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The Queen's Man (Justin de Quincy, #1)
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The Queen's Man (Justin de Quincy #1)

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  3,833 ratings  ·  200 reviews
Epiphany, 1193. Eleanor of Aquitaine sits upon England's throne. Her beloved son Richard Lionheart is missing, presumed dead--and the court whispers that her younger son John is plotting to seize the crown.

Meanwhile, on the snowy highroad from Winchester, a destitute young man falls heir to a blood-stained letter, pressed into his hand by a dying man. The missive becomes J...more
Paperback, 291 pages
Published April 14th 1998 by Ballantine Books (first published August 29th 1996)
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StoryTellerShannon
Penman wrote these medieval mysteries to take a break from her more flowery medieval prose. Unlike the latter, she didn't necessarily know what the outcome would be to various mysteries so it gave her a new stretch in her writing career.

QUEEN'S MAN follows the ... son of a Bishop who, by chance, is charged by Queen Eleanor to solve the mystery of a murdered goldsmith in connection with Richard the Lion Hearted. During this investigation, our hero meets a number of suspiscious people in the town...more
Krista
First, let me start by saying that if I could have given this 3.5 stars, I would have. But since we don't have that luxury, I had to fall back to 3 stars. I liked this book, it was fun and entertaining -- but did I REALLY like it? Would phrase from the book stand out in my mind for weeks or years to come? No, it was simple escapism with some education thrown in for good measure. I would highly recommend to to anyone interested in some entertaining historical fiction though.

I'm an avid English h...more
Laura
A gift from Wanda, thanks dear friend.

Opening:
"Do you think the king is dead?"
Aubrey de Quincy was caught off balance and furious with himself for his negligence; he ought to have expected this. Throughout their meal, the sole topic had been King Richard's disappearance. All of England - and indeed, most of Christendom - talked of little else this Christmastide, for more than two months had passes since the Lionheart had sailed from Acre. By December, other crusaders had begun to reach English p
...more
Anna
This is historical fiction, heavy on the history. But I don't want to give the impression that is a bad thing, it was in fact one of the things that I loved most about this book. Ms. Penman does a wonderful job of working in a surprising amount of detail about political and living condition in the 12 century as well as facts about the lives of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her sons Richard and John. The story centers around Justin de Quincy, who is the illegitimate child of a Bishop. He was raised wi...more
Jackleen
Having developed a strange addiction for historical mysteries, I can not tell you how happy I was to find that my favorite author of historical fiction, Sharon Kay Penman, had written a historical mystery series. This is a historical mystery with style; the historical details and medieval setting are perfectly drawn, as we can only expect from a writer of this quality.

The date is Epiphany, 1192, medieval England and Eleanor of Aquitaine is apprehensively awaiting word from her son, King Richard...more
Kyle
For certes, this book was not for me. Part of the reason was that, every time a character said "for certes" (i.e. EVERY TIME ANYONE SPOKE) I couldn't help hearing it in a Valley Girl accent. "Like, for certes, you know?"
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
A nice historical mystery. My main complaint was that it was too short!
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Dec 16, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Mysteries
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Kandice's Gift
I dithered between a three and four star rating with this. Sharon Kay Penman is one of my favorite writers of historical fiction, up there with the likes of Mary Renault, Robert Graves, Dorothy Dunnett. Penman's The Sunne in Splendour and Here Be Dragons, set in Plantagenet times in England and Wales, are books I rated five stars and are among the most moving books I've ever read. The Queen's Man is not of that caliber, and it's probably unfair to compare them at all. The other two novels are sw...more
Tara
Not a bad read, though certainly not the best historical mystery I've ever read. I enjoyed the concept, but I thought the writing and characterization was a bit sophomoric at times. Also, while I'm glad the author didn't reach too hard for "authentic" dialogue, there were times (particularly when the book was articulating the main character's inner thoughts) that the expressions used struck me as entirely TOO modern.

There were a handful of characters I liked (Luke, Nell, the Queen) and characte...more
Ana T.
The Queen's Man is SKP first book in the Justin de Quincy series. It's a mystery series set in medieval England (around 1193) and Justin is the illegitimate son of a bishop that, after finding out the truth about his birth, has a falling out with his father and decides to set out on his own.

While on the road he witnesses the robbery and murder of a goldsmith. The man's dying words ask him to deliver a letter to Queen Eleanor and, after reading said document and seeing how it might be worth killi...more
Suzanne
I’ve actually read this one before, but there are four books in Sharon Kay Penman’s Justin de Quincy mystery series, and I decided to read them in order, to get a better feel for the back ground story of Richard the Lionheart and the conspiracies to gain the throne of England.

This book was even better than I remembered. I’m not a huge fan of mysteries, mostly because the characters are weak and I demand a clever plot that always keeps you guessing. Ms. Penman not only gives all that I ask for, b...more
Lorena
I'm a little disappointed by this book. In the first place, the characters seem a little caricatured. Secondly, it reads a little like "History For Dummies"...not just in the explanations of who Eleanor of Aquitaine was and her general history, which I can certainly understand that not everyone would know or remember right off the bat, but in the explicit statements about stuff like "people used CHAMBERPOTS then! No toilets!" or "Church bells rang ALL THE TIME...it's how important news was annou...more
Robert
I came to this book without having read any of Penman's historical fiction -- which I own and plan to read. So, I was able to experience this book purely as a historical mystery. To me, it stands up well against the many other series I read (Robb, Tremayne, Frazer, et al.). The murder mystery is the engine, but not the fuel that powers the story. And, there are many other non-murderous mysteries that keep the plot roiling. I found the characters well drawn and all very believable an interesting....more
Jmassa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca Huston
I was very pleasantly surprised by how good this novel turned out to be on the second go-round. Set in England during the reign of Richard I (1189-1199), a landless knight, Justin de Quincy finds himself thrust into courtly politics when he meets a dying man on the road to London. Ordered to find the murderer by no less than Queen Eleanor, he evades others intend on that letter, and a very powerful person who would give a lot to shut Justin up. First book in a series of four. I had a great time...more
P.d.r. Lindsay

Sharon Penman is rightly a popular author with her Mediaeval historicals. I admire her writing skills and ability to tell a good tale.

But I won't spoil her star rating with my personal rating as her books are worth reading and well written. I just don't like historical books about Kings and Queens. Especially the Mediaeval lot. I can find out about their lives more accurately in the worthy and scholarly biographies and history books.

I also hate Americans writing British history because I usually...more
Becky Hoffman
I absolutely loved this book! I picked it up by mistake at the public library and was completely surprised by it. I've always loved reading about the middle ages and Eleanor of Acquataine. This one also includes King Richard and Prince John. Penman's version of Prince John is by far the best I've ever seen. She doesn't turn him into some whiney little coward. He's this weasel who uses everyone to his advantage but can be stubbornly loyal to those he deems friends. I just loved it. A must read.
Workingartist
Love historical novels. Love mysteries. Loved this book. The story takes place in Medieval England, just after the 3rd Crusade. The story is centered around the efforts of Eleanor of Aquitaine to obtain the safe return to England of her son, Richard the Lionhearted. Along the way, you get a picture of what Medieval England could have been.
Michael Alan Grapin
Justin de Quincy just found out who his father was and in confronting the man was assured that he'd never be acknowledged as his father's son. Putting some distance between his father and him, Justin chances upon a murder scene and tries to offer aid to the victims managing to rescue one before chasing off their assailants. With his dying gasp, a goldsmith named Gervase beseeches Justin to carry a letter meant for Eleanor of Aquitaine to London. The letter contains information that Richard the L...more
Ruth Fabiano
Pretty good! It was a bit short, but its seems to be an introduction to the series, so maybe thats just how its supposed to be.
Vilia
Review from Backchatting Books

When Justin de Quincy discovered that his patron the Bishop of Chester was actually his father, he vowed to have nothing more to do with the man. Justin stumbled across a murder on his way to London. The dying victim, a goldsmith, entrusted a letter to him and begged him to deliver it to Eleanor of Acquitaine. Justin duly delivers the valuable letter and is charged with finding out who had the messenger killed and why.

Justin had every right to be angry with his fat...more
Donna
Read again 02/01/14 for Maze Mystery book discussion group.

Justin de Quincy is the bastard son of the Bishop of Chester whose parentage has been kept hidden from him for twenty years. Now in discovering his identity, he leaves his old life behind and heads for London in 1193. Unfortunately he witnesses a highway robbery and murder -- which leads him to Queen Eleanor (of Aquitaine), reagent for her son, Richard I (the Lionhearted). Richard has been captured on a return trip from the crusades and...more
Chris
I feel that I should not have enjoyed this book as much as I did. The basic premise is silly: illegitimate child in 1193 England is raised with many advantages thanks to the local bishop only to grow up and discover the bishop is his father. Angry, the son sets off the make his own way in the world, stumbles on a murder and the next thing you know, he's working for Eleanor of Aquitaine. (It could happen!) His search for the murderer puts him league with the local deputy sheriff, at which point t...more
Sabrina
I have enjoyed several of Sharon Kay Penman's books. When one of my bookclubs decided on a challenge called 'get to know an author', it seemd a perfect opportunity to finally read all of the remaining Penman books I've promised to myself.

I started with the de Quincy series because I figured that would be my least favorite. And I will admit that if any other author had written this book, I most likely would not have read it. I adore Historical Fiction, not Historical Fiction Mysteries. But, Penma...more
Joyce Lagow
First in the Justin de Quincy medieval mystery series, set in 1193 England.[return][return]Justin, the illegitimate son of the Bishop of Chester, after confronting his father over his birth, starts on his way from Winchester to London hoping to be able to find a way to make a living there. But a short way out of the city, he comes to the aid of a goldsmith and his groom who are attacked by robbers. Justin drives them f, but the goldsmith is mortally wounded. Before he dies, he entrusts to Justin...more
Alexander
Spannend verhaal over een middeleeuwse wees die getuige is van een overval en zo, door een samenloop van omstandigheden, die overval gaat uitspitten in opdracht van de koningin. Hiervoor krijgt hij hulp van diverse kleurrijke personages. Zeker entertainend en de moeite waard, schetst ook een goed beeld van Engeland in de 12e eeuw. Enige minpunten: alle vrouwen zijn ofwel sluw ofwel ijdel, ofwel beide. De vertaling was bij momenten wel erg slordig - niet enkel spelfouten, maar Edwin die plots Edw...more
Princess Pepperdoodle
I just finished this book. It's the first of Penman's I've read. It's not bad. I didn't figure it out before the end, which is always a plus for a mystery (it "won"). But I doubt I'll run out and hunt for her other novels. It was recommended to me because I like Candice Robb's historical mysteries... Penman's not as good as Robb. Although it wasn't a bad read, wasn't as good at putting you into her "world". Anachronisms in the charactor's speech and in descriptions occationally broke the illusio...more
Rubi Herrera
The language confused me at first (I know, I'm lame lol), but once I got past that....it was great reading.
Anyway, the plot goes like this:
de Quincy runs from home, disappointed in his father....witnesses a murder and delivers a letter to the queen on a promise made to the dying man. The Queen decides to appoint him to figure out who killed the man, just to make sure it wasn't a bigger plan against her son King Richard (who has gone missing)...
It takes him awhile, but he solves the case, and fin...more
Ria
I was thrilled to find another historical mystery writer after the ilk of Ellis Peters my all time favorite. This particular book deals with Queen Eleanor of Acquitaine and her two sons, John and Richard. The protagonist is a young man of obscure birth who finds himself embroiled in a mystery surrounding Richard and John. Although there are a few gratuitous scenes, on the whole the book is entertaining and fairly well written. One thing that did grate on me was that the characters would speak in...more
Patricia
This is one of the first of a series of books set in my very favorite period, and the Queen referred to in the title is my great heroine, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Imagine - married first to Louis of France, organizes her divorce and marries Henry, soon to be King of England. The hero of this book, Justin, in a gentleman of ambiguous origins - his father is one of the Catholic bishops and we don't really know who his mother was. Justin is likable, and quick thinking, a likable hero.

Sharon Kay Penma...more
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Penman received her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin, she majored in history, and also received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Rutgers University School of Law, and later worked as a tax lawyer. Penman suffered from an eighteen month bout with mononucleosis.

The Sunne in Splendour, a novel about Richard III of England is one of the most popular books on the Historical Nov...more
More about Sharon Kay Penman...
The Sunne in Splendour Here be Dragons (Welsh Princes, #1) When Christ and His Saints Slept  (Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine, #1) Falls the Shadow  (Welsh Princes, #2) The Reckoning  (Welsh Princes, #3)

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