The Queene's Christmas

( 10 )

Overview

Elizabethan England comes alive in all its pomp and pageantry, deadly intrigue and scandal-and fine feasting-in Karen Harper's acclaimed mystery series featuring the young queen, Elizabeth Tudor, as amateur sleuth.

An old English Yule has never been merrier or more mysterious. A New Year's celebration has never looked more joyous but been so potentially deadly.

Fearing the Twelve Days of Christmas of 1564 may be the last for her ailing, elderly...

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The Queene's Christmas: An Elizabeth I Mystery

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Overview

Elizabethan England comes alive in all its pomp and pageantry, deadly intrigue and scandal-and fine feasting-in Karen Harper's acclaimed mystery series featuring the young queen, Elizabeth Tudor, as amateur sleuth.

An old English Yule has never been merrier or more mysterious. A New Year's celebration has never looked more joyous but been so potentially deadly.

Fearing the Twelve Days of Christmas of 1564 may be the last for her ailing, elderly friend, Lady Kat Ashley, Queen Elizabeth decrees a nostalgic, old-fashioned holiday. Delicious dishes for the table, holly and ivy, caroling, wassailing, mumming, and a Lord of Misrule to oversee it all are in the recipe for the revels. But one of the queen's kitchen staff is found as dead as the ornate peacock he was preparing for the feast.

As more murders threaten customs, kingdom, and Christmas, Elizabeth and her diverse band of Privy Plot Counselors try desperately to solve the increasingly bizarre crimes.When the Thames freezes over and Londoners take to the ice for an elaborate Frost Fair. Elizabeth of England must outfox the diabolical demon who would kill not only the spirit of Christmas but the queen.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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 Twylight Tower

"Harper's exquisite mastery of the period, lively dialogue, energetic plot, devious characters, and excellent rendition of the willful queen make this a pleasure for fans of historical mysteries. Essential for all collections." —Library Journal

"The sleuthing is fun, but what makes The Twylight Tower comparable to the fine works of Allison Weir is the strong writing of the author." —Midwest Book Review

The Tidal Poole

"Harper delivers high drama and deadly intrigue.... [She] masterfully captures the Elizabethan tone in both language and setting and gives life to fascinating historical figures.... Elizabethan history has never been this appealing." —Newsday

The Poyson Garden

"A walk side by side with one of history's most dynamic characters." —Anne Perry, author of Half Moon Street

Publishers Weekly
In Karen Harper's The Queene's Christmas: An Elizabeth I Mystery, murder threatens to spoil the Yule celebrations at court. Period recipes at the start of each chapter add to the 16th-century holiday fun. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Murder threatens holiday festivities at court-including the queen herself. Elizabeth's little group of friends (The Twylight Tower) saves her once more. Still an excellent historical series-with a few recipes for good measure. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A killer with a flair for the theatrical tries to spoil Christmas for Elizabeth I. With the return of her beloved Robin Dudley from Scotland (where her rival Mary Stuart has rejected a marriage proposal), Queen Elizabeth looks forward to an idyllic Christmas. Her subtle plot against Mary is half-complete; come the New Year, she'll send foppish Lord Darnley to woo the Scottish queen. Meantime, she prepares menus and events for the Yuletide season. The former includes mummings, directed by her Master of Revels Ned Topside, a former actor. Ned has designs on the queen's closest confidante, Meg Mulligrew, and the attraction is mutual, though Meg is betrothed to stalwart, dull Stephen Jenks. A bizarre incident casts a pall over the revels. Hodge Thatcher, in charge of food preparation, is found dead and trussed like a bird, complete with feathers, hanging in the kitchen. The contents of a nearby note imply suicide, but Elizabeth isn't certain. Late at night, after she and her trusted advisor Robert Cecil have sneaked to the corpse's location to examine it, someone tries to burn up both them and the body-evidence enough that it was murder. More crimes follow, many with devilish accompanying notes. Eventually Elizabeth must think like the killer to trap him. Lively, abundant historical color makes Harper's latest regal caper (The Thorne Maze, 2002, etc.) another standout. A delectable bonus: Each chapter opens with a Yuletide recipe from the period.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312301750
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/16/2003
  • Series: Elizabeth I Mystery Series , #6
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Harper

Karen Harper is the author of five previous Elizabeth I mysteries, The Poyson Garden, The Tidal Poole, The Twylight Tower, The Queene's Cure, and The Thorne Maze. She also writes contemporary suspense novels. Karen Harper lives in Columbus, Ohio, and Naples, Florida.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    ANOTHER GREAT TALE!

    In book six, we are once again taken back inside the many castles and palaces of Queen Elizabeth I during a treacherous and deadly time, that only Elizabeth, with the help of her Privy Plot Counsel, can make safe. The writing style in this series transports you back in time as it gives great detail on court life, food, fashion, and intrigue. This series is easy to follow, a quick read, and has enough twists and turns to keep your attention. It is truly a fun read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The best work yet in this teriffic series

    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.<P> 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.<P> 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.<P> Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2007

    Remarkable

    The author's attention to the details of Elizabethan court, like the clothes, food, and grandeaur, makes the book very good. Conspiracies and lies make the book outstanding because they take the story through multiple twists and turns.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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