Face Down upon an Herbal (Lady Appleton Series #2) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Face Down upon an Herbal marks the return of Susanna, Lady Appleton, an Elizabethan woman who literally wrote the book on poisons. While her husband is away on a diplomatic mission to Scotland, Susanna is summoned by Queen Elizabeth to work on a new book of botanical decoctions at Madderly Castle. But when the herbalist learns that a pugnacious Scots baron has been found murdered atop the herbal that she has authored, she realizes that there is more to the queen's request. Then the killer strikes again, and ...
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Face Down upon an Herbal (Lady Appleton Series #2)

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Overview

Face Down upon an Herbal marks the return of Susanna, Lady Appleton, an Elizabethan woman who literally wrote the book on poisons. While her husband is away on a diplomatic mission to Scotland, Susanna is summoned by Queen Elizabeth to work on a new book of botanical decoctions at Madderly Castle. But when the herbalist learns that a pugnacious Scots baron has been found murdered atop the herbal that she has authored, she realizes that there is more to the queen's request. Then the killer strikes again, and strong-minded Susanna takes matters into her own hands and investigates the dastardly deeds. To uncover the truth, however, she must answer some vexing questions: Why are Lord Madderly and the local authorities so quick to blame an outside intruder? How are the deaths linked to a forger who specializes in noble genealogies? Is the murderer part of a treasonous conspiracy against the queen? Faced with a host of suspects who are not as they seem, Susanna must work quickly to find the killer's identity - before she becomes his or her next victim.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Treason, conspiracy and political scheming in Elizabethan England form a complex and sinister background for Lady Susanna Appleton's latest foray into sleuthing. The self-assured and feisty herbalist and author of A Cautionary Herbal, who was last seen in Face Down in the Marrow-bone Pie (1997), is bid by the queen to visit Madderly Castle, ostensibly to help Lady Madderly complete her own book on herbs. But a series of murders at the castle puts that project on hold. Lord Glenelg, an arrogant and irritating houseguest, is stabbed with his own knife. Lady Madderly is bludgeoned with a silver candlestick, and her sister-in-law is strangled. Susanna summons her husband, Sir Robert, back from Scotland, where he was happily combining a serious errand for the queen with his own wenching and quaffing. Their joint detection efforts, though acrimonious, are productive. Is treason in the works? The story is wonderfully enhanced by herbal lore (decoctions, potions and balms) and a heated and forbidden romance: Susanna's impressionable young sister-in-law is smitten with someone entirely unsuitable. There is always someone lurking behind an arras or scuttling along a secret passage, and codes and ciphers play a key role. At times, the conspiracies seem unreasonably complex, but Lady Appleton's keen logic and insight prove bracing. (Apr.)
KLIATT
The chronicles of Susanna, Lady Appleton, continue to appeal to advanced readers who share the author's fascination with 16th-century interests and intrigue. From Madderly Castle, Gloucestershire, October 1561 through Leigh Abbey, Kent, June 1562, herbals—compendiums of plants—predominate in this tale. Lord Madderly, his lady Eleanor, and his sister Beatrice, head the castle, where their annoying guest, Lord Glenelg, is murdered and falls "face down upon an herbal." The manipulative Queen Elizabeth, fearing treason, becomes involved, placing Susanna and her husband, Sir Robert, on separate paths to identify the killer. The herbalist Susanna bonds with the lovely Catherine Denholm and the gifted Magdalen Harleigh, and the women grow in spirit as the search intensifies. Among the many suspects are the handsome Gilbert Russell, the pedantic John Wheelwright, and the surly Otto Harleigh. Soon, multiple murders alarm many of the remaining characters. There is much talk of crests, cryptography, and counterfeiting as the mystery deepens. Emerson includes additional and varied details, such as meal preparation, holiday festivities, use of ferrets, and belief in witches. Dedicated readers will stretch to comprehend some terms and occasional dialect, but this Appleton adventure is quite satisfying. KLIATT Codes: A—Recommended for advanced students, and adults. 1998, Kensington, 254p, 18cm, $5.99. Ages 17 to adult. Reviewer: Maureen K. Griffin; Teacher/Libn., Williams M.S., Chelsea, MA, March 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 2)
Kirkus Reviews
A second adventure for Elizabethan herbalist Susanna, wife of Sir Robert Appleton, an emissary to Queen Elizabeth (Face Down in the Marrow-Bone Pie, 1989). While Sir Robert is on the Queen's business in Scotland (with a little dalliance on the side), Susanna, accompanied by young Catherine Denholm, her husband's unacknowledged half-sister, is sent to Madderly Castle in Gloucester. Ostensibly there to help Lady Eleanor Madderly with her herbal manuscript, Susanna learns of the recent killing of Lord Glenelyþan obnoxious Scots visitor found in the library where Magdalen Harleigh oversees Lord Madderly's collection while her burly husband, Otto, serves as the Castle's Horse Master. Others in the household are schoolmaster John Wheelwright, tutor of the Lord's young sons; handsome Gilbert Russell, gentleman usher; and Lord Madderly's sister Beatrice, who looks on Susanna's presence with sour-faced disapproval. Before long Eleanor becomes a second murder victim and Russellþincreasingly attractive to Catherineþis revealed as Lord Glenely's heir. A visit from her husband and yet another killing slowly uncover the driving force behind the mayhem. Far-fetched incidents, fussily drawn characters, and stilted conversations keep the pace soporific and the suspense meager here; but herbal enthusiasts and fans of historical romances may find some mild entertainment.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940000071533
  • Publisher: Belgrave House
  • Publication date: 11/1/2000
  • Series: Lady Appleton Series , #2
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 164,424
  • File size: 253 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Pleasant enough

    Mayhap a bit over-researched. More period detail than plot. 16th century expert on herbs solves murders. I think I would enjoy the story more if I wasn't told every ingredient of every concoction Lady Appleton puts together, not to mention receipts, costume details, and every bit of Elizabethan culture that can be crammed into 197 pages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    Missing pages

    Another interesting mystery by Ms Emerson. I like the history, but this Nook book was missing 2 pages, right at the end! Disappointing...

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  • Posted December 19, 2011

    Great read especially if you like Elizabethan era

    This was a book that I bought after stumbling upon the first book, "Face Down in a Marrow Pie." The main character is a strong, intelligent, independent women that her husband values for her intellect. I have really enjoyed the historical theme along with the mystery of this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

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  • Posted November 21, 2011

    Enjoyable to read

    Nice easy read to pass a rainy or cold winter's day. Mystery lite with a cast of characters that have reoccurring roles in the series. The heroine is likeable but is not described as the belle of the ball but one who instead has a stubborn streak and a intellect that both endears her and gets her into many a sticky situation. Even if she is treated poorly by others she endeavors to do the right thing according to her moral compass which often mystifies her supporting characters. This heroine is not the curvacious, petulant, beauty that is so often the trade of most of these kind of books. I like the series very much.

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    Cozy

    I so enjoyed this cozy mystery! A Very Good Read!

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  • Posted December 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    amusing

    I like this series as a diversion. the second book in this series had me really guessing to the last pages... :)

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  • Posted May 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Lady Appleton Wins Again

    Lady Susanna Appleton lives in the 1500's in England and is the main character of this wonderful series of books by author Kathy Lynn Emerson. If you are a lover of the historical novel as well as a fan of murder mysteries you will find great enjoyment in these well crafted novels. Lady Appleton's husband is in service to the Queen of England, Elizabeth 1. He is often away on missions for the Crown, leaving his ladywife the opportunity to work on her study of herbals, particularly those used for poisons as well as for healing. Sir Robert is not fond of the intelligence and skills of his wife, who was educated "like a man" by her late father. He does appreciate, however, her ability to keep his household and lands, so well run. In this book, she finds herself at Madderly Manor at the request of the Queen, to aid Lady Madderly in the completion of her book of herbals. Three murders occur and she resolves them with the help of an interesting group of minor characters. This is a wonderful read!

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