The Hooded Hawke: An Elizabeth I Mystery Mass Market Paperback – Nov 27 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Harper's fast-paced, suspenseful ninth historical (after 2005's The Fatal Fashione) finds Elizabeth I beset by Spanish antagonism at sea and by political rivals in England, especially the scheming Mary, Queen of Scots, and the rebellious northern lords. While on a summer outing in 1569 with her new ally, Francis Drake, an arrow barely misses Elizabeth, claiming the life of her falconer instead. After another arrow whizzes dangerously between the queen and her herbalist, her royal suspicions of a larger conspiracy solidify. She'll need all her wits and the assistance of her loyal servants to piece out who is the true target of the attacks. While the conceit of Elizabeth herself as an active sleuth requires some suspension of disbelief, readers who buy in will likely find themselves spellbound by the characters, plotting and plausible period detail. Harper is also the author of Inferno (Mass Market, p. 39). (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Elizabeth Tudor, queen of England, is making a summer "progress" through the counties of Surrey and Hampshire to expose herself to the common folk, to take a respite from her problems of state and personal security (after all, Catholics and Protestants in her land and everywhere else aren't getting along), and to test the loyalty of certain of her noble subjects. She will stay for lengths of time at stately homes, one after another all summer long. The problem is that this summer, right off the bat, two people are murdered within feet of her. Was Her Majesty the intended target? Was the malefactor someone in her own entourage? Perhaps her own cousin, the Catholic duke of Norfolk? As in Harper's previous entries in her Elizabeth I series, in this latest installment the queen takes sleuthing into her own royal hands to determine who is causing this piece of unpeacefulness. Historical sophistication blends well with all the necessary elements of good mystery storytelling. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The strong point of the novel is in her strong, vibrant, and fascinating Elizabeth. Harper does an excellent job of portraying a complex woman of great intelligence and passion who also had a formidable temper. I especially like how Francis Drake was drawn into the picture and how his arrival led to Elizabeth's realization that she could have feelings for a man other than her dear Robin. The beginnings of this love triangle are interesting and help to illustrate what was perhaps Elizabeth's greatest tragedy--though a great and powerful leader, she could not succumb to those passions lest she lose said power and all for which she strives to accomplish.
Elizabeth's conflicted feelings about Mary, Queen of Scots are also nicely done and there is a palpable tension to the setting as England is on the even of the northern rebellion. The mystery is nicely interwoven in this and the perpetrator is quite surprising as he has managed to hide himself very effectively from some of Elizabeth's most astute advisers. The attempts on Elizabeth's life nicely portray just how perilous her position was, poised as she was between her adoring public and her scheming nobles.
What is disappointing about this novel and about the last couple of books in general is how little page time some of Harper's interesting tertiary characters get. Over the course of the series, I have grown to care about them as much as Elizabeth and the addition of their trials and tribulations are what has helped lend this series such richness. Meg Milligrew in particular is a character about whom I care a great deal and a great tragedy that she has suffered is given almost a passing mention in the story and is used more as a plot device than anything. Ned and Jenks have also been given precious little time in the last couple of books though both of them have experienced some major life changes about which I would like to know more.
All in all, while I do think that Harper is still as fascinated as ever with Elizabeth I, it seems to me that she is starting to tire of her series. This book and the last lent me the distinct impression that she is in a hurry to wrap the series up and move on and that is really too bad.
Dunne, Feb 2007, $23.95
In 1569 Queen Elizabeth I continues her effort to strengthen her control of throne while her prime rival Mary, Queen of Scots, and several northern lords brew rebellion. Though concerned over her safety, Elizabeth refuses to be a prisoner as she was when her late stepsister was queen. Accompanied by Francis Drake, she goes out on an outing, but someone tries to assassinate her; killing her falconer instead. A second attack comes close to her while she consulted with her herbalist.
Not one to sit around as a target, Elizabeth begins an investigation as to who is behind the attempts on her life as she suspects it is not the obvious suspects like Mary. She enlist her loyal servants and Francis to help her unravel the truth as she begins to suspect she is not the objective, but that someone else close to the crown is and the assailant also has to be in the inner royals circle. If her theory is wrong, a dead Elizabeth would be the proof.
As always with this delightful sixteenth century mystery series, readers must accept Queen Elizabeth I as a private investigator extraordinaire. If one can accept that basic axiom, the exciting story line is fascinating as the audience obtains a deep look at Elizabethan England inside a cleverly devised whodunit with suspects galore.