A Perilous Alliance

Written by Fiona Buckley
Review by Elizabeth Knowles

England, 1576. In this 13th in a series of Elizabethan mysteries, Ursula Blanchard, the Queen’s illegitimate half-sister, is again asked to risk her future for the good of the country. Requested to marry again to strengthen an alliance with France, Ursula combines doubts over her new betrothal with distress at the suspicious death of a household member.

As mayhem ensues, Ursula and several of her trusted retainers journey to London and Dover. They set out for France, trying to save a life and support the Crown. Piracy interferes with this plan, forcing Ursula and her companions to battle danger and violence. There is a whole series of disturbing and dangerous events before Ursula’s wrong-side-of-the-blanket, steely strength helps resolve the issues. She is King Henry VIII’s (fictitious) daughter, after all, as she tells herself in a moment of particular peril.

This book stands alone, with enough non-spoiler hints at the backstory to entice new readers to look for the twelve older titles. An intelligent, entertaining and enjoyable read, this story is set against a rich historical backdrop. People who like mysteries and the Tudors should enjoy this book.