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The Queen's Man: A Medieval Mystery (Justin de Quincy, #1)
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The Queen's Man: A Medieval Mystery (Justin de Quincy #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  5,241 Ratings  ·  269 Reviews
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 whisp
ebook, 250 pages
Published November 15th 1996 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published August 29th 1996)
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1193 and Richard the Lionheart is feared dead, leaving an opportunity for his brother John to claim the throne of England. Their mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, awaits news of Richard and soon employs the services of Justin de Quincy, after the murder of a goldsmith who was on his way to the Queen with important information about Richard. This leads Justin, The Queen’s Man, to set out on a journey to discover the secrets behind the murder and the secrets within the royal court.

This is the first of
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
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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?"
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 phrases 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
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Deborah Pickstone
This series of historical novels by Sharon Penman are very jolly, mainly historically satisfactory and my main complaint is they are too short and there are only 4 of them. Justin de Quincy is a very likable hero with a few faults to keep him a bit human. He likes dogs, so he must be OK! He becomes an agent of the Queen (Eleanor of Aquitaine) inadvertently, manages to make a fair job of his first assignment and is kept on.

Recommended as light relief very competently constructed and clearly well
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Jun 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: medieval mystery fans
A nice historical mystery. My main complaint was that it was too short!
Jul 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Dec 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  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
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
A gift from Wanda, thanks dear friend.

"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
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
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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
Not much history, but rather an historical backdrop for the plot with glimpses of
Queen Eleanor and Prince John. But, that is exactly what one would expect in an historical mystery. However, through the fictional characters one obtains a sense of what life might have been like in the 12th century. There are the sights, the smells, the sounds, the people and the daily events, whether they be a drink in the local pub, tradesmen selling their wares or skills, or people flocking to see a hanging. Th
Well, I liked this one, but it did get a bit tedious, cause it felt like the hero went thru the same things over and over. Yes, I probably will read the next one just to see how things go, but am not sure I will continue after that unless things get much less tedious. <><
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
Kathryn Bashaar
Warning: This review contains a minor spoiler.
Justin deQuincy, age 20, has just discovered who is his father - and been rejected by him. Driven by youthful male hormones, natural intelligence and curiosity, and a wounded son's compulsion to prove himself, he rashly intervenes in a murder/theft, and becomes ensnared in danger, intrigue and the charm and power of a queen.
I keep reading books by Sharon Kay Penman, even though I usually only give them 3 stars. Her books are very well-researched, p
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's how important news was annou ...more
Jack Massa
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
Becky Hoffman
Feb 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-ten-ish
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.
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its a good historical mystery, Penman as you would expect, has a good grasp of the history of the period and doesn't play games with it. Eleanor of Aquitaine was an interesting woman and having her in this series even as a mere bookend is good. The plotting is not particularly complex; its more Cadfael than Conspiracy but its a good beach, plane, sickbed read.
Apr 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
I didn't think the mystery in this book was anything overly impressive. The characters, both the protagonist and secondary, were wonderful.
Cheryl Mallon Webb
A delightful mystery set in the backdrop of King Richard on Crusade, prince John wanting the kingdom and so much more excitement. Fantastic read, great fun!!!
Ruth Fabiano
Aug 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I personally loved this book. It was the first book I ever read from Sharon Penman, and because I happen to be rather fond of medieval mysteries, I picked this book up from the library because I wanted to read something that was not Bernard Knight or Michael Jecks.

The premise of the book is based off a very real historical drama that unfolded in the late 12th century. Richard I of England has been taken prisoner and is feared dead. John (Richard's brother) is intent on doing everything he can to
Amy Bradley
A mystery set in 12th century England. Justin of Chester, the illegitimate son of a bishop, happens upon an ambush turned murder in the forest on his way to London. The dying man gives into his care a sealed letter for Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.

After getting the letter to the Queen, he is recruited to track down the murderers, for the letter was news that King Richard had been captured by the Holy Roman Empire - causing the question to be raised of whether spies - or Prince John - might have be
Nicole Yovanoff
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took a bit to get into the book, but after the first 20 pages, I found it far more difficult to put it down. Had to stop reading because my boss didn't appreciate it, but it is a book that you could easily picked up to read for a couple of minutes at a time.

Easy read, enjoyable story. Going to rad the next in the series.
Elizabeth Ferry
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First in a series. Entertaining read.
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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 about Sharon Kay Penman...

Other Books in the Series

Justin de Quincy (4 books)
  • Cruel as the Grave (Justin de Quincy, #2)
  • Dragon's Lair (Justin de Quincy, #3)
  • Prince of Darkness  (Justin de Quincy, #4)

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