- Paperback: 291 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books (April 14, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345417186
- ISBN-13: 978-0345417183
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 125 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,360,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Queen's Man: A Medieval Mystery (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – April 14, 1998
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
It's 1193. In a bleak and bitterly cold England, King Richard, on his way back from the crusades, has been missing for two months, and his ruthless brother John is scheming for the throne. Penman (Here Be Dragons) sets this energetic and adroitly plotted series launch within this historical framework, giving Justin de Quincy, the well-educated but illegitimate son of a bishop, a chance to save England. Justin is too late to aid a goldsmith murdered by thieves, but he does take the wealthy man's hidden letters to their destination: the Queen mother, Eleanor. Of course, he reads them first and discovers that King Richard, with the connivance of the French king, is being held prisoner in Austria. The Queen appoints Justin as her chief investigator into the goldsmith's murder, giving him money, carte blanche and dire warnings as to the need for secrecy. Justin?comely, courageous and shrewd?quickly befriends a wide array of sheriffs, doxies and wenches, and flits from palace to alehouse to brothel ferreting out plots and conspiracies. The sounds of swordplay and bodices being ripped are loud and frequent. The accomplished author of historical novels employs some stereotypical characters (if he sneers, he's a villain) and much cliched prose ("...her mouth as soft and ripe as Summer strawberries"), yet Justin is so beguiling and, the action so lively and unpredictable, that readers will cheer Justin's return in further adventures.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The plot is interesting, the dialogue is authentic without being heavy-handed, and the characters are realistic in their histories and actions. Penman knows her period, which shines through many details.
This is the first book I've read by Sharon Penman but it won't be the last.