A Traitor’s Tears

Written by Fiona Buckley
Review by Caroline Wilson

A Traitor’s Tears is the twelfth installment in Fiona Buckley’s Ursula Blanchard mystery series. Ursula has been everywhere and seen pretty much everything in her nearly forty years, and as such, hopes to retire to the country. But her half-sister, Queen Elizabeth, keeps pulling her from sequestration. However, this time it is Ursula’s loyal manservant Brockley that needs her help when a gossipy neighbor turns up dead. There was no love lost between Ursula and the deceased Jane Cobbold, but with Brockley’s life in the balance, she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth.

Longtime readers of Buckley’s mysteries will be pleased to see familiar faces from past novels, while new readers will not be left in the dark; Ursula’s adventures can often stand alone, with past events being duly sketched in without bogging down the current plot. The narrative is quick, and while the identity of the murderer will not come as a surprise, the motivations are not clear until the latter portion of the novel. At that point, the whole plot becomes a tedious information dump that may bore some readers. Nonetheless, with so many historical personages involved and the usual mysterious goings-on adding spice to the plot, this novel is recommended for historical mystery lovers and readers who enjoy the Elizabethan age alike.