Archive for 'Harper, Karen'
The Hooded Hawke is Harperâ€™s ninth Elizabeth I mystery. I have read several historical mysteries set during Elizabeth Iâ€™s reign, but I believe this is the first one I have read in which she is the main character. This book is set in 1569, when Elizabeth is 36 and has been queen for 11 years. She is going on her â€œannual progress,â€ a very elaborate road trip, during which she stays in the large houses of her wealthier subjects to honor her favorites and to keep an eye on those who are plotting against her.
And plot they do. This is a turbulent time in Elizabethâ€™s reign as she tries to keep her cousin Mary from rallying the Catholics in England to overthrow her and keep the Spanish from invading the country. The Queen is also being hunted by a skilled bowman, nicknamed The Hooded Hawke, who narrowly misses assassinating her on several occasions. Although she is traveling with hundreds of people, Elizabeth has just a few friends and servants that she trusts. This is a very small and loyal group and they work together with the Queen to root out the traitors on the progress and discover the identity of the mysterious archer.
I am always suspicious of historical mysteries that use real people from history. However, Harper appears to have done her research and when Elizabeth reacts to a situation, Harper has laid a foundation for her emotions and actions based on events from her life. Two important things happen to Elizabeth during this time period â€“ she meets Sir Francis Drake, and she decides to imprison her cousin Mary. Harper gives us a plausible window into the Queenâ€™s thoughts regarding two important people in her life.
Favorite character? Probably the Queen. Harper captures the perils and uncertainty of her situation well. Did I guess it? No. Will I read another? Yes.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007