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The Queen's Man Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The Queen's Man is a new venture for Penman, in that an invented mystery replaces historical events as the main "story engine." In an angry confrontation with the Bishop of Chester, Justin forces the churchman to admit he is Justin's real father. This harrowing rite of passage leaves the young man no better off. Justin loses his position as a squire in a noble household, and has to figure out what to do with his life now.

Chance provides the answer, In a bizarre string of events, Justin happens upon a fatal assault, and the victim gives him an important letter to take to the Queen. Upon reading it, Queen Eleanor asks Justin to investigate the murder. This search takes him through many levels of Winchester and London society. He ends up working with two undersheriffs, Luke and Jonas. Even after capturing the villains, he almost misses the motive for the attack. Justin loses some of his naivete during his adventures, but this is far from a typical coming-of-age novel.