Face Down upon an Herbal (Lady Appleton Series #2) by Kathy Lynn Emerson | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Face Down upon an Herbal (Lady Appleton Series #2)

Face Down upon an Herbal (Lady Appleton Series #2)

3.8 26
by Kathy Lynn Emerson

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Large print edition of Book 2 in Emerson's popular history/mystery series; "Wonderfully enhanced by herbal lore" (Publishers Weekly); CIP data; Seal of Approval from the National Association for the Visually Handicapped (NAVH).


Large print edition of Book 2 in Emerson's popular history/mystery series; "Wonderfully enhanced by herbal lore" (Publishers Weekly); CIP data; Seal of Approval from the National Association for the Visually Handicapped (NAVH).

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.)
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.

Product Details

Delphi Books
Publication date:
Lady Appleton Series, #2
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)

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