The Queen's Secret
This Elizabethan historical mystery is set in 1585 when Queen Elizabeth I visits Kenilworth, home of her favourite, Robert Dudley. Robert is desperate to marry Elizabeth and hopes that by wooing her at Kenilworth she will finally consent to be his wife. However, Elizabeth is as capricious as she is beautiful and with flirtatious cynicism she is content to leave Robert waiting for her decision. However, waiting in the wings is one of Elizabeth’s beautiful ladies in waiting, Lettice Knollys, wife of the Duke of Essex, who is more than happy to accommodate Robert Dudley’s attentions. Elizabeth is incensed by the growing attraction between Robert and Lettice, and undertakes the services of Lucy Morgan, a young singer in her entourage, to spy on the couple. Combined with the ostentatious portrayal of life in the Elizabethan court, is the story of Lucy Morgan, a young woman who is well used to the world of espionage.Gradually,she uncovers a plot that will have devastating consequences, not just on on Elizabeth’s court, but also on Lucy herself.
The story is well written with a compelling and intricate plot. The twists and turns are well explored and it soon becomes a fascinating dialogue between the main characters. The Elizabethan court is portrayed as a hotchpotch of scheming skulduggery, but it is the skilful inclusion of an intricate mystery at the heart of the novel which really makes for fascinating reading.
It is reassuring to note that The Queen’s Secret is the first book in a proposed series of stories about Lucy Morgan.
My thanks to Lynsey at Transworld for a review copy of this book.