even them. Courtiers are jealous, greedy, scheming people and even the best are ambitious.
The plot is nicely paced (though the Privy Council red herrings are fairly obvious), but the chief spectacle here is Christmas. A Christmas recipe prefaces each chapter and is featured within during the festivities. The feasts and pageants and costumes are entrancingly described, as is much of the work involved in getting it all done. Excellent in concept and execution.
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By A Customer on October 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Six years have passed since Elizabeth was crowned but she and her Secretary of State William Cecil still worry that her enemies will try to take the throne away from her. She makes her childhood friend Robert Dudley the Earl of Leicester and offers him as a husband to her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots. By doing this, she hopes to make Lord Henry Stewart so appealing that Mary will want this weakling and defuse the threat she poses to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth declares that the twelve days of Christmas in 1564 will be a joyous celebration but the Queen's mood turns ugly when one of her cook's is murdered and dressed up in death as a peacock. Elizabeth thinks this killing was aimed at The Earl of Leicester, who many call a peacock because he wears bright colors and therefore indirectly at her. She consults with her trusted Privy Plot Council on this matter. Malicious pranks played on the Queen during the holiday make her suspect everyone except Cecil. When a second murder occurs Elizabeth goes on the offensive and almost gets killed.
THE QUEENE'S CHRISTMAS is a very enlightening historical mystery as the readers sees how Elizabeth feels about her deceased parents and dead sister. The author, using the third person narrative, shows how Elizabeth makes it plain that though she may love, she will not marry because she doesn't trust any man to let her rule in her own right. There are many viable viable who would like Elizabeth dead, which means that readers are treated to a rare cerebral puzzle. Karen Harper is one of the few authors who educates while she entertains.
Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover
Karen Harper's historical mystery series has two things to recommend it, for me, at least. First is the setting: I have always been fascinated by Elizabeth I, a woman who not only survived as a single woman in a man's world where such a state was considered a sign of witchcraft but who built the foundations of an empire that survived her by two centuries. The second is Ms. Harper's talent, which brings both the woman and the time to vivid life, and adds in a mystery that makes the best use of both.
This book doesn't disappoint. All the favorite characters are there: Meg and Ned and Jenks, caught in a love triangle the resolution of which Ms. Harper is drawing out with tantalizing slowness. Harry Carew and William Cecil complete the historical elements of Her Majesty's Privy Plot Council. Dear Kat Ashley, who has been Elizabeth's support for most of her life, is failing, and it is a credit to Ms. Harper's skill with characters that we share in the queen's sadness at the impending loss of her beloved companion.
As for the mystery, it is once again wrapped in the inevitable politics that were as much a part of Elizabeth's life as breathing, and if the outcome and final resolution seem somewhat anticlimactic, that in no way detracts from the reader's enjoyment. THE QUEENE'S CHRISTMAS, like all the Elizabethan Mysteries, is as much to be read for its ability to draw one into an earlier time and place, and for the true history lover that's almost more than enough.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is book 6 in this series. Another reviewer claims these to be the "most boring books" ever. Question: Why has this person read 6 of these then if they are soooo boring?
Be that as it may, I disagree. This books are anything but boring and this Bess (I prefer Her Majesty, sorry) is hardly stupid.

I don't claim to be a Tudor scholar. I am just fascinated by Her Majesty and anything to do with her & her times. I love these books.
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Format: Hardcover
While once or twice the pace seemed to slow, the authenticity of the dialogue and setting held my attention till things picked up again. This is a must-read for historical mystery fans. By all other accounts, Elizabeth I was very clever; whether or not she actually spent time solving palace plots is highly debatable, but the auithor makes it an engaging tale nonetheless.
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