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The Poyson Garden by Karen Harper
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The Poyson Garden (1999)

by Karen Harper

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322853,454 (3.59)12
A new mystery series featuring as sleuth the future Queen Elizabeth I of England. She investigates poison deaths, believed to be the work of agents of her half-sister, Queen Mary I, who is trying to eliminate Elizabeth's side of the family. One probe takes her to a castle which she infiltrates, dressed as a man. By the author of River of Sky.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
A pleasant little read. This is a cosy mystery set in Tudor times with highly improbable, although very intriguing, scenario of Princess Elizabeth investigating a plot to poison her, and all other Boleyns. If you suspend the belief that this would have happened to a heavily guarded political prisoner. Then this is a very enjoyable read. Queen Mary is still in power, although believed to be dying. Princess Elizabeth is banished to Hever Castle, this much is true to history. But having the princess dressing up as a man to climb out from the castle and do her investigations then scuttle back in the morning, or a day or so later – was not believable at all. Mind you, the author had the princess’s lady-in-waiting banning entry to the royal bedchamber of the household members saying that the princess Elizabeth was ill. now, this DID happen in true life – but historians merely thought it a ruse to have a break from the constant watching. Was she really off investigating crimes?

  sally906 | Apr 3, 2013 |
Elizabeth, 25 years old, is residing at hatfield House. She is marked for death by a master poisoner and queen mary may have ties to it. This is one of my favorite time periods. It is most defiantly a work of fiction, but i loved it regardless! Can't wait to read the rest in the series. ( )
  TheKnittedSheep | Jun 15, 2011 |
Mysteries starring famous historical figures require a suspension of disbelief. My group had a hard time buying Detective Bess. Not a favorite ( )
  nclmysterygroup | Jun 19, 2009 |
Title: The Poyson Garden
Author: Karen Harper
Genre: Historical fiction
# of pages: 310
Start date: 5/24
End date: 6/02?
Borrowed/bought: borrowed from library
My rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best]: B

Description of the book: The first book in the Elizabethan series by Karen Harper, Elizabeth is exiled in the English countryside awaiting her fate during the last years of her half sister Mary Tudor's reign. She plunges herself into an investigation with multiple murders and a master poisoner. Along the way, she meets many new characters, and forms a "privy plot council" which she continues to use in later books in the series.

Review: This book was great as a work of fiction. I enjoyed its many plot twists and rich descriptions. However, It was difficult for me to suspend my belief long enough to enjoy the fact that it was this historical figure of Royalty that was doing all this crazy stuff. I've read some historical fiction before but never actually about a major historical figure. ( )
  leperdbunny | May 3, 2009 |
Would have liked it better with out certain sexual references. ( )
  cpotter | Mar 27, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Dedication
For those who helped to make the Elizabethan Festivals at Whetstone High School so real and so rewarding:

Don Harper

Linda Thompson

Anne Barry

and our Brit Lit students
First words
"The Queen wishes to see you alone in her privy chamber, my lady."
Quotations
"Now, everyone, it is my belief that our enemy - our prey - is a master poisoner, whether or not She has a superior pulling her strings," she explained, looking from one to the other. "At Bushey Cot - and God knows where else - She keeps her poison garden."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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