Prince of Darkness
This is the fourth installment in the engaging, provocative, and downright fun mystery series featuring Justin de Quincy, the Queen’s Man. By Queen, of course, there is no other of the time than Eleanor of Aquitaine. Aging and frail as she is, she still manages to make a grand entrance into every novel in which her “man” plays a prominent role.
At the ripe old age of twenty-one, Justin manages in this novel not merely to become the father of an illegitimate daughter whom he adores, but the ally of one of the people who he detests most in the world (and the feeling is mutual): Prince John, the Prince of Darkness. Is Justin not a fish out of the proverbial water?
Well, if he is, he certainly learns how to swim quickly. Naturally, he overcomes all, but not without discovering some universal truths about the folks with whom he is related by employment—and about himself as well.
In her consistently talented way, Penman carries us along at record pace. Filled with historical fact, nuance, insinuation and innuendo about John and those around him, this mystery is a sheer delight. Penman succeeds in making the perils of Justin and his coterie a joyful reading experience.