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A Pawn for a Queen (Ursula Blanchard Mystery at Queen Elizabeth I's Court) [Mass Market Paperback]

Fiona Buckley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Nov 2003 Ursula Blanchard Mystery at Queen Elizabeth I's Court
Fiona Buckley, acclaimed for her precisely researched and richly nuanced historical mysteries, returns with a magnificent new Ursula Blanchard novel set at the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Widowed once again, Ursula, a sometime waiting woman and spy for Elizabeth, intends to live quietly with her small daughter, Meg, at Withy-sham, their country home. But word comes that her devoutly Catholic cousin, Edward Faldene, has set off for Scotland, carrying a secret list of families loyal to Elizabeth's rival, Mary, Queen of Scots. If caught, Edward could be tried for treason. His family begs Ursula to go after him and try to bring him home before it's too late. Ursula agrees. She wants to help her cousin, but she also wants to retrieve the list before it can be used to hurt Elizabeth. The families named there could help raise an army to topple her from her throne. It's a dangerous mission. Before, Ursula had worked for the Queen or for her Secretary of State, Sir William Cecil. As an emissary of the Queen, even a secret emissary, she had power. This time she's on her own. To reveal her plans to the Queen would be disastrous for Edward. When she finally gets to Edinburgh, after long days on the road, she's too late. Edward is dead and the list of Mary's supporters is missing. Whom can she trust? Nothing goes quite as planned, not even her meeting with the Queen of Scots. Ursula's loyalty is to Elizabeth, but Mary, the enemy, is kind and charming. And what about the quaint, middle-aged Thursbys? Are they what they seem to be, or is their Puckish air a cover for something more sinister? Then there's Sir Brian Dormbois. When Ursula enlists the Scottish-French aristocrat'shelp, she never dreams that he will fall violently in love with her, with potentially disastrous results. To find the answers to her questions, save her own life, and protect Elizabeth, Ursula must make some difficult choices. Worst of all, she learns that friend and foe can sometimes be the same person...and for queens, everyone is a pawn. With a stunning surprise at the end, "A Pawn for a Queen" sets a new standard in this engrossing series.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 359 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition (Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743410319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743410311
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 999,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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At half past seven on a January morning, the dawn should have been breaking, but the sky was so overcast that to all intents and purposes, it was still dark and I had half a dozen servants standing about with flambeaux so that our little party could see to mount the horses. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging as ever 7 April 2008
By John Hopper TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Another easy to read murder mystery in the Ursula Blanchard series. I feel I know the characters really well now and greet them like old friends with each new novel in the series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars powerful Ursula Blanchard mystery 20 Dec 2002
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In 1565, Ursula Blanchard mourns the death of her husband Matthew de la Roche at her English estate Withyshem given to her by Queen Elizabeth I for her services to the crown. Ursula is ready to retire from her life as a secret agent when her relatives the Faldenes ask her to find their son, her cousin Edward, who is traveling to Scotland to give a list of English sympathizers to Mary, Queen of Scots.
Even though she has little love for the Faldenes, Ursula doesn't want to see her cousin hang for treason nor does she want the list to fall into Mary's hands. Ursula and her tirewoman Fran Dale and her manservant Roger Brockley travel into Scotland only to find Edward dead, the victim of an assassin's blade. Instead of going home, Ursula chooses to stay in Scotland to track down the list and find out who killed her cousin. This decision will cost her dearly.
The heroine of this tale acts like a modern day woman with her independence, decisiveness and willingness to go after what she wants.. Her sense of loyalty to family and her queen is admirable even though by going to Scotland without royal permission she knows she could be accused of treason. Fiona Buckley is a gifted storyteller who recreates with accuracy an era long gone but quite vivid in the minds of readers. Fans of this series will be delighted to know that the sixth Ursula Blanchard mystery has a startling revelation as well as a wedding to attend.
Harriet Klausner
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ursula ventures on a dangerous personal mission to Scotland 16 Oct 2013
By Michelle Boytim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
(3.5 stars) The sixth book in the series closely follows the events in the fifth book, but starts with a snapshot from near the end of the book with Ursula at a wedding ceremony. Going back, Ursula meets with her aunt and uncle and agrees to go to Scotland to try to get her cousin Edward back before he commits an act that would be considered treason to England, by providing Mary, Queen of Scots a list of families that are loyal to her cause. She goes without notifying either Queen Elizabeth or her spymaster, William Cecil. Along with her maid, Fran, and trusted manservant, Roger Brockley, they make the journey north, using her family's Catholic connections to follow along the route in hopes of catching Edward. When they eventually do catch up with him, they are shocked to find out that he has been murdered and the list is missing. Ursula decides to stay and try to find out both the murderer and what happened to the list. In her mission, she meets Mary Queen of Scots, and a dangerous Scottish lord who takes a fancy to her. Ursula must make some difficult choices to find what she seeks, and the knowledge that she gains may change her forever. The plot takes an unexpected twist or two at the end, setting up some intriguing possibilities for the remainder of the series.
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Fiona Buckley 31 Oct 2013
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As before, I love Fiona Buckley and hope she continues to publish for a very long time. Keep them coming, Fiona.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ursula and the Scots 20 Oct 2009
By Sandra T. Maxwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Once more, Fiona Buckley's Tudor era woman spy, Ursula Blanchard, is on the road. She has two reasons to head north to the wilds of England and on into Scotland: Her aunt and uncle with whom she had lived as a "dogsbody" (an old term for 'servant')now recognize her as someone they must have search for their son,who has gone to Scotland to deliver a list of names of those against Queen Elizabeth and for her Cousin, Mary Stuart, once the Queen of France, now Queen of Scotland. Ursula hopes to catch up with her cousin and destroy the list. After all, she is Queen Elizabeth's and Secretary of State William Cecil's spy and she is loyal to that. She finds her cousin has been killed, the list is gone. Since part of her trip requires her to see Mary Stuart, she gets an invite to Holyrood. She is almost caught up and Mary's wiles, but manages to stay alert to her reason for being there. This book is hard to describe unless you have some knowledge of both Queens and why Mary Stuart was so appealing. A very interesting part of the story concerns a Scottish Lord who falls for Ursula, kidnapping her. He tells her he will tell her who killed her cousin - and who has the list, if she will marry him. She makes a counter-offer: I won't marry you, but I will sleep with you for the information. I almost felt sorry for the burly Lord; but to find out what happens, you'll have to read this book for yourself!
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new fork in the road. 20 Dec 2002
By Cecile - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The prologue starts with the impending wedding of Ursula to an unknown person. What follows is the story of how she came to her decision to remarry soon after the death of her French Catholic husband Matthew de la Roche.
Ursula goes on an unathorized trip in pursue of her traitor cousin Edward at the behest of her estranged Aunt and Uncle. After an exhausting trip to Scotland to stop Edward from delivering a list of Catholic sympathizers to Queen Mary, see finds her cousin murdered.
Ursula set out to investigate his death in the courts of Mary of Scotland and the her "supporters". There she expriences unwanted attentions from a suiter that culminates in a dual. An not unexpected revealation is made about Ursula's paternaty and all ends with her proposal to a character she meets on her adventure to Scotland
This book takes the series in a new direction. Though she claims to want a change of pace from her secret agent days she seems hardly sure. Since the marriage hasn't occured, so there is a cliffhanger at the end (or beginning).
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