The Reluctant Assassin

Written by Fiona Buckley

It’s 1581, and Ursula Stannard, the half-sister of Queen Elizabeth, finds herself in a predicament that calls on more than her special skills as a spy. Queen Elizabeth is considering marriage to the Duke of Alençon, a French Catholic. The possibility of the marriage is dividing the kingdom, and Ursula is caught in the middle of the unrest. Her young son, Harry, is kidnapped and may be shipped off as a slave if she doesn’t commit an act of treason and kill the former Queen of Scotland and a Catholic, Mary Stuart. The former Queen is being held in Sheffield Castle under the watchful eye of Queen Elizabeth. She may also be instigating the unrest in England to take the throne from the queen.

The plot of The Reluctant Assassin, the sixteenth book of the Ursula Blanchard Mysteries, is not complicated, but the mystery unravels slowly. The novel is augmented with careful attention to the times, politics, people, and settings, which create vivid pictures for the reader. The characters and their personal histories are well fleshed-out and make for interesting relationships with Ursula.

The Reluctant Assassin is a quick read that will appeal to any reader who enjoys mysteries with a well-detailed picture of the Elizabethan period.