Based on historical fact, THE QUEENE'S CURE is an Elizabethan fan's delight. Because Ms. Harper bases the plot on actual facts, people may know the answer to the puzzle. However, there are several red herrings here that will delight the heart of mystery lovers.

The early years of Elizabeth Tudor's reign are tumultuous ones with much to dread, not only from political rivalries but from illness as well. In fact, the Queen is so fearful of small pox that she has actually sought help from Papist physicians.

When an effigy of the Queen is discovered, Elizabeth is truly distressed, not only because of what such a thing symbolizes, but because the likeness of herself is covered with pox. Obviously, someone who knows the Queen well is preying on her darkest fears.

With her loyal band of supporters at the ready, the Queen mounts a search for those responsible, not sure if it is someone from her past life or an enemy of today. While she searches, illness strikes, throwing everything into a new light.

(Apr., 304 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg