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The Thorne Maze (Elizabeth I #5)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  485 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
The vibrant pageant of Elizabethan England comes to life in Karen Harper's fifth novel in her acclaimed Elizabeth I Mystery Series. Hailed as "extraordinary" by The Los Angeles Times, these historical mysteries beautifully blend fact and fiction as the young Queen Elizabeth Tudor becomes an amateur sleuth to save her court, crown, and kingdom.

Though summering in the lush c
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published February 14th 2003 by Minotaur Books
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Another awesome, well done Elizabeth I mystery! Elizabeth finds herself attacked in her Thorne Maze one evening during a masquerade, while waiting for her would be love, Robert. She immediately pulls together her Privy Plot Council to start investigating what seems to be a ghost murderer who has a notion for Mazes. Cecil's wife, Mildred, becomes a suspect along with her dear Kat who's suffering from dementia. All this during plague time in London which has Elizabeth's court on the move from the ...more
Nov 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm biased because I adore this particular genre and time period, and I thoroughly enjoyed this entire series of books by Karen Harper. They are written very similarly to Fiona Buckley's Ursla Blanchard Mysteries.... almost confusingly so. This series focuses on Queen Elizabeth I, herself, solving the murders of her subjects. Absolutely fictitious activities frequent the books (Elizabeth leaving the castle in disguise to chase down clues and criminals). But, this is why it is Historical "Fiction ...more
Sarah Hearn
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy these books about Queen Elizabeth since the author tries to get her history right.
It was an interesting historical mystery but the author's characterization of Elizabeth was a little hokey.
First sentence: "Even on this day, damned death so near..." William Cecil whispered to himself, but the queen overheard him as she walked just ahead.

The band is back together again. Queen Elizabeth and her court are spending the summer at Hampton Court to escape the danger of the plague in London. Unfortunately, not every danger has stayed in London. After Elizabeth herself is attacked in the hedge maze and the next day a body is found in the same maze, there is another mystery on hand for the
May 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have really enjoyed reading the series of books by Karen Harper on Queen Elizabeth the 1st - Queen and solver of mysteries.
I think I may have enjoyed this book most of all.
A distinguished visitor is found murdered within the famous maze of Hampton court. The Queen herself is attacked. When later on, yet another person is found dead, the Queen decides she must find out if the person doing the killing is after her, or has another purpose. It is difficult to do some of the dectecting because the
Aug 04, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Even though an attempt is made on the life of Queen Elizabeth in the first quarter of the book, the story and the characters just didn't hold any interest for me.

I found the story dull and slow-moving, and the writing was a bit over-blown with too much description. There were so many descriptors in most of the sentences, I found myself having to go back and re-read some, skipping the extraneous adverbs and adjectives just to get the actual content of the sentence.

This one did not grab me at all
Anne Nerison
Life in Elizabethan England has always intrigued me, and Karen Harper's mixture of court life and mystery did not disappoint. When her guests begin to be murdered, Queen Elizabeth vows to find the culprit. Suspecting nearly everyone--from her known enemies, the Sydneys, to her childhood caregiver, Lady Kat Ashley--she, along with her Secretary of State William Cecil and the Privy Plot Council, must lay a trap to catch the dangerous perpetrator. In a story with as many twists and turns as the maz ...more
Jan 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad I decided to stick with this series b/c I really enjoyed this one. It seemed to move along and it grabbed my attention. Even having skipped three in the series (not at my library), I don't feel as though I've missed pertinent information. One thing that I do find irksome is how prolonged the encounter is between Elizabeth and the "bad guy" at the end. I do realize the entire premise is far-fetched so I shouldn't nitpick, but I found myself thinking, "Oh, come on! You're killing me here! ...more
Intriguing garden mazes with a murderer on the loose! #5 in the Elizabeth I Mysteries by local author, Karen Harper. Bear in mind, the series is MUCH better if you start with book #1 and read them in order! In this book, the queen is nearly assassinated, her cousin shows a vicious side, and her long-time favorite is slowly drifting into a state similar to Alzheimer's disease. I especially like the way the author brings up possible childhood memories of the Queen and shows how they may have affec ...more
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this out of order--without reading any of the other books in the series. I felt it easy to catch on to the characters. I loved the historical references and the author's note with details about the history. The main critique I have concerns how long it took the plot to progress to find the killer. I would have liked a little more depth.
Diane Heath
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is one of the later mysteries in this series. They take place during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. In this case,the Queen and her court have left plague filled London yet death stalks them as someone attacks Elizabeth and kills 2 of her subjects. I look forward to reading the mysteries I have found from this set and also to locating the earlier mysteries.
Although I’m not a big fan of the mystery genre I was quickly pulled in to this story. I loved the historical references and found myself wanting to be part of their world. After making it to the surprising end I vow to indulge in another of Elizabeth’s mysteries.
Jun 24, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love english history, love the Tudors, love mysteries but I couldn't buy Queen Elizabeth as a detective. The writing seemed really stiff and unnatural to me, too much melodrama. No thanks to more in this series.
Jun 08, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my gosh---such a slow book I could have cried. Except I kept falling asleep. No more Elizabeth I Mysteries for me...
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some light enjoyable reading after some heavier books. I like the historical figures in this series of crime novels featuring Elizabeth I as the amateur sleuth.
the fifth in a series with Queen Elizabeth the first as a solver of mysteries that surround her. A body is found in her maze. Who did it and why?
Kimberly Ann
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite in the series... Someone is trying to murder Elizabeth and she faces off her murderer in a deadly duel in a thorne maze.
Mary Ruth
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story, but a little slow. If you like the court of Elizabeth I, gives some interesting views of life at court.
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Pat Harris
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Steve S
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Judith Deprisco
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A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Harper is a former college English instructor (The Ohio State University) and high school literature and writing teacher. A lifelong Ohioan, Karen and her husband Don divide their time between the midwest and the southeast, both locations she has used in her books. Besides her American settings, Karen loves the British Isles, where her Scott ...more
More about Karen Harper

Other books in the series

Elizabeth I (9 books)
  • The Poyson Garden (Elizabeth I, #1)
  • The Tidal Poole (Elizabeth I, #2)
  • The Twylight Tower (Elizabeth I, #3)
  • The Queene's Cure
  • The Queene's Christmas (Elizabeth I, #6)
  • The Fyre Mirror (Elizabeth I, #7)
  • The Fatal Fashione (Elizabeth I, #8)
  • The Hooded Hawke (Elizabeth I, #9)

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