Delacorte, April 2002, 23.95, 304 pp.
Elizabeth had a long hard road to travel before she ascended the throne as England's Queen. As a child growing up, she knew any day could be her last and when she was imprisoned in the tower, she thought she would never get out. Though she has full control of the government, she remains alert that her enemies both Catholic and Protestant are waiting for the chance to topple her from the throne.
Following a visit to the Royal College of Physicians Elizabeth finds an eerie looking pockmarked effigy of herself in the waiting coach. Although she tries to pass it off as a prank, Elizabeth knows that this could be the opening gambit in a plot to assassinate her. When she discovers the leech laden body of a naked woman on her private grounds, she is sure of it. She and her Privy Plot council investigate her closest enemies but it's only when she recovers from a case of the pox do the people loyal to Elizabeth knows in what direction does her enemy lie.
This is the fourth installment in this historical mystery series and THE QUEEN'S CURE is as superb as the first three. The role of doctors and medicine in Elizabethan society plays an important part in the solving of this intricately woven mystery. However, it is the characters, especially the vulnerable Queen and her loyal followers who make this historical novel a winner.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner