THE HOODED HAWKE
This book, the ninth installment in a series that casts Elizabeth I as an amateur sleuth, is the first that this reviewer has read, but it definitely won't be the last. Harper seamlessly blends historical details of Tudor England with the truly intriguing question of who is trying to kill the queen and/or her cousin Francis Drake. Elizabeth is a lively heroine, if a rather unlikely sleuth, and you'll have great fun traveling the countryside and dodging arrows with her and her entourage. There's enough history and mystery to keep lovers of both genres entertained.
But relaxation comes to an end when arrows begin flying in her and her cousin's direction, killing her falconer and others. Soon Elizabeth and her servants are knee-deep in a mystery that threatens not only her life but those close to her as well.
(THOMAS DUNNE, Mar., 288 pp., $23.95)