8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A dissapointing effort to inherit Ellis Peters' mantle,
By A Customer
This review is from: To Shield the Queen (Mystery at Queen Elizabeth I's Court) (Mass Market Paperback)
(Sigh) Yet another entry in the now-burgeoning field of historical detective stories this effort exhibits some of the more tiresome deffects of this genre; it is more costume drama than a work of historical fiction. The characters are twentieth-century people in fancy-dress. Blanchard simply lacks a sure feel for the period; characters dart in and out of each others' houses as if they were characters in a village whodunnit. Two characters marry in a ceremony only a few days after they have agreed to marry -- an illicit marriage both in civil and canon law. Oddly enough for an English author, the class distinctions are oddly blurred : a member of the gentry addresses her grooms sister as "Mistress". The book suffers from being written in the first person and the reader must put up with the plodding thought patterns of the "heroine". An author of fiction who must justify her historical plot by appending a bibiliography is confessing the weakness of her own plotting. Lastly, using fictional charaters to solve an historical conundrum is dirty pool.