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?
©2003 Karen Harper (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I love this series. And while one might argue that Queen Elizabeth is unlikely to have said things like "You know the layout," and that characters living at that time would certainly have known that music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, not beast... one might also just relax and enjoy the story, what?
And I love Katherine Kellgren. As an avid Audiobooks listener, I will sometimes choose books by narrator, and although I am undecided about her tendency to yell out the action scenes, she's definitely on my "I will listen to ANYTHING read by..." list.
The UNACCEPTABLY SLOPPY audio editor, whoever he or she might be, I do not love so much. I'm sure it's a difficult and complicated job, and certainly I couldn't do it, but this is beyond a few extra seconds here or a cut off syllable there. There are whole chunks of narration cut into the middle of completely different scenes, sometimes more than once. Distracting, to say the very least. I might go with infuriating.
The worst part is that Audible only asks for Overall, Performance, and Story reviews, so this problem is likely to affect the rating for narration, which is a shame as the reader is not to blame. If there were a Production rating, I'd take the points from there, but as everything else about the audiobook was very well done and I'm reluctant to punish the author and performer because someone in post-production wasn't doing his or her job.
If you're listening to the whole series, definitely continue with this one, but be ready for some turbulence.
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