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- Library Journal
"An appealingly courageous detective . . . "
- Kirkus Reviews
"Enjoyable….actual historical figures as the dour Sir William Cecil, the queen's secretary, and alchemist Dr. John Dee add color to this well-researched mystery."
- Publishers Weekly
"Fabulous . . . a thrilling reading experience. . . . Fans of the Ursula Blanches series by Fiona Buckley will definitely love this glimpse into a bygone era."
- Midwest Book Review
"Certain to please fans of historical mysteries. Harper's careful plotting and keen historical eye render this a true delight to read. Best of all, though, is Harper's characterization of Elizabeth and her detecting acumen. . . . what better way to spend wintry weekends than in catching up on the previous novels in this series, starting with The Poyson Garden."
- Mystery Lovers Bookstore
Posted May 3, 2015
Harper's Elizabeth I detective novels are wonderful amalgams of mystery, history, politics and social criticism starring one of the most interesting women in Western civilization.
They offer a completely plausible history of a singular figure, providing a completely sympathetic and heroic portrait of an early feminist icon.
This story features her usual ad hoc family-her Privy Plot Council-and weaves actual events into a tale of increasing suspense and a palpable dread, as the Queen applies her tremendous gifts of intellect and courage to find a killer. Harper' s deft handling of Elizabeth's increasing mistrust as she matures into a powerful monarch reveals the determination to justify her faith in those close to her. Each entry in the series challenges that faith, yet Elizabeth displays a pragmatism and foresight to be scrupulous, even in secret, in the pursuit of truth above all.
The novels also re veal bits and pieces of the Queen's childhood, through the perilous years of being in favor and out of favor, imprisoned and her life threatened, a life which seems to have tempered her into a finely honed weapon, strong enough to withstand dangerous battles, emerging triumphant, with scars retained as lessons learned.
The Fyre Mirror is one of the best entries yet, taking us from the mythic environs of the long gone Nonsuch Palace, introducing one of the most monumental figures of the Elizabethan era, John Dee, and adding a glimpse into the cutthroat world of Art- where patronage and technique are as jealously guarded and fought over as any treasure.
I recommend that readers begin with the first novel and read them in order. A more enjoyable lesson in history would be hard to find.
Posted November 29, 2014
Posted June 14, 2014
Posted December 9, 2008
On a whim, Queen Elizabeth I decides to leave her London residence and stay at Nonsuch Palace for a while. Beside the courtiers and the rest of the retinue who make up Elizabeth¿s inner circle, she takes along artists, who are painting a state picture of her and she will pick the one that is the best and send it all over Europe. Gil Sharpe, who was sent to Italy to learn with the masters goes to Nonsuch and decides to enter the competition to paint his Queen¿s portrait..................... Since Nonsuch is small, many of the people who traveled with Elizabeth are staying in the courtyard in tents. One of the artist¿s tents catches fire, killing him and his assistant. It is determined that the fire was deliberately set using a mirror and the sun to start the flames. A second artist¿s tent is also burned in the same manner. Elizabeth convinces her Privy Plot council to help her smoke out the killer but the perpetrator is very cunning. Elizabeth finds her own life is put in danger by a person without mercy.............................. This is the seventh Elizabeth I mystery by fabulous historical mystery writer Karen Harper and it is a thrilling reading experience because there are so many suspects with too few motives. Readers see the intelligence of the queen as she maneuvers Mary, Queen of Scots into a marriage of her choosing and plans to use her as a public relations tool to prove she is a queen in total command of the kingdom she rules. Fans of the Ursula Blanches series by Fiona Buckley will definitely love this glimpse into a bygone era....................... Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 27, 2014
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