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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As pleasant as honey...
This is the second novel to feature Justin de Quincey, the Queen's Man. The book again plunges the reader into 12th century London, a city where nothing is as it seems.

In this book De Quincey investigates a murky murder of a peddlar's daughter as a favour to his friends in Gracechurch Street as well as trying to put some sense into the rebellious Prince John,...
Published on 15 Jun 2009 by Book Maven

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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun and well researched historical adventure
Not surprisingly for Sharon Penman, this book lives up to her standards of background research. It is better paced than the previous Queen's Man, and shorter and easier to read than some of her more epic works. It tells of the young Justin de Quincey and his dealings with Eleanor of Aquitaine as her spy come confidante. Penman introduces some beautifully drawn characters...
Published on 8 Oct 2000


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As pleasant as honey..., 15 Jun 2009
By 
Book Maven (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cruel as the Grave (Paperback)
This is the second novel to feature Justin de Quincey, the Queen's Man. The book again plunges the reader into 12th century London, a city where nothing is as it seems.

In this book De Quincey investigates a murky murder of a peddlar's daughter as a favour to his friends in Gracechurch Street as well as trying to put some sense into the rebellious Prince John, Queen Eleanor's headstrong son. Eleanor is as magnificent as she was in the first book of the series, and London as enchanting, although at times cruel, a place.

Highly recommended!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very readable novel of medieaval England., 14 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Cruel as the Grave (Hardcover)
As an avid reader of all that is Penman, this novel is in the usual quality of her work. Although I am not a lover of mysteries in general, I much enjoyed its predecessor, "The Queen's Man", and was happy to acquaint myself very quickly again with the central character and those that surround him. As always, Ms Penman writes vividly with a paint brush of her characters, their lives and their surroundings and in particular medieval London. In these two mysteries she uses a unique blend of characters, fact and fiction, spinning an intriguing web around the English court during the absence of Richard I. "Cruel as the Grave" is a very enjoyable, informative read in the Penman tradition!"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to Penman, 20 July 2009
By 
This review is from: Cruel as the Grave (Paperback)
Cruel as the Grave This is a good place to start if you are new to medieval history. I am biased I think Sharon Penman is the best historical writer of this period.
If your not sure if this is your thing then this short novel gives you a taster.
I prefer her more historically accurate ones, her purely fiction book is a nice little read though.
A fairly plausible plot, bit of crime and murder mystery in a medieval setting.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun and well researched historical adventure, 8 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Cruel as the Grave (Paperback)
Not surprisingly for Sharon Penman, this book lives up to her standards of background research. It is better paced than the previous Queen's Man, and shorter and easier to read than some of her more epic works. It tells of the young Justin de Quincey and his dealings with Eleanor of Aquitaine as her spy come confidante. Penman introduces some beautifully drawn characters and evokes the true ethos of medieval life (with a little extra hint of joi de vivre!).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best, 7 Jan 2009
By 
Graham Cooke (Malmesbury, Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cruel as the Grave (Paperback)
If you are a fan of history and literature, then anything by Sharon Penman is to be recommended. She is without equal in the history fact / fiction area. Intelligent, well written, brilliantly researched - everyone should read a Penman novel. The shorter ones are a good introduction but the larger tomes, like Sunne in Splendour, should be precribed writing for all devotees of history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 8 July 2013
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But then I'm a great fan of Sharon Penman. This is her first mystery series, but it lives up to her other books - especially the Welsh/de Montfort series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical mystery series, 12 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Cruel as the Grave (Paperback)
This is the third book in a series of four where Justin de Quincy is at the beck and call of Queen Eleanor to solve problems which she needs answers to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bookworm's example of heaven., 25 Feb 2013
By 
Mrs. Doreen L. Kellett (Dorset UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cruel as the Grave (Hardcover)
Well written and historically fascinating. Very close to the standard set by Ellis Peters. I had no trouble finishing this book at a sitting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 July 2014
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a great read had me hooked after reading 1st book can't wait to read the next book
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4.0 out of 5 stars A second installment from Penman, 20 Jun 2014
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Another well written story from Sharon Penman.

This starts with the murder of a peddler's daughter and involoves Queen Eleanor's hunt for the misssing King Richard and the intrigues of his younger brother John. An excellent story.
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Cruel as the Grave
Cruel as the Grave by Sharon Penman (Paperback - 25 Nov 1999)
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