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

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3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  5,037 Ratings  ·  264 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 becom ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 5th 2000 by Fawcett (first published August 29th 1996)
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Noeleen
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
...more
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
Kyle
Mar 06, 2013 Kyle rated it it was ok
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?"
Jackleen
Aug 26, 2011 Jackleen rated it it was amazing
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
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Jun 02, 2008 Susanna - Censored by GoodReads rated it liked it
Recommends it for: medieval mystery fans
A nice historical mystery. My main complaint was that it was too short!
Anna
Jul 20, 2009 Anna rated it really liked it
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 Lisa (Harmonybites) 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.
Aug 10, 2010 Ana T. rated it really liked it
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
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
Robert
Sep 04, 2013 Robert rated it it was amazing
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
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
...more
Msjodi777
Nov 05, 2016 Msjodi777 rated it liked it
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
...more
Kathryn Bashaar
Oct 30, 2016 Kathryn Bashaar rated it liked it
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
...more
Lorena
Sep 15, 2007 Lorena rated it it was ok
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
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
Jack Massa
May 04, 2009 Jack Massa rated it liked it
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
Marita
Dec 15, 2013 Marita rated it liked it
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
...more
Becky Hoffman
Feb 05, 2009 Becky Hoffman rated it it was amazing
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.
Johanne
May 20, 2014 Johanne 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.
Workingartist
Apr 22, 2008 Workingartist rated it it was amazing
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.
Gretchen
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 Ruth Fabiano rated it really liked it
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.
dOnnabud
Feb 18, 2017 dOnnabud rated it it was amazing
The year is 1193; Eleanor of Aquitaine is Queen of England, having outlived her husband and jailer, King Henry II. Through a twist of fate, bastard-born and family-free Justin de Quincy stumbled upon a murder as he was departing Wincester, and made a promise to a dying man which led him into the royal court where he became the queen's trusted man. De Quincy was set on a quest to solve a murder and discover the fate of the queen's beloved first-born son, King Richard the Lionheart. It's an intrig ...more
Michael Cayley
Feb 05, 2017 Michael Cayley rated it liked it
A medieval mystery set during the time Richard the Lionheart is away from England. It is a time of plotting. A goldsmith is found dying by a Bishop's illegitimate son, Justin, and the dying man asks Justin to take a letter to Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor asks Justin to investigate the death. The period detail is good, but the dialogue is stilted, and I constantly felt that the author was contriving too much in the way suspicion was cast on various characters. A pleasant enough read, but nothing ...more
Nicole Yovanoff
Dec 20, 2016 Nicole Yovanoff 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.
Beverly
Dec 25, 2016 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sharon Kay Penman is an excellent writer and one of my favorite authors. I have enjoyed her historical fiction and decided to give her mystery a try. The story centers on a bastard son of a clergyman who ends up working for Eleanor of Aquitaine (one of my favorite historical figures.) The action is fast paced and the plot is involved and involving. I shall read more of the series.
Marie
Feb 09, 2017 Marie rated it really liked it
I'd actually give this a 3.5 only because it didn't seem to have the depth and full development such as the Master Shardlake series. A good quick read for something not so nail biting.
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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...

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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