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The Poyson Garden: An Elizabethan Mystery Hardcover – 1 Mar 1999

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Pr (Mar. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385332831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385332835
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,278,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"An entertaining cross between a swashbuckling historical romance and a mystery novel. The heroine is spunky, the courtiers scheme and truckle, capes swirl, daggers flash and horses gallop."
--Portland Oregonian

"Poison, double-cross, betrayal, sibling rivalry and a mass murder plan are believably made the stuff of Elizabethan times. Harper delivers a detailed look at the era and the people."
--Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

"A walk side by side with one of history's most dynamic characters."
--Anne Perry, bestselling author of Brunswick Gardens

"Harper's lively and well-written story pits two clever adversaries in plots and counterplots encompassing disguises, herbal lore, castle breaking, moat jumping, crazed revenge and lots of poison."
--Portsmouth Herald

"A vivid, well-paced foray into Elizabethan England."
--The Columbus Dispatch

"Impressively researched."
--Los Angeles Times

--Mostly Murder --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From the Author

Karen Harper talks about her new historical mystery series
I have long studied and loved Queen Elizabeth I. She and the Tudors make the feuding Windsors look like the Brady bunch. And the Virgin Queen was truly a modern woman in so many ways, however bizarre some of the culture and customs of her day.

So writing this series intrigued me for two reasons: I love a good mystery and I love great character studies Also, I've visited England many times and am the most rabid Anglophile. So while I write these books, I'm enjoying being mentally in Merrie Olde England, which was not so merry after all.

THE POYSON GARDEN occurs in the two months leading up to Elizabeth's becoming queen. She had fought long and hard even to stay alive, and the master poisoner has the queen at the top of a Boleyn blood-ties hit list. The book sweeps from castle to manor in the English countrysdie--a great escape.

I note that there are two new movies on Her Majesty, so fascination in her never ceases. This is the premier of a new series, which I hope will be as long-lived as Good Queen Bess herself.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Queen Mary loathes her half-sister Princess Elizabeth, blaming the daughter for the alleged sins of the mother having replaced her own mother at Henry's side. Though Mary cannot behead the popular Princess, she can and does exile Elizabeth.
Elizabeth soon realizes that someone is methodically eliminating her Bolyn relatives. As she begins to uncover a dastardly plot to commit genocide against anyone remotely related to the Bolyns, Elizabeth learns that her aunt, thought dead, is
alive, but being poisoned. Worse yet for the young royal is an assailant is stalking her too. With few people she can trust with her life, Elizabeth starts tracing the threads back to their source, praying that her half-sister is not the ultimate culprit.
THE POYSON GARDEN is a brilliant early Tudor historical novel that quickly captures the minds and souls of the audience. The fast-paced story line strongly depicts the intrigue and peril of being a member of the royal family. The plot includes a glimpse at historical personage and a well-developed who-done-it. What really makes this novel a classy read is the passion Karen Harper obviously has for the era which beautifully rises from the superb prose. Ms. Harper strikes a chord with fiction and non-fiction Elizabethan buffs with this winner.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The first book in the Elizabeth 1 mysteries is worth a read - it doesn't disappoint! Reading it will make you want to read the rest of the books in the series.
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By A Customer on 30 Jun. 1999
Format: Hardcover
This story is set in the time period before Elizabeth is queen. Her sister, Mary, hates her and someone is poisoning Elizabeth's relatives. It took me about a month to read it simply because I would fall asleep everytime I picked it up.
While Elizabethan history is always interesting, I thought this book was rather slow. The idea for the story was great, but the plot trudged along sluggishly.
The supporting characters weren't at all interesting. Jinks, Ned Topside and Meg were too one-dimensional. The reader doesn't get to know them very well. I didn't really care about them like I probably should have. Having Elizabeth run around in boys' outfits was almost silly.
There were a few suspenseful moments, but for the most part it was dull. I didn't realy care if she found who was killer was or not. Overall, the book was mildly interesting.
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