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The Fugitive Queen: An Ursula Blanchard Mystery at Queen Elizabeth I's Court Hardcover – 1 Dec 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (1 Dec. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074323751X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743237512
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,308,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Karen Robards "The New York Times" bestselling author of "Whispers at Midnight" and Beachcomber This is top-notch romantic suspense with a twist: a historical setting. "The Fugitive Queen" is thoroughly engrossing from the first page to the last.

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I married Hugh Stannard in 1565, the seventh year of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Fletcher Adolph VINE VOICE on 11 Jun. 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is the latest in an excellent series of mysteries set in England during the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth. The writer shares a comprehensive understanding of the uneasy political and religious dynamics of the time, as well as life at court and the (very different) life in every-day Elizabethan England.
The plot is well designed and carried through and the characters are well-drawn and memorable. I enjoy the fact that the protagonist is a woman and the viewpoint is feminine rather than masculine. It's all too easy, when writing historical fiction, to gravitate to the masculine, with the hero mounting his steed and dashing off in all directions, with exciting chases and plenty of swashbuckling fights and battles. You'll find a little of that here, but mostly you'll find a woman just trying to do her best for her susceptible young relative and for her queen. It's just that she has an exciting time doing it.
Blending historical fact with dramatic and readable fiction is no easy task but the writer accomplishes it beautifully in this book. You feel the sad magnetism of Mary, Queen of Scots and the dedication and frustration of Sir Francis Knollys, her host and/or jailer.
I found this to be a really good read from a writer who really understands this period in history.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Hopper TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
Another jolly Elizabethan murder mystery, with the usual and rather tiresome endless Catholic plotting. It's the characters that keep me reading this series, that and the fact that I can little resist anything set under the Tudors. They do get rather samey after a while.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Historical narrative which happens to have a mystery! 6 Jun. 2004
By Gwen A Orel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have read and enjoyed some historical fiction in this period, particularly the Chronicles of Lymond by Dorothy Dunnett, but generally am skeptical of mysteries. So often mystery writers spend a lot of energy deliberately misleading the reader and the payoff ("Oh, it was a red herring") leads to frustration at time wasted.
Not in this case. I picked up this book without realizing it was one in a series and enjoyed it so much I went back and read the first novel (and will be making my way through the rest). The way this book is written, it seems more like a historical novel whose main character is reluctantly involved in a mystery, than a book in which the mystery is the point.
Ursula Blanchard is an engaging, strong, sympathetic woman, and her point of view is sensible and shrewd. All of the minor characters are fully drawn-- including poor man-crazy, plain Penelope who keeps getting into trouble through her romantic nature. I knew this book was going to be good when Penelope's embarassing crush on the music teacher was never explained away-- it really WAS a poor teenage crush (so often something like this would be used as a red herring in which the music teacher was involved in a plot too etc. etc.)
Great sense of menace once Ursula gets to the countryside, but nobody is a cardboard villain.
I read this after having completed a disappointing collection of mystery short stories called "Much Ado about Murder," so Buckley's winning me over is even more impressive as I was skeptical that merely setting something in a historical period could make the story interesting... and of course, it isn't the merely the period that's interesting.
Buckley is a terrific storyteller and Ursual is a wonderful narrator. Really enjoyable in every respect!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great blend of fact and fiction 11 Jun. 2004
By Valerie Fletcher Adolph - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is the latest in an excellent series of mysteries set in England during the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth. The writer shares a comprehensive understanding of the uneasy political and religious dynamics of the time, as well as life at court and the (very different) life in every-day Elizabethan England.
The plot is well designed and carried through and the characters are well-drawn and memorable. I enjoy the fact that the protagonist is a woman and the viewpoint is feminine rather than masculine. It's all too easy, when writing historical fiction, to gravitate to the masculine, with the hero mounting his steed and dashing off in all directions, with exciting chases and plenty of swashbuckling fights and battles. You'll find a little of that here, but mostly you'll find a woman just trying to do her best for her susceptible young relative and for her queen. It's just that she has an exciting time doing it.
Blending historical fact with dramatic and readable fiction is no easy task but the writer accomplishes it beautifully in this book. You feel the sad magnetism of Mary, Queen of Scots and the dedication and frustration of Sir Francis Knollys, her host and/or jailer.
I found this to be a really good read from a writer who really understands this period in history.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
a journey into Elizabethan times 26 Jan. 2004
By SDRTX - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Ursula Blanchard, now Ursula Stannard is back for another adventure of political intrigue. It's not an adventure that she particularly wants. She had given up spying for her half-sister Queen Elizabeth or so she thought. She is sucked back into the antics of court when there is some trouble with Ursula's ward, Penelope Mason. Pen, one of Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting has fallen in love with a married man. Elizabeth is not amused. Elizabeth uses this to have Ursula to go visit Mary Queen of Scots at the northern castle where she is held captive. Ursula does not want to accept her assignment, but much to her surprise her husband Hugh urges her too. She, her daughter Meg, and her ward set out on their journey north. Things do not turn out well when Meg is kidnapped and one of her men is killed. This is the first of mishaps and misadventures that the group faces.
Fiona Buckley skillfully interweaves historical fact and fiction. Ursula Stannard is portrayed as a strong independent woman who can hold her own with any man. Most of the characters are richly drawn and the setting gives you a real sense of time and place. The story line was interesting and kept you reading. Overall, this entry is an entertaining addition to a well-received series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
strong Elizabethan mystery 26 Nov. 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It's been three years since Ursula Blanchard married Hugh Stannard, but in spite of his being twenty years her senior, it has been a peaceful time for the baseborn sister of Queen Elizabeth I. When Hugh and Ursula are summoned to court to collect her wayward wad, the queen and sir Cecil have a job for the former spy to perform.
Mary, Queen of Scotts, has escaped her Scottish prison and sought refuge in England. She is now half guest and half prisoner and the Scottish regent is seeking an inquiry into whether Mary is guilty of murdering her husband. The queen and her accuser want Ursula to find out the truth of the matter and offer Ursula's ward a dowry with an estate that is next door to where Mary is being held. After much trouble, they finally arrive at the Yorkshire estate of Tyesdale where Ursula becomes embroiled in a plot to free Mary when her supporters kidnap her ward.
Although Ursula has been content in the three years away from court and playing spy for her half-sister, she feels her blood stir as she once again becomes involved in politics and intrigue. She is an independent clever woman in an age when females were supposed to be weak and submissive. Readers will admire her strengths and her love for her child but they will care for the woman who lives life on her own terms.
Harriet Klausner
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Some mystery and some history . 29 Feb. 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I am an avid mystery fan and a lover of Tudor history, so naturally when a book that combines the two comes out I snatch it up. I'm usually disappointed, because there is not enough of either. But this book, while not perfect, had enough of both to satisfy me.
This is the first book in this series that I have read. I won't go over the plot, as others have already covered it. I found the heroine, Ursula Stannard, to be believable and sympathetic. The history was sound and the plot plausible (if not riveting). I enjoyed the depiction of life and customs in 1568, both at court and in the north.
For all that, I had the entire solution figured out very early on. I think that many historical mystery writers spend so much time "setting the scene" that they ignore the machinations necessary for a really good mystery. So while I enjoyed the first half of the book alot, the last half lagged.
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