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Publisher's Summary

The letter came in secret, with a pearl eardrop from an aunt long thought dead, resurrecting the forbidden past. Banished by her spiteful half sister, Queen Mary, to Hatfield House in the English countryside, 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth cannot refuse the summons. The Boleyns are in grave danger. And Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn, is marked for death by a master poisoner whose reign of terror may have royal sanction.

With her few loyal retainers, Elizabeth escapes to Kent. Here, in her ancestral Hever Castle, now held by the Queen's loyalists, Elizabeth seeks to unravel the plot against her. And here, in the embrace of intrigue and betrayal, the princess must find a brilliant, powerfully connected killer - before the killer finds her....

©1999 Karen Harper (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paige
  • la Canada, CA, United States
  • 01-28-14

Wonderful Combination of History and Mystery!

If you could sum up The Poyson Garden in three words, what would they be?

Exciting, Educational, Provocative

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Poyson Garden?

There are several, but I love the end where just as she feels that all is lost, her beloved friends and supporters come to bend down before her and declare her the Queen.

Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, she is absolutely my favorite performer. I began reading Her Royal Spyness novels last year and was extremely sad to finish all of the current books in the series. This year I was looking for a Christmas book and read The Queen's Christmas. I look forward to the rest of the books in this series, mainly because of Katherine Kellgren.

Who was the most memorable character of The Poyson Garden and why?

Every character is memorable, but aside from the Queen, I loved Ned Topside. He is an unlikely ally, but shows throughout the book how his many talents can be used to help the Privy Council. Also, he is not afraid to tease the Queen or say what he thinks.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Spunky Queen Elizabeth I

Katherine Kellgren is my favorite narrator. When I am looking for a new book to listen to, I often check out her work. I love how Katherine brings the characters to life with her different accents so I can visualize each person as they speak. It is because of Ms. Kellgren that I discovered this series by Karen Harper. I really like historical fiction, so this seemed like a good fit.

Queen Elizabeth I is very spunky and resourceful in this book. She is not queen when the book begins, but as a plot to kill her is thwarted, she becomes queen by the end. There were some steamy parts that I could have done without, but they did not get explicit.

Now I want to listen to book 2.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Poyson is now my Poison

Expertly crafted story, Elizabeth I and all characters come alive in this first novel of the Elizabeth I series. Narration was exciting and kept me totally entranced. Will read all in series and do some historical research into this period.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

good crime fiction<br />for Elizabethian Error<br /><br />

loved it great book wish there were more of them . The characters were great. also

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Initially skeptical, but soon gripped

I was engrossed by this novel, despite my initial tinge of skepticism about Elizabeth I as amateur sleuth... But it was written well, with great characters and gripping plot of conspiracy and murder. And it was still in a way a cozy, history mystery. Not too verbose or profound, but with just enough names and places to set it firmly in its proper historical and political place without overwhelming. And I loved the portrayal of Princess Elizabeth - already a strong leader, and standing up for herself and doing what needs to be done, sometimes risking everything, despite her exile and spy-watchdogs surrounding her. She has got mettle and so much strength - in more ways than one.

Narration was fantastic, in fact it was Kellgren's name which lead me to pick out this title to begin with, and I was not disappointed. Her many accents are wonderful, and she carries the emotions out of every scene. I was holding my breath confronting the villainess, right along with them.

I look forward to reading more in this series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story and Great Narration

What made the experience of listening to The Poyson Garden the most enjoyable?

I enjoy listening to Katherine Kellgren's narrations and found the story intriguing, though I do not know my British history as I should to fully understand the backdrop of this story.

What did you like best about this story?

The characterization of Elizabeth is charming and still regal.

What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?

Everything. I really don't have complaints. I saw a negative review about her narration and do not understand. I have heard her read to other series and chose this series because she was the narrator.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I found myself smiling and chuckling a few times listening to this book on my drive to and from work.

Any additional comments?

I plan on continuing the series and have already finished book 2 and purchased book 3.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

narration was over the top melodramatic.

What disappointed you about The Poyson Garden?

couldn't listen to more than a chapter b/c the narration was way too dramatic.

What didn’t you like about Katherine Kellgren’s performance?

too hyper

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

This series deserves better narration

I enjoyed Karen Harper's writing style and her grasp of this period of English history. The story and character development were engaging. But I agree with another reviewer's observation that Katherine Kellgren wasn't the right person to narrate. (I do have another series narrated by Ms. Kellgren for which she was better suited.)

The story held my interest enough for me to finish, but would love to experience it in the future with a better narrator. I believe this series by Karen Harper deserves the skill set of someone like Nadia May, Kate Reading or Davina Porter.

4 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • A. M. W
  • 01-13-17

An Intriguing story

Good story gives an authentic view of the precarious early life of Elizabeth. Recommended for lovers of historical mysteries.