The Queen’s Confidante

Written by Karen Harper
Review by Marilyn Sherlock

London 1501. Henry VII is on the English throne and has united the two houses of York and Lancaster after the Wars of the Roses by marrying Elizabeth of York. Their eldest son, Arthur, has married Catherine of Aragon and is sent to Ludlow with his own household where a few months later he becomes ill and dies. Was this a natural death or was foul play involved? Elizabeth is also worried about her missing brothers, the Princes in the Tower, and is desperate to know what really happened to them. Also mourning the deaths of two more of her children who died in early childhood, she employs a local candlemaker to make life-size images of them in wax together with effigies of her lost brothers. Upon the death of Arthur, she commissions her to go to Ludlow with a young nobleman, Nicholas Sutton, and find out the truth about his death. The resultant story is one of crime, suspicion, treachery, murder and. of course, love and passion.

I found this to be an intriguing story and cleverly put together from a very unusual angle but rather spoilt by the attempt to write it in the idiom of the day, resulting in some very stilted sentences, and with far too many facts/points repeated over and over again as if the reader couldn’t possibly be trusted to remember something that had been said from one chapter to the next. Interesting but disappointing.