Poison Bed, The

Fremantle, E.C.

  11 Reviews

Who is telling the truth? Frances or her husband Robert? Confined to their separate accommodations in the Tower of London, they both certainly have time enough to contemplate their supposed involvement in the murder of courtier Sir Thomas Overbury. A power couple of the court of King James I, the Carrs are up to their privileged necks in the political shenanigans of the day.

Ambition, corruption, intrigue; it's all here in the many twists and turns of this vividly imagined story of the real events of 1615. [Larger font]



Those who read it enjoyed it, especially the twists, but it was hard to keep up with who was who - really needed a list at the front of the characters.
AUCK 050
Didn't much like the writing, but enjoyed the time period and reconstruction of the murder.
We all enjoy historical fiction particularly when based around facts, but there was mixed reaction to this one. One enjoyed it very much, another couldn't warm to the characters and thought the writing was clumsy. The rest were in between and while it was a fast paced and easy read, it did not compare to the likes of Wolf Hall or Pillars of the Earth.
Quite a lot of discussion, most of us enjoy historical fiction. Going from one character's narrative to another was interesting and there's a good twist.
CHCH 010
Readers in the main enjoyed the story. Vigorous discussion followed over the influence of family, politics and church over the individual's life. Mostly we found the historical events and characters fascinating and authentic.
CULV 001
Loved by some, not by others. It did provide a good topic for discussion and was an interesting interpretation of the events and very evocative of the time period.
AUCK 166
Some found it hard to read, felt like it was written as a "bodice ripper". Others enjoyed it, especially the historic context of the setting.
WINT 002
Enjoyed by some, not so much by others. Some found it difficult to get into. Others enjoyed the history of the Tower.
WARK 005
One loved it, one hated it, the rest were lukewarm. As expected, we all hated Katherine and Robert and Northhampton, but felt sympathy for Overbury. Historically, fairly consistent. The story probably fictitious.
Interesting in the amount of detail and historical facts well explored. No one particularly liked the character of Frances, although sympathetic with her in dealings with Essex. Overall, enjoyed the "easy" read.
Of our group of seven, 2 could not 'get into' the book and did not read it. A third member was unable to attend but did complete the book but made no comment. We agreed that we learned more about the Stuart reigns than we had known before. No one used the word thrilling to describe it. It unfolded the story very slowly and the him/her approach made understanding difficult for some. No one had any sympathy for any of the protagonists. The various intrigues with the numbers of people involved in them took away from the main story line. Frances in the second half was described as Machiavellian.