THE POYSON GARDEN by Karen Harper

THE POYSON GARDEN

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Historians know that Elizabeth Tudor succeeded her half-sister Mary to the English throne in 1558, but Elizabeth, kept a virtual prisoner at Sir Thomas Pope’s estate at Hatfield, knows no such thing. The spirited princess, already apprehensive of plots against her by partisans of her ailing sister, is both inspired and disquieted by a hugger-mugger summons from her aunt Mary Boleyn, Lady Stafford: inspired, because Mary has long been reported dead; disquieted, because of the new conspiracies Mary recounts against her late sister Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s storied second wife and Elizabeth’s mother; Mary’s son, Lord Henry Carey; and Mary herself. All too soon after passing on her alarming rumors, Mary is dead for keeps, the latest (but by no means the last) victim of a poisoner whose arsenal of weapons ranges from meadow saffron to hellebore, aconite and banewood to rye fungus, and whose rumored victims range from Henry’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, to a substantial fraction of England’s citizens. Assisted by look-alike herbalist Meg Milligrew and enterprising actor Ned Topside, plucky Elizabeth tracks down a nest of killers, heads off a diabolical mass murder, and has time for a spot or two of masquerade. More royal intrigue than mystery, with the story propelled by rumors that everybody in the cast is trying to poison everybody else. Romantic suspenser Harper (River of Sky, 1994, etc.) kicks off a series that could find fertile ground in the homicides that littered Elizabeth’s 45-year reign. (Mystery Guild main selection)

Pub Date: Feb. 9th, 1999
ISBN: 0-385-33283-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1999




MORE BY KAREN HARPER

FictionTHE QUEEN’S GOVERNESS by Karen Harper
by Karen Harper
FictionMISTRESS SHAKESPEARE by Karen Harper
by Karen Harper
FictionTHE HOODED HAWKE by Karen Harper
by Karen Harper

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionTHE TUTOR by Andrea Chapin
by Andrea Chapin
MysteryTHE ALCHEMIST OF LOST SOULS by Mary Lawrence
by Mary Lawrence