Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Queen's Man

The Queen's Man

A Medieval Mystery

Justin de Quincy Mysteries (Volume 1)

Sharon Kay Penman

Henry Holt and Co.




Epiphany, 1193: the road out of Winchester was hidden by snow, and Justin de Quincy was making slow progress when he heard the first faint shout. It came again, louder and clearer, a cry for help. Spurring his stallion, de Quincy raced toward the source.

But he was already too late. As the two assailants fled, de Quincy cradled the dying man, straining to make out his whispered words. "They did not get it," he rasped. "Promise me. You must deliver this letter to her. To the queen."

Eleanor of Aquitaine sits on England's throne. At seventy, she has outlived the husband with whom she had once scandalized the world. But has she also outlived her favorite, her first-born son? Richard Lionheart, England's king, has been missing these last months. It is rumored that he is dead. Many think his youngest brother plots to steal the crown. Only Eleanor's fierce will can keep John from acting on his greed. Only a letter, splattered with the blood of a dying man murdered on the Winchester road, can tell her if Richard still lives.

With the same sure touch she has brought to her historical fiction, Sharon Kay Penman turns to the mystery form. Setting her story in a period she captured brilliantly in earlier novels, she introduces Justin de Quincy. Bastard-born, de Quincy is the son of a high cleric who never acknowledged him, bestowing on the boy--in lieu of name or fortune--only an education. As it happens, it is a gift that will take young de Quincy into the very centers of power--and into the heart of danger, making him the Queen's man.

Moving from the royal chambers in the Tower of London to the alehouses and stews of Southwark, from the horrors of Newgate Gaol to the bustling streets of Winchester, de Quincy proves his mettle as he tracks a brutal and cunning murderer and uncovers the sinister intrigues of Eleanor's court.

Edgar Allen Poe Award Nominee, Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee


The Queen's Man

December 1192
"Do you think the king is dead?"
Aubrey de Quincy was caught off balance and furious with himself for his negligence; he ought...


Praise for The Queen's Man

"Once you enter Penman's world, you're hooked." - Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“Full of swordplay, bawdy byplay and derring-do, The Queen's Man is a full-bodied historical romp, steeped in period detail.” - The Houston Chronicle

“A graceful style, plus a plot rich in local color, puts this among the most attractive by far of the recent spate of mysteries set in medieval times.” - Kirkus Reviews

“Justin is so beguiling and, the action so lively and unpredictable, that readers will cheer Justin's return in further adventures.” - Publishers Weekly

“Well researched, credibly plotted, realistically detailed, and undeniably entertaining.” - Library Journal

"Her writing is faultless, deftly interweaving the threads of the various storylines into a glowing, living tapestry. This is storytelling at its finest." - The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Penman manages to illuminate the alien shadow land of the Middle Ages and populate it with vital characters whose politics and passions are as vivid as our own. She writes about the medieval world with vigor, compassion, and clarity." - San Francisco Chronicle

“ Penman's authentic period details, larger-than-life characters, and fast-paced plot add up to great reading for both mystery fans and history buffs." - Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Sharon Kay Penman

Sharon Kay Penman is the author of five critically acclaimed works: The Summer in Splendour, Here Be Dragons, Falls the Shadow, The Reckoning, and When Christ and His Saints Slept, the first in a trilogy featuring the lives of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry Plantagenet.

Sharon Kay Penman



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