The Siren Queen
This is the eighth installment in the Ursula Blanchard mystery series featuring the half-sister of, and sometime lady-in-waiting to, Queen Elizabeth I. Ursula also happens to have a talent for spying and putting herself in harm’s way.
It is 1568. Ursula is now married to her third husband, Hugh Stannard, an older, wiser and more stabilizing force in her life. Ursula, Hugh and Ursula’s fourteen-year old daughter, Meg, head off to the home of the Duke of Norfolk to meet a possible future husband for Meg. This is just the beginning of a convoluted series of events involving Florentine bankers, Mary of Scotland, ciphers and a plot to seize Elizabeth’s throne.
This is a well-written, intelligent mystery, full of fun twists, turns and surprises. All the historical players are well-fleshed out. Ursula, Hugh and Meg are sheer delights. The complex Ridolfi plot is handled with the expertise that few but Buckley has mastered. Highly recommended – even if you haven’t read any of the others in the series.