Queen of Ambition

Queen of Ambition

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Ursula Blanchard, loyal lady of the Queen's Presence Chamber and gifted sleuth, is at home amid the glittering complexities of the royal court. Now, Ursula has a new part to play in the service of her Queen -- a role that exposes her to hidden dangers in the famed university town of Cambridge.

Assigned as a harbinger for the Queen's upcoming Summer Progress to Cambridge, Ursula is placed in charge of not only Her Majesty's comfort, but also her safety. For Ursula, that means undertaking menial employment in a pie shop to investigate rumored political perils behind a swashbuckling student playlet conceived at the University to entertain the Queen.

Even in such a bastion of Protestant power and scholarly pursuits as Cambridge, protecting the Queen is not purely academic. When a handsome young student's all-too-conveniently timed death rouses her suspicions, Ursula applies her superior powers of observation to untangling a mystifying jumble of oddities, coincidences, secrets, and ciphers that surround her...and discovers ominous signs of treason.
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  • Pocket Books | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451604092 | 
  • June 2010
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Chapter 1: Untimely Accident

He looked so young.

He was nineteen, so Edward Hawford, vice chancellor of Cambridge, had said, in hushed tones as he led the way to where Thomas Shawe, student at King's College in Cambridge, had been laid, on a trestle table in one of the side chapels of the lofty College Chapel.

Death had smoothed out the marks of growing maturity, and as I stood gazing down on his face, I thought that he looked no more than fifteen. But nineteen was young enough, too young. His whole life had been before him and it had been cut off because a horse had shied or stumbled and thrown him headfirst into a tree.... see more

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