Queen Without a Crown

Queen Without a Crown

4.0 2
by Fiona Buckley
     
 

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The ninth gripping murder mystery to feature Ursula Blanchard, special aide to Elizabeth I - November, 1569. Happily married to her third husband, Hugh Stannard, lady-in-waiting Ursula Blanchard is hoping to give up her undercover work for Queen Elizabeth l in order to enjoy domestic bliss. But when Hugh unwittingly endangers possession of his

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Overview

The ninth gripping murder mystery to feature Ursula Blanchard, special aide to Elizabeth I - November, 1569. Happily married to her third husband, Hugh Stannard, lady-in-waiting Ursula Blanchard is hoping to give up her undercover work for Queen Elizabeth l in order to enjoy domestic bliss. But when Hugh unwittingly endangers possession of his ancestral home, Ursula is forced to take on a seemingly hopeless – but handsomely paid – private assignment, which the Queen spots is the perfect cover for a covert investigation into a group of rebel barons plotting to put Mary, Queen of Scots on the English throne . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the start of Buckley’s solid ninth Elizabethan historical (after 2004’s The Siren Queen), Mark Easton, a messenger, brings news to Elizabeth I about a plot to free Mary, queen of Scots, from captivity in England. Easton also has a personal request for Ursula Stannard (formerly Blanchard), lady-in-waiting to her half-sister, Elizabeth, and retired spy. More than 20 years earlier, Easton’s father, Gervase, was suspected of tampering with the food of a womanizer with designs on Easton’s mother. Gervase committed suicide after coming under suspicion, but left a letter swearing his innocence of the crime that Easton just happened upon. Ursula agrees to help Easton clear his father’s name, but she has an uphill battle, as few of the original witnesses are still alive. Readers not expecting Buckley to equal the quality of a Rory Clements or C.J. Sansom will be satisfied. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Burned out on secret-agent missions assigned by Queen Elizabeth I, spy and lady-in-waiting Ursula Blanchard (The Siren Queen), nonetheless attacks two new cases with verve. It is November 1569, and the Scots are cooking up trouble. Elizabeth wants Ursula to sniff out possible traitors by visiting targeted sites near the border. The queen knows Ursula is already working on a case for a young royal messenger named Mark, who is desperately in love and needs to clear his late father's name. The father was wrongfully accused of a poisoning death some 20 years ago, and only proof of innocence will satisfy the parents of Mark's intended. Surprisingly, Ursula gets a break in this cold case from a portrait artist. If Ursula can find the portrait of Mark's father, she might save Mark from a broken heart. Since the painting is probably in a home near the Scottish border, she combines her two missions. Before long, the clever and gutsy Ursula is riding for her life. VERDICT Abundant foreshadowing, exciting action, and well-drawn characters make Buckley's ninth entry in her romantic suspense series stand tall. Readers might also enjoy Peg Herring's series featuring a younger Elizabeth. For female-led intrigue from other time periods, also consider Miriam Grace Monfredo or Carol K. Carr.
Kirkus Reviews
A Lady of the Bedchamber for Queen Elizabeth I wishes to give up her role as a spy, but circumstances force her back into action. Ursula Blanchard has married for the third time. But her newfound happiness is threatened by the financial dealings of Hugh Stannard, her latest husband. Then Mark Easton comes to her begging for help. His beloved's family refuses her permission to marry him because of his father Gervase, who's been widely considered a murderer ever since he committed suicide. Bolstered by generous funding from Mark, Ursula starts to investigate the long-ago poisoning of a rival for the affections of Mark's mother. In the meantime, the Queen is not about to let Ursula, who is her bastard half sister, forget her obligations at a time when Elizabeth's enemies in Scotland and the north country are looking for ways to replace her with Mary Queen of Scots. Their interests happily coincide when Ursula's search for a portrait that may help to prove Gervase innocent takes her to the very area where Elizabeth wants her to investigate traitors. Ursula and her loyal escort travel through a bitter-cold winter landscape to homes that may house both traitors and the elusive portrait. Fans of Buckley's long string of clever historical suspensers featuring the resourceful Ursula (The Siren Queen, 2004, etc.) won't be disappointed.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781780295145
Publisher:
Severn House Publishers
Publication date:
08/01/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

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