Prince of darkness A medieval mystery

Sharon Kay Penman

Book - 2005

Saved in:

1st Floor Show me where

MYSTERY/Penman, Sharon Kay
1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor MYSTERY/Penman, Sharon Kay Checked In
Review by Booklist Reviews

Penman continues her sharply honed medieval mystery series with another tautly constructed whodunit featuring Justin de Quincy, the unacknowledged bastard son of a bishop who has sworn his allegiance to the politically powerful dowager queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Lured to Paris under false pretenses by his seductive ex-lover and mother of his child, Justin is furious to learn that Claudine has acted at the behest of the insidiously devious Prince John. Though admittedly eager to acquire his absent brother Richard's throne, it appears that John is being unjustly framed for plotting to commit regicide. Reluctantly drawn into a web of intrigue and deceit, Justin joins forces with his longtime nemesis, Durand de Curzon. Nothing, however, is as it seems, and Justin must keep his ample wits about him to avoid becoming the next victim of a treacherous killer. Another delightful blend of mayhem, murder, and history. ((Reviewed April 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Convincing 12th-century European intrigue lifts Penman's engrossing fourth medieval mystery (after 2003's Dragon's Lair). In 1193, King Richard the Lion-Hearted is still imprisoned, while his devious and unscrupulous brother, Prince John, schemes to position himself to claim the English throne. When an obscure conspiracy seeks to implicate the prince in a plot to kill the king, John turns to young Justin de Quincy, Eleanor of Aquitaine's devoted aide, for help in clearing himself of the treason charge. In his pursuit of clues pointing to a number of suspects, De Quincy stumbles across several murders. Penman deftly weaves actual historical events into the narrative with nary a false note. While the murderer's identity may not come as much of a surprise, the author's thorough familiarity with her chosen period more than compensates. Agent, Molly Friedrich at Aaron Priest. (Mar. 31) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Adult/High School-This mystery set in 12th-century England and France is long on character development and period adventure. The murder itself comes late in the plot, but teens with a taste for medieval politics-both international and gender-will be engaged by the twisting tale of Justin de Quincy's efforts to serve his Queen. The chapters are brief and roam between the British countryside and London, and Paris and the island of Mont St. Michel. Penman is careful and consistent in informing readers about communication issues arising as people from one culture try to speak with those of another. This series novel is less formulaic than Ellis Peters's "Brother Cadfael" mysteries (Warner), so those who appreciate their first meeting with de Quincy and his cohorts can find others by Penman as well. The historical detail is scrupulously accurate without being presented as a history lesson.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Justin de Quincy is drawn into a conspiracy when he investigates a forged document that implicates Prince John in a plot to kill his brother King Richard, a scheme that also endangers the woman Justin serves, Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Justin de Quincy is drawn into a high-level conspiracy when he is forced into a dangerous and uneasy alliance with his enemy, Prince John, after he is asked to investigate a forged document that implicates the prince in a plot to kill his brother, King Richard, a scheme that also endangers the woman Justin serves, Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Bowing to an urgent summons from his former lover, Justin de Quincy hastens to Paris only to find that the Lady Claudine was in fact acting on behalf of his nemesis, Prince John. As the Queen's man, de Quincy has already encountered John's murderous side. But now John tells him of a document implicating him in a plot to kill his brother, King Richard. This document is a forgery, and despite John's hunger for the crown, he is innocent of the charge. Still, even a brother who looked with amiable contempt at John's earlier intrigues would hardly put himself at risk for regicide. John must find the forger and prove the document false before Richard hears of it, and he entreats Justin's help.But it takes more than John's wily charms to persuade Justin. Only when he realizes that the welfare of the woman he serves, Eleanor of Aquitaine, is also at risk does he concede.It is a concession that will take Justin to a bloody chamber at Mont. St. Michel, to a stinking dungeon in Brittany, to a murderous encounter in a Paris cemetery, and to the unraveling of a conspiracy that might have changed the course of English history.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

From the New York Times-bestselling author of Time and Chance, the much anticipated fourth novel in her acclaimed medieval mystery series. Bowing to an urgent summons from his former lover, Justin de Quincy hastens to Paris only to find that the Lady Claudine was, in fact, acting on behalf of his nemesis Prince John. As the Queen's man, de Quincy has already encountered John's murderous side. But now John tells him of a document implicating him in a plot to kill his brother, King Richard. The document is a forgery, and, despite his hunger for the crown, John is innocent of the charge. Still, a brother who looked with amiable contempt at John's earlier intrigues would hardly risk regicide. John must find the forger and prove the document false before Richard hears of it, and he entreats Justin to help him. It takes more than John's wily charms to persuade Justin: It is only when he realizes that the welfare of the woman he serves, Eleanor of Aquitaine, is also at risk that Justin concedes. It is a concession that will take him to a bloody chamber on Mont-Saint-Michel, to a stinking dungeon in Brittany, to a murderous encounter in a Paris cemetery, and, ultimately, to the unraveling of a conspiracy that might have changed the course of history.