The Thorne Maze

An Elizabeth I Mystery

By Karen Harper
(Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312301767, 288pp.)

Publication Date: February 2003

Other Editions of This Title: Mass Market Paperback

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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 countryside to escape the plague rampaging through London, the queen and her court cannot escape the reach of a multiple murderer who seems to disappear at will. In the gardens of Hampton Court, Elizabeth proudly shows a famed visiting lawyer her huge hornbeam maze. But the intricate labyrinth soon becomes a scene of horror as Elizabeth herself is attacked and the lawyer is murdered within its leafy dead ends.

The queen calls upon her small, select band of advisors to help her
ferret out the identity of the maze murderer. When the court must flee the encroaching Black Death, even the royal haven of Hatfield House with its charming knot garden holds terror.

Undaunted, the queen and her chief advisor, William Cecil, set a trap in the flooded thorn maze at Cecil's nearby estate. But even if they snare the ghostly murderer before he or she strikes again, will they unmask not only the villain but the person they love best in all the realm?

About the Author

Karen Harper is the author of four previous Elizabeth I mysteries: The Poyson Garden, The Tidal Poole, The Twylight Tower, and The Queene's Cure, as well as contemporary suspense novels. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, and Naples, Florida, and is currently writing the sixth book in the Elizabeth series, The Queene's Christmas.

Praise For The Thorne Maze

"Tudor England's answer to V. I. Warshawski....[a] well-researched, intrigue-filled historical."--Publishers Weekly

"Brisk, energetic writing and terrific historical color."--Kirkus Reviews

"Another brilliantly plotted and authentically detailed entry in a series celebrated for its vigorous characterization of the Virgin Queen."--Booklist

"Harper is to be commended for keeping true to what we know of Tudor history...and for making the factions of Elizabeth's court clearer than many history books have done."--Chicago Tribune

"The plot of Harper's novel is a mere diversion from its true pleasure: the re-creation of Elizabeth I's court, the manners of the day, the fetes, the sumptuous clothes, all of which Harper brings wonderfully alive."--Baltimore Sun

"Another fine historical."--Library Journal

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