The Fyre Mirror

Written by Karen Harper
Review by Dana Cohlmeyer

The seventh offering in Karen Harper’s Elizabeth I series opens with Good Queen Bess escaping London for Nonsuch Palace, where she hopes to relax and pose for the official royal portrait, for which she is holding a competition. Her young court artist, Gil Sharpe, returns from studying in Italy just in time to witness the beginning of a terrifying period of murders, arson and court treachery. Summoning her Privy Plot Council, she wonders if the culprits are supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots, her enemies on the Continent, or a “running boy” apparition bent on revenge.

Well-written and packed with detailed history, this book is a definite page-turner. To take such a well-known woman and create such a vivid, strong-willed detective is absolutely fantastic! It’s easy to imagine Elizabeth in this incarnation. My only question is: does my library have the first six books in the series?