The Serpent Garden by Judith Merkle Riley

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Synopsis

In the court of Henry VIII, there are many secrets—and some people will kill to keep them hidden.Susanna Dallet is the daughter of a Flemish painter and wife to a philandering husband, living in the court of Henry VIII. When her husband is murdered, Susanna is suddenly left with a household to provide for and nothing to her name. Her days of anonymity are over when Susanna finds that guild rules preventing women from working do not apply at the king’s court, and she manages to secure a position as a miniature-portrait painter. Before long, she has not only made a name for herself, she is close to those who surround Princess Mary. But even in this lofty company, Susanna is not safe. An old manuscript that she has inherited turns out to hold the keys to an age-old mystery, and the forces that claimed her husband are closing in. As danger looms, Susanna joins with Robert Ashton, secretary to Henry’s cunning and ruthless adviser Archbishop Wolsey, and together they must fight a fearsome society in league with a demon.Combining heartpounding action, sly humor, romance, and supernatural twists, The Serpent Garden is the story of a creative and resourceful woman who unwittingly finds herself in a dangerous—and deadly—game of hide-and-seek.
 

About Judith Merkle Riley

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JUDITH MERKLE RILEY is a professor of political science and has a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She is also the bestselling author of A Vision of Light and In Pursuit of the Green Lion, the first two novels in the Margaret of Ashbury trilogy.
 
Published January 8, 2008 by Crown. 466 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Serpent Garden

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It's Susanna's superb copy of Mary's portrait that alerts Wolsey to her fiction of being merely her husband's agent, and so, as a full-fledged painter and a real curiosity--a woman artist!--she's sent to France for, perhaps, a bit of spying.

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Publishers Weekly

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Susanna Dallet, a young English widow and painter, becomes embroiled in Henry VIII's scheme to marry his sister to the aging French king and thus plant an heir in France.

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Publishers Weekly

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PW wrote that this ""richly populated and lustfully told"" 16th-century romance ""punches through the weight of its...

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Dear Author

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By the time she and her true love evade the men trying to kill them in Paris, they’ll have rubbed shoulders with Archbishop Wolsey, Henry VIII, his sister Princess – and later Queen of France then Duchess of Suffolk – Mary Tudor, most of the French court, most of the English court, a horrid lawye...

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SF Site

Some alchemist-sorcerer-type guys let loose a demon at the very beginning of the book who becomes entangled in a number of delicious plots involving madmen and Knights Templar wannabes.

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