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Paperback The Queen's Man: A Medieval Mystery (Medieval Mysteries) Book

ISBN: 034542316X

ISBN13: 9780345423160

The Queen's Man: A Medieval Mystery (Medieval Mysteries)

(Book #1 in the Justin de Quincy Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Epiphany, 1193. Eleanor of Aquitaine sits upon England's throne. Her beloved son Richard Lionheart is missing, presumed dead--and the court whispers that her younger son John is plotting to seize the... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

very enjoyable medieval mystery

This is the first book I've read by Sharon Penman, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Told in the third-person, the narrative describes the actions and feelings of a queen, a criminal and a slew of London archetypal characters, but primarily our perspective is that of Justin de Quincy, the well-educated but illegitimate son of a cleric who is trying to find his place in the world. A dramatic chance encounter leaves him with an introduction to Eleanor of Aquitane, who subsequently engages De Quincy as her agent in solving a local mystery that may have international implications.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.

A Unique Historical Murder Mystery

A unique creation by Sharon Penman, DeQuincy, is placed in a medieval secret agent role as Queen Eleanor's "man". Although I was skeptical at first, I found Penman's feel for the medieval England of Henry & Eleanor from her previous historical novels sets such a great stage for the storyline that I couldn't help but be drawn into her tale, which is set in England in 1192-1193. In fact, I also found the follow up "Cruel As The Grave" worthwhile.Penman emerged long ago as one of the best historical novelists and continues to solidify her reputation with each new release. The "Queen'sMan" novels are unique side trips where she plays with fictional characters based on her strong historical story lines. Penman's special geniuslies in the bright and shining historical detail that she can weave into both plot and dialog (she's a very good student of history and attimes is absolutely brilliant in conveying to us the workings of medieval minds).Penman's true genius is the broad historical scope that is painted on top of the shimmering details of brief moments. It truely does feel as if youare living the story yourself, and it is this bringing us readers in as witnesses that stands as Penman's contribution to the art of the historicalnovel.If you prefer to read in chronological order:1101-1154 When Christ And His Saints Slept (Vol 1 of Trilogy)1156-1171 Time And Space (Vol 2 of Trilogy)12th Cent Devil's Brood (Vol 3 of Trilogy)- not yet released1192-1193 The Queen's Man1193 Cruel As The Grave1183-1232 Here Be Dragons (Vol 1 of Welsh Trilogy)1231-1267 Falls The Shadow (Vol 2 of Welsh Trilogy)1271-1283 The Reckoning (Vol 3 of Welsh Trilogy)1459-1492 The Sunne In Splendour

I feel compelled to act!

Having not read any other of Penman's books prior to the Queen's Man (a tragedy i soon rectified), i came to this exceptional novel from a somewhat different perspective than the average Medieval History aficionado. I, in fact, had long since forgotten almost all i once new of medieval history.From this starting point, i feel that the previous reviews of this book are a bit unfair. My wife (who is a certified Medieval History aficionado and owner of all Penman books) finally convinced me give this book a whirl on one of my many :( intl. business trips this year. Trapped on a plane for hours on end, I read. This book grabbed me from page one! Every last character, real or fictional, was developed in a beautifully three dimensional way that is rare indeed. I became enchanted by the setting in its historical detail to the point where I could really imagine walking the streets of medieval London or the dungeons of the local gaol. The central story of the murder mystery is used as a vehicle to tie together the threads of history, plots, sub-plots, betrayals, love stories and more.Breathtaking! When your done, Book 2: Cruel is the Grave is even better. I am currently reading When Christ and His Saints Slept and I daresay I'm addicted.The Queen's Man and Cruel is the Grave are no doubt lighter in nature to her other Historical Novels, but will be far more accessible to the bulk of readers. Likely to wet your appetite for her more intimidating novels (which I highly recommend too and are equally addicting).I hope this review convinces others to enter Penman's world, for I feel sure they will not regret it.

Queen's Man for Medieaval Fan

A mystery is a notoriously hard genre to write in, but SharonPenman does an extremely creditable job. This book, written like asorbet to clense her palate before tackling her next large project involving Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry's romantic lives, gives an intriguing whiff of how good that book will be. The aged Eleanor is concerned about the safety and life of her favorite son, Richard the Lionhearted, while her husband's favorite, John, currently sits on the throne. The murder of an obscure merchant, who might have valuable information regarding the Lionheart's whereabouts, is investigatd by Justin, who is given a "passport" to question which identifies him as "The Queen's Man". Court politics and personalities are well handled by Penman, as always, but what makes this sorty of particular interest is her gift for portraying the life of the commoners and villiens in a story as well. Like Ellis Peters, her detecting relies on only the available technology and knowledge of the time, making her story credible as well as puzzling. The book passes muster as a mystery on its own, but fans of the medieval world will find it particularly enjoyable.
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