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The Queene's Christmas: An Elizabeth I Mystery (Elizabeth I #6)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  444 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
"The Queene's Christmas "draws readers into the magnificent realm of Elizabeth Tudor and the magic of her Court at Yuletide, circa 1564. But in the intoxicating sixth novel of Karen Harper's celebrated Elizabeth I series, the Twelve Days of Christmas are murderously interrupted when the Dresser of the Queen's Privy Kitchen is found hanged and trussed like
the peacock he'd b
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 15th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2003)
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Susan Johnson
The recipes were my favorite thing in the book. I wonder what peacock and swan taste like? I'll never know because it won't be on my menu ever. :)
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not usually a fan of the early times in English history, but I read this book at the request of a friend who really loves these books. Surprise, surprise--I really enjoyed this book immensely!! This is a mystery involving Queen Elizabeth and her court in 1564. They are preparing to celebrate Christmas in the traditions of the time, to the definite dislike of the puritanical Protestant church leader. There is also the continuous conflict between sisters, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary of Scot ...more
First sentence: "I swear, Your Grace, that man will be the death of you yet!"

Elizabeth decides to throw an old-fashioned, festive Yuletide celebration for her ailing friend, Kat Ashley, despite protests from the leading churchmen. Of course, the Christmas season is full of mysteries to be solved.

I do love reading Christmas books in the middle of summer, gets me all ready for Fall. I found this book to be a fun read and liked all the medieval recipes that were included. I also liked the part the
A lively and colorful mystery. Nice Christmas details. It almost makes me like Queen Elizabeth but I am more a fan of Mary Queen of Scots and Grace O'Malley (Gráinne Ní Mháille), Queen of the pirates, both enemies of EI.
I love Karen Harper, Christmas, murder mysteries and Tudor-era historical fiction, so I was really excited to read this book. I loved the Christmas scenes that Harper described in other books. She is such a great storyteller and usually an expert at setting the scene. I have read the Matthew Shardlake mysteries by C.J. Sansom and expected something similar with this. However, right away I knew this wouldn't be as "gritty" and terrifying as a Sansom novel. This was more of a fun Fall read to get ...more
May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, women-famous
It's Christmas time in Elizabeth I's kingdom but that doesn't stop murder and mayhem! This is #6 in the Elizabeth I Mysteries by local author, Karen Harper. Bear in mind, the series is MUCH better if you start with #1 and progress reading them in order! This is what I've done and it's really helped "flesh out" the characters. And the idea of Queen Elizabeth turning amateur sleuth is intriguing to me because too many times history (as presented in novels) came be too dry (she was born, reigned, d ...more
Stephanie Tracy
Dec 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the only Tudor Christmas story I have ever seen, and I really loved it! Not only did it offer a good picture of what Christmas at Queen Elizabeth's court was really like, it also showed an exciting, and at times spine-tingling murder mystery taking place at Whitehall Palace. All of our favorite Elizabethan characters are in this book - including Good Queen Bess herself, her Earl of Leicester Robert Dudley, and her confidante and secretary William Cecil. There's danger, excitement, drama, ...more
Jul 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book in the series and while it's not the first I found the characters easy enough to follow. Set at the time of Elizabeth I's court it was interesting to read about how the celebrated the twelve days of Christmas. One of the reasons I read these types of mysteries. The only problem I have with these (using historical figures as detectives) is you can usually cut out some of the suspects just because they are actual historical people and so unless they did indeed murder someon ...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
Apr 09, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, christmas
This book reads a bit like Karen Harper wrote it whilst reading “The Bumper Book of Metaphors and Similes for Keystage 2”! From such gems as 'his ruddy glow went white as bleached linen' to 'happy as a hawk in a windstorm', together with an enormous helping of the phrase ‘s blood to show us that the Queen wasn’t a total goody-goody!

That aside, it was quite a good yarn, if a little predictable - I got the murderer quite early on in the book, albeit that my feeling was based on a hunch rather than
Katy M
Feb 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had just read a heavy book so I wanted a light read. It was that. however, as a mystery, I didn't really care who the murderer was. Not while I was reading and not at the end when it was revealed. I couldn't have cared less. The side love triangle of Meg/Ned/Jenks was mildly interesting but not explored deeply enough or resolved. I guess that's because this is a series. This was the first book I've read of this author, and I'm not likely to read anymore. It was alright, but when I read a myste ...more
Helen Southall
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holiday
A very good addition to the author’s Elizabethian mystery series. Very interesting plot where Queen Elizabeth I has a small number of close attendants ( Privy Council) who help her solve murder mysteries that occur in the court. The book is well-written and gives a lot of information regarding the lives of both the noblemen and the commoners in that era. The depth of detail in the plot shows that a great deal of historical research was done by the author.
Dec 24, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun
this book was on display in our library with Christmas books and its hard to pass up a book with Elizabeth in the title. It was an interesting look into Christmas-the 12 days and other traditions-and England during the reign of Elizabeth I. It might have been better if I had read the first books and there were lots of characters to keep straight. The mystery was suspenseful but not one that could be figured out ahead of the end.
Sep 02, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this series at first, but am finding that as it progresses, the books become more predictable - a HUGE no-no in a mystery series. Also, the author's few yet glaring historical inaccuracies have really turned me off. Don't quote Hamlet before it was written. Don't cite nursery rhymes written about Mary Queen of Scots being deposed if it hasn't happened yet. And get your historical names right, Karen Harper.
Michael Ritchie
Pleasant Christmas mystery featuring Queen Elizabeth I as a sleuth trying to find the culprit behind murder and mayhem during the Twelve Days of Christmas feast of 1564. One of a series; this was a fine read though it gets a bit repetitious by that last third of the book, but I don't know that I'd go back and read any others.
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, history
Decent enough mystery starring Queen Elizabeth I as the detective, several interesting characters as assistant detectives, and lots of Elizabethan Christmas traditions, which was the best part for me. This is the middle of the series, and I suspect it will be better if I start from the beginning - the characters just aren't very well defined here.
Aug 30, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not convincing as a historical mystery. Has anachronisms such as Humpty Dumpty rhyme and Hamlet quote too early in time, along with some doubtful items such as wooden toothpicks to test baking doneness. The author appears to be using popular historical guides to the period rather than reading Tudor texts. The story reads in modern American English with a few period words dropped in.
A very nice cross between the historical fiction and cozy mystery genres. It seemed to stay historically in character and was not too implausible as a mystery. Interesting to read the Christmas traditions and recipes (although most did not sound too good!). I would read more in this series if I come across them.
Mary Newcomb
In 1564, the Elizabethan court had a return to some old Christmas celebrations. Someone took exception to this, it took all of Elizabeth's informal detective group to figure it out (and just in the nick of time).

Sep 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love mysteries and Queen Elizabeth. I have read several in this series and this one was part of my Christmas reading this year. I enjoyed the recipes from the time period included at the beginning of each chapter that were later part of the story. Harper does a good job in capturing the time."
Diane Heath
This is book 6 in the Queen Elizabeth I mysteries. Elizabeth wants to give her subjects a Happy Christmas in the old Yuletide traditions for her friend Kat. Christmas is threatened when her political enemies plot murder and insurrection while her allies fall under suspicion.
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
I enjoyed this Christmas story very much. The only thing was that I found the idea of Queen Elizabeth as an amateur sleuth a bit jarring. But I should start the series at the beginning and not in the middle
Not bad, not wonderful. An intriguing tale with some interesting food references centered around the Twelve Days of Christmas. Now on to something else.
Karen Bates
I read the whole thing. That's about all I can say for this. I did enjoy a little of historical cooking info.
Small Review
DNF. Not engaged in this at all.
Jun 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far it's a little slow, but the characters are evolving and the scene's of life at court are good. I am reading it on my Kindle, so I don't know what page I'm on.
Helen Azar
A good solid Elizabethan mystery. I don't like this author as much as Sansom, but not bad. I think I will read more of this series some time in the future...
Tami Greaney
Excellent - it has become a Christmas tradtion for me to read this every year - love it!
May 31, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not crazy about this
Quite good though not as good as some previous Elizabeth I mysteries.
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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 (Elizabeth I, #4)
  • The Thorne Maze (Elizabeth I, #5)
  • The Fyre Mirror (Elizabeth I, #7)
  • The Fatal Fashione (Elizabeth I, #8)
  • The Hooded Hawke (Elizabeth I, #9)

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