The Queen's Man: A Medieval Mystery

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Henry Holt and Company, Nov 15, 1996 - Fiction - 250 pages
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Epiphany, 1193: the road out of Winchester was hidden by snow, and Justin de Quincy was making slow progress when he heard the first faint shout. It came again, louder and clearer, a cry for help. Spurring his stallion, de Quincy raced toward the source.

But he was already too late. As the two assailants fled, de Quincy cradled the dying man, straining to make out his whispered words. "They did not get it," he rasped. "Promise me. You must deliver this letter to her. To the queen."

Eleanor of Aquitaine sits on England's throne. At seventy, she has outlived the husband with whom she had once scandalized the world. But has she also outlived her favorite, her first-born son? Richard Lionheart, England's king, has been missing these last months. It is rumored that he is dead. Many think his youngest brother plots to steal the crown. Only Eleanor's fierce will can keep John from acting on his greed. Only a letter, splattered with the blood of a dying man murdered on the Winchester road, can tell her if Richard still lives.

With the same sure touch she has brought to her historical fiction, Sharon Kay Penman turns to the mystery form. Setting her story in a period she captured brilliantly in earlier novels, she introduces Justin de Quincy. Bastard-born, de Quincy is the son of a high cleric who never acknowledged him, bestowing on the boy--in lieu of name or fortune--only an education. As it happens, it is a gift that will take young de Quincy into the very centers of power--and into the heart of danger, making him the Queen's man.

Moving from the royal chambers in the Tower of London to the alehouses and stews of Southwark, from the horrors of Newgate Gaol to the bustling streets of Winchester, de Quincy proves his mettle as he tracks a brutal and cunning murderer and uncovers the sinister intrigues of Eleanor's court.

 

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Contents

1 THE BISHOPS PALACE CHESTER ENGLAND
1
2 LONDON
17
3 WINCHESTER
34
4 TOWER OF LONDON
61
5 WINCHESTER
74
6 WINCHESTER
95
7 WINCHESTER
113
8 WESTMINSTER
120
13 LONDON
183
14 LONDON
195
15 LONDON
204
16 LONDON
223
17 GAOL OF LONDON
234
18 LONDON
251
19 LONDON
265
20 WINCHESTER
272

9 LONDON
132
10 LONDON
145
11 LONDON
161
12 LONDON
172
AUTHORS NOTE
289
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
291
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Sharon Kay Penman is the author of five critically acclaimed works: The Summer in Splendour, Here Be Dragons, Falls the Shadow, The Reckoning, and When Christ and His Saints Slept, the first in a trilogy featuring the lives of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry Plantagenet.

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