Queen’s Bounty: An Ursula Blanchard Mystery
The latest installment in Buckley’s long-running Elizabethan mystery series featuring Ursula Blanchard finds Ursula in the midst of planning her daughter Meg’s wedding. Accusations of witchcraft fly when Ursula finds herself in the middle of a Romeo and Juliet-style love affair between the children of two feuding families, and it doesn’t help when they rendezvous at Ursula’s home. Since this is a time where practicing “the dark arts” could get a woman killed, it’s serious business–and Ursula is already sheltering an accused witch.
Ursula needs to clear her good name, help her daughter marry, and figure out who is behind a variety of mishaps that are too well-targeted to be mere coincidences.
There’s a lot of explanation of who the characters are, which makes the beginning rather slow, but once the story gets going, it moves along at a brisk clip. Ursula Blanchard remains an engaging character, although there’s not much to the mystery this time around. Fans of the series will enjoy this latest installment, but readers new to Buckley’s series should start with an earlier book.