Thursday, 25 February 2010

THE THORN MAZE by Karen Harper

Another book that I chose to read for the Historical Reading Challenge (Royal Reviews Blog).
First time read of this author and I had been wanting to read her books for sometime.
Enjoyed her style of writing and the period in which she has set her story.

The tale is set in the reign of Elizabeth 1 and the series (this is number 5) sees the Queen become an amateur sleuth.
This is the time of the plague in London and Elizabeth is at Hampton Court, which has as its feature, a hornbeam maze. But the maze becomes a murder scene, as first someone attempts to strangle Elizabeth, then a famed lawyer is murdered in the maze. Soon after his wife is found dead in another maze.
The killer appears to be taunting the Queen and she enlists her closest peoiple to help solve the murders. To add to this, she is trying to keep her eyes on Lord Darnley and his parents, who want to return to Scotland.
Elizabeth is thinking that maybe she can have Mary in Scotland marry Lord Darnley, maybe even Robert Dudley.
William Cecil comes under investigation, as does his wife, and it is not until nearly the end of the story, you discover the identity of the murderer.

The historical names become like old friends once you have read a lot of historical fiction and I find this adds enjoyment of the story for me as well.

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