Secret trysts. Daring dalliances. And a body in the orchard.
It’s Midsummer, 1591, at Richmond Palace, and love is in the air. Gallant courtiers sport with great ladies while Tom and Trumpet bring their long-laid plans to fruition at last. Everybody’s doing it — even Francis Bacon enjoys a private liaison with the secretary to the new French ambassador. But the Queen loathes scandal and will punish anyone rash enough to get caught.
Still, it’s all in a summer day until a young man is found dead. He had few talents beyond a keen nose for gossip and was doubtless murdered to protect a secret. But what sort — romantic, or political? They carried different penalties: banishment from court or a traitor’s death. Either way, worth killing to protect.
Bacon wants nothing more than to leave things alone. He has no position and no patron; in fact, he’s being discouraged from investigating. But can he live with himself if another innocent person dies?
“Characters that leap off the page.” — Karen Harper, NY Times best-selling author.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is my first experience in the Francis Bacon series and I think I've been missing something here. But, not all is lost since I can go back and get the first 4 books and NOT miss out. This was very mysterious until the very end who did the killings and I was very enthusiastic about learning some British history as well, which is one reason I love historical fiction/mysteries. I was provided an ARC of this book and I am giving my honest opinion of this awesome book.
So much historical fiction centers on the royals - the perspective of the next tier down is fascinating. And the mysteries aren't bad either!
It’s 1591, and the Queen and her entourage are at Richmond Palace. The peace one morning is disturbed by the scream of a lady-in-waiting, having discovered a body. Immediately the Captain of the Guard Sir Walter Ralegh is called for to announce his verdict. Which is one of accident but Lady Alice and Tom Clarady are not convinced, and investigate with the help of Francis Bacon. Really enjoyed this Bacon mystery, as I have all in this lovely series. It is well-written, with some likeable, well-drawn characters. I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.