I'm not usually a fan of the early times in English history, but I read this book at the request of a friend who really loves these books. Surprise, surprise--I really enjoyed this book immensely!! This is a mystery involving Queen Elizabeth and her court in 1564. They are preparing to celebrate Christmas in the traditions of the time, to the definite dislike of the puritanical Protestant church leader. There is also the continuous conflict between sisters, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary of Scots, for throne of England.
At the start of these celebrations, Master Hodge Thatcher, Dresser of the Feast, is found hanging in the kitchen, dressed in the peacock feathers meant for the roasted bird. Queen Elizabeth is convinced that he was murdered and starts the investigation into his death. Then, the next days of the celebrations finds other deaths related to the each days activities. Who can the Queen trust? Clues seem to implicate those closest to her. The clues are truly interesting and red herons kept the story flowing. Queen Elizabeth's characterization is wonderfully done.
What I especially liked about the story was the deft way that the author used, and explained, so many traditions of the times, including an old time food recipe at the beginning of every chapter. This is the sixth book in this series. The excellence of this book is best proven when I say that I actually believe I want to rest of this books!