A good mystery if anachronisms don't bother you. But I just get all itchy when Elizabethian maids act and think with modern sensibilities. I think this novel has promise as a Hollywood movie with Drew Barrymore in the lead fighting off the baddies at the royal court, but it isn't a good read. My first and final book for this series.
A really good one! Cant wait until the next one pops up onto my list
I love this series of books by Fiona Buckley. Each is a great book by itself and even better read together.
Ursula Blanchard, waiting woman and secret agent for Queen Elizabeth 1 is no living with her french husband. When she tries to bring her baby daughter from England to France she finds the child is missing. In searching for her daughter Ursula meets adventure and mystery, a plot against the Queen and deadly secrets.
From the front/back flaps: With historical mysteries and tales of Tudor England in high demand, acclaimed author Fiona Buckley returns with a poignant new novel featuring Ursula Blanchard, waiting woman and secret agent for Queen Elizabeth I.
Still loyal to her royal mistress but needing to be with her French husband, Matthew de la Roche, Ursula begins to build a new life for herself at Matthew's chateau. She loves Matthew, although she longs desperately for her little girl, Meg, left behind in England. But when Meg's passage is finally arranged, the child is missing. Where is she, and could her disappearance be part of a plot to tempt Ursula back to her homeland?
Frightened for her child, Ursula follows a trail that leads to the home of the ancient Mortimer family, the mysterious Vetch Castle, a grim, haunted keep on the Welsh border. There she finds castle owner Philip Mortimer, who boasts that he will force Queen Elizabeth to restore the fortunes of his once-great family. There, too, Ursula finds Philip's mother, the aging but still beautiful Lady Thomasine, who is frightened by her son's claims and pleads for Ursula's help in discovering what it is that he knows.
What deadly secrets does this castle hide? What ghostly faces look from the windows of the deserted southwest tower? What has Philip Mortimer discovered? The secrets of Vetch Castle could be dangerous, especially if they concern the Queen--dangerous to the Mortimers and to Ursula and those she loves, as she soon learns to her peril.
Richly evocative of its rugged English and Welsh setting, precise in its historical detail, and filled with memorable characters, To Ruin a Queen will affirm Fiona Buckley's growing reputation as a queen of historical crime.
I found the story and characters fairly engaging, and appreciated the suspense. There is a flavor of the romance novel about it, which might appeal to some. Tends a bit toward melodrama. Strong, willful female heroine.
This mystery is the fourth in a series. If you read them in order, the anachronisms in this one don't harm the story, since much was made in previous books of standards of typical Elizabethan behavior for women, etc. I'm enjoying the series and enjoy watching the protagonist develop into a formidable and complex person. I also like it when Queen Elizabeth herself enters and exits the story and find her an interesting counterpoint to Ursula.
Any historical mystery fan should run to get these books and read them. they are well done and very enjoyable to read.