She was young-barely fifteen. A poor peddler's daughter newly arrived in London, she
was loved as much for her good heart as for her good looks. Someone had taken advantage
of that sweet nature, leaving her dead in a churchyard, a ripped bodice testimony to her
struggle, a bloodstained cross the solitary witness to her end.
England, 1193: A land awash in intrigue. While Eleanor of Aquitaine searches vainly
for her eldest son, imprisoned by his enemies, her youngest plots to capture the crown.
In her service: young Justin de Quincy, the Queen's Man. What has he to do with common
with the death of a poor man's child? Despite himself, Justin becomes ensnared in the
case, seeking to unmask a killer. But can he also bring that killer to justice?
Hailed "an impressive debut" (Houston Chronicle), nominated for an Edgar for
Best First Mystery, chosen by the ALA as a Best Book for Young Adults: The Queen's
established a tradition that Cruel as the Grave upholds splendidly.
"Authentic period detail and fast-paced plot."
“Penman writes about the medieval world and its people with vigor, compassion, and clarity.”
–San Francisco Chronicle
“Penman’s lively, articulate prose brings to life history as it could have happened–high praise for a historical mystery.”
“Sharon Kay Penman tells her stories with passion and a strong sense of time and place.”
Author of the Sister Frevisse Novels
“Once you enter Penman’s world, you’re hooked.”
Henry Holt and Company
A Marian Wood Book
hardcover / $22
paperback / $7.99