Who Killed Queen Julia?
Historical fiction is always something that you either love or hate. I think you need to have a good sense of history to enjoy historic fiction and a real taste for good old fashioned writing. I like to think I have both but that depends…
Who Killed Queen Julia is by all accounts a murder mystery and a work of historical fiction. It is very interesting and provides some great insight to the lifestyle and frame of mind of the royal characters. This is a book with a large cast of unique characters, both in personality and in name. Betz helps readers out by providing us with great detail and description of every character. I can really see the looks on some of the characters’ faces, I can imagine their deep brown eyes and wisely aged faces. I think character description is something that Betz prevails at, as it is so wonderfully demonstrated in this book.
The basic plot for the story is simple. We have a very spunky and independent princess who may, or may not, have gotten herself into a sticky situation. Readers are given a story that follows both the Queen-to-be Julia and her brother King Richard on a journey that is mostly a mystery but also a tale of awakening.
We discover who Julia is with her little time with us but we also get to know her from King Richard’s point of view at times and I think that’s where some of the better characterization came into play. Betz had plenty of dialogue and description in her book but I think the silent interactions worked best. The raised eyebrows, the quick glances, and the character thoughts really amplified certain conversations and situations while giving each character a distinct personality in the process.
I can’t say I was ‘blown away’ by Who Killed Queen Julia? but I was most certainly pleased with what I read. My only complaint would be that the era in which the story takes place seems a little fuzzy at times. The prologues all take place in the past, duh, but it doesn’t seem like the ‘past’—as in a few years ago—it seems more like events that occurred a few hundred years ago. I’m not sure if we traveled in time to the present day where Princess Julia was seen listening to modern day artists on her CD player, or if the setting for the book had always been in year 2015-2016 but modern amenities simply had not been mentioned in the prologues.
The writing seemed to fit an era in a different century, which is why I labeled it as historical fiction, but then at times it seemed fitting for a teenager living in this year. This confused me a little but it isn’t so much of a criticism as it seems. I did enjoy the book and would highly recommend it others, but I felt strongly about this point and thought it appropriate to point it out in my review for other readers to know.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mystery and familial bonds. There is a strong sense of love and righteousness in this book, character ties are emphasized as well as their faith as Christians. If you are not open to a religious cast or characters who openly pray to Jesus, then I don’t think this book would be right for you. Altogether, it is a solid read that I find to be well worth the 4/5 stars.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*