any history fan of queen elizabeth 1 and medieval england will enjoy this mystery of ursula blanchard series. fiona buckley is a detailed writer in this series of mysteries featuring ursula. if you have read any other books you will enjoy this one.
The first in a series about a widowed lady-in-waiting to the first Queen Elizabeth who investigates murders for the queen.
Just found this series and love it! The history, the story line everything is facisnating and the mystery too!!!
2nd in series! A very nice book, quick read.
Ursula Blanchard is "audacious, intensly loyal, and beguiling," said Publishers Weekly of Fiona Buckley's historical sleuth in her mystery series debut. Now, the young, widowed lady-in-waiting is back, once again defending her mistress, Queen Elizabeth I -- this time from a plot to overthrow the Queen and usurp her throne, a task that will test Ursula's sharp wits and investigative skills to the limits.
Torn between her duties and her personal life, Ursula has asked permission from the Queen to leave the court for a time. But Queen Elizabeth will only grant that request if Ursula will first assist Sir William Cecil in his investigation of a troubling plot against Elizabeth -- one that could place her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots, on the throne of England.
Ursula's role will test her sharp eyes and cunning wiles. Already, one of Cecil's most trusted spies is dead. As Ursula follows directions and joins the household of her old friends Ann and Leonard Mason -- now under suspicion of involvement in this Catholic plot -- Ursula knows her own life may depend on her abilities to discover the truth in a dangerous web of deceit.
Ursula Blanchard, a widowed young mother and lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I, deals with mystery and intrigue at court.
From the front/back flaps: Young Ursula knows it can be treacherous easing herself into the petty foibles at court, but now, having once saved the Virgin Queen from political disaster, she faces an even greater challenge. Some of Ursula's old acquaintances may be plotting to overthrow Elizabeth in favor of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the re-establishment of the Catholic faith. Ardent, some would say fanatical, believers will stop at nothing--smuggling, counterfeiting, civil war, perhaps murder--to further their cause. One of Elizabeth's spies is already dead and the clues to his death point in a troubling direction.
Most disturbing to Ursula is whether her old friends Ann and Leonard Mason could be mixed up in a treasonous plot against the Queen. There have been rumors that all is not as it should be with the Masons. Secretary of state Sir William Cecil needs his own spy in the Mason home and Ursula is the obvious choice. She knows the family, she can justify her visit by helping to care for the Masons' five children, and she can perhaps use her newly acquired skill at lockpicking to uncover some surprising truths.
Torn between her devotion to Elizabeth, still a young woman like herself, and her longing to be reunited with her exiled Catholic husband, Matthew, in France, Ursula makes a difficult bargain that balances personal happiness against duty to Queen and country. Her journey takes her into dangerous territory, eventually into the underground cells of the Tower of London itself. Whatever happens, she will never again be quite as trusting or quite as secure.
This is the second in the series. Ursula Blanchard, our amateur sleuth, spy and one of the Queen's ladies, is an appealing protagonist. The plot interweaves period details plausibly and the writing moves swiftly. I'm looking forward to reading the next one.
An intriguing continuation, Book 2 in the series about Ursula Blanchard, a lady of the presence chamber to Queen Elizabeth I who also takes on 'extra' duties as a spy.
Really love this series. Suspenseful and interesting.