Queen Without a Crown by Fiona Buckley
(Ursula Blanchard Mystery at Queen Elizabeth I's Court)

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Synopsis

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 . . .
 

About Fiona Buckley

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Fiona Buckley is the author of eight historical mystery novels featuring Ursula Blanchard: "To Shield the Queen, The Doublet Affair, Queen's Ransom, To Ruin a Queen, Queen of Ambition, A Pawn for a Queen, The Fugitive Queen", and "The Siren Queen". She lives in North Surrey, England.
 
Published May 1, 2012 by Severn House Digital. 240 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Meanwhile, Ursula has acquired a suitor of her own--the wealthy Frenchman Matthew de la Roche--but when Dudley asks her to move to Cumnor Place, to comfort Amy (and perhaps to stop the rumors), she readily agrees.

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Ursula goes undercover as kitchen help at Roland Jester’s Pie Shop—an Elizabethan fast-food restaurant that makes McDonald’s look like a sterile environment—where the students in question hang out.

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Initially, Mistress Ursula Stannard, née Blanchard (A Pawn for the Queen, 2002, etc.), is pleased for the chance to use her network at Elizabeth I’s court for something other than spying.

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Ursula and her husband Hugh, their maid Fran Dale, their manservant Roger Brockley, their companion Sylvia Jester, and young Meg, along with old Gladys, arrive in London to find the Duke’s protégé, Edmund Dean, intelligent, magnetic, and disinclined to take no for an answer.

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Bypassing the queen’s permission for the journey in order to keep Edward’s treason secret, Ursula travels to the barbaric north with her faithful tirewoman, Fran Dale, and Fran’s husband Roger Brockley, whom Ursula can’t help flirting with.

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Once again Ursula Blanchard, now married to Matthew de la Roche and living in France, is on a mission, reluctantly, to serve Queen Elizabeth and her Secretary of State Sir William Cecil (The Doublet Affair, 1998, etc.).

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Thrice-married Ursula Blanchard is the illegitimate sister of and former lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I.

Jul 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Queen Without a Crown (Ursula...

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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.

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Publishers Weekly

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In Fiona Buckley's A Pawn for a Queen: An Ursula Blanchard Mystery at Queen Elizabeth I's Court, the sixth in the series, the queen's faithful lady-in-waiting and spy, now widowed, finds herself in the midst of the power struggle between Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots.

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To dispel rumors of an unsuitable alliance with her master of horse, Robin Dudley, and to assure the court that she means his ailing young wife no harm, the queen sends Ursula herself to care for the woman.

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Since Ursula had planned to accompany the father of her deceased husband (Luke Blanchard) on a trip to retrieve his young ward from the Loire valley, Elizabeth entrusts her with a letter to be personally delivered to Catherine, Queen of France.

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Readers with a taste for melodramatic suspense will relish this solid historical, the fourth in the Ursula Blanchard series from the pseudonymous Buckley.

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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.

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Historical Novel Society

Although Ursula wants to see the young people happily married, her main motive for accepting the assignment is that the young man will pay her handsomely, thereby saving her ailing husband’s dearest homestead which is deeply in debt.

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