Peopled with historical figures and bounding with intrigue and mystery, THE TIDAL POOLE is a triumphant read. Harper does a masterful job at recreating the era and her portrait of the young queen is brilliant.

Now that Bess Tudor aka Elizabeth I has finally ascended to the throne, she hopes she can put the troubles and conspiracies of the past behind her, but this is not to be. During her coronation, a young female member of the court is murdered.

As Bess begins her queenly duties, the court is racked by intrigues that involve the Dudleys, the Seymours, and the infamous Greys. Bess loyal group of retainers does some investigating and finds that the murder is related to a growing conspiracy at court and danger is everywhere. When those loyal to the new Queen are threatened, it becomes apparent that unless something is done, Elizabeth Tudors reign will be the shortest in English history.

(Feb., 320 pp., $6.50—Hardcover published Februray 2000)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg