Baker & Taylor When Ursula Blanchard, a poor young widow in 1560, is sent to Queen Elizabeth's palace to protect the Queen's reputation, she becomes involved in solving the murder of the wife of a man with whom the queen has fallen in love
Blackwell North Amer Ursula Blanchard's first days at court are exciting and troubling. The young widow misses her small daughter, sent to live with a nursemaid; she doesn't know the customs of court and she must be careful to hide her relative poverty from the other ladies who judge people by their worldly possessions. The Queen has more than charity in mind for Ursula. She also has a most delicate assignment. Rumors are swirling at the court linking Elizabeth to her Master of the Horse, Sir Robert Dudley. Unhappily for the Queen, however, Dudley is married. And it would be too convenient if Dudley's wife, Amy Robsart, were to die, leaving her husband free to wed the Queen. Her death would also cause a scandal that Elizabeth wishes fervently to prevent. Ursula can help the Queen by protecting Amy. She is sent to Amy's home, Cumnor Place, where she must taste all the food before Amy eats it and inspect anything that could be used to harm her. Ursula sees only fear in Amy's eyes when Amy learns that Ursula comes from Dudley and the Queen, a fear soon justified when she is found lying with a broken neck at the bottom of her staircase. Who killed Amy Robsart? Saddened by her failure to prevent Amy's death, puzzled by the intrigue she senses all around her, and propelled by the brutal murder of someone dear to her, Ursula sets out on her own perilous quest that will thrust not only her but her daughter into danger.
Baker & Taylor When Ursula Blanchard, a poor young widow in 1560, is sent to Queen Elizabeth's palace to protect the queen's reputation, she becomes involved in solving the murder of the wife of a man with whom the queen has fallen in love. 15,000 first printing.